While it's not required that you have representation at a 209A hearing, I strongly advise it. The fact is, your rights are at issue, and although it's not technically a criminal case, you're going to walk out of there if you lose, with something on your record, and having given the other party a hammer, anytime they're angry with you, to just pick up the phone, call the police, and say hey, he's outside! And now you have a criminal case.What is a 209A Hearing for Domestic Violence Cases in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts, a 209A hearing is authorized by Massachusetts's general law 209A. It's a hearing in which a person claims that they are in fear of their domestic partner, or somebody else in their domestic setting. At first, that person goes there alone, asks for a restraining order, usually to keep the other person away. About a week or so later, the defense has another chance to come in and rebut that. It's not considered a criminal proceeding, but depending on how it ends up, one could follow very shortly.