For immediate release: March 19, 2020
The Office of Northwestern District Attorney wishes to inform residents that emergency restraining and harassment order cases will still be heard despite court closures.
Judge Paul C. Dawley, chief justice of the District Court, has issued a standing order to hear emergency cases via telephone or video conferencing until at least April 6. (Please see attached memo.)
Victims of intimate partner violence are often isolated and live with the risk of abuse on a daily basis.
"With this pandemic necessitating people to distance themselves and remain at home, the isolation is even greater," said Mary Kociela, director of Domestic and Sexual Violence Programs for the NWDA .
"We are concerned and want victims to know that they can call our office, your local police department or local hotlines (numbers below), if they are in danger or would like to file for a restraining order."
Safe Passage – Northampton
- (413) 586-5066*
- (888) 345-5282* (toll free)
- Greenfield (413) 772-0806*
- Orange/Athol (978) 544-9857
- Toll Free (888) 249-0806*
Going to the courthouse can often be dangerous for victims even without these circumstances, Kociela said.
"The court order allowing restraining orders by phone is a great way to help protect victims."
For more information about harassment and restraining orders as well as domestic violence resources, please refer to our website at https://www.northwesternda.org/domestic-violence