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General Laws

Section 120E. As used in this section, the following words shall have the following meanings:—

“Medical facility”, any medical office, medical clinic, medical laboratory, or hospital.

“Notice”, (i) receipt of or awareness of the contents of a court order prohibiting blocking of a medical facility; (ii) oral request by an authorized representative of a medical facility, or law enforcement official to refrain from obstructing access to a medical facility; or (iii) written posted notice outside the entrance to a medical facility to refrain from obstructing access to a medical facility.

Whoever knowingly obstructs entry to or departure from any medical facility or who enters or remains in any medical facility so as to impede the provision of medical services, after notice to refrain from such obstruction or interference, shall be punished for the first offense by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or not more than six months in jail or a house of correction or both, and for each subsequent violation of this section by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars and not more than five thousand dollars or not more than two and one-half years in jail or a house of correction or both. These penalties shall be in addition to any penalties imposed for violation of a court order.

A person who knowingly obstructs entry to or departure from such medical facility or who enters or remains in such facility so as to impede the provision of medical services after notice to refrain from such obstruction or interference, may be arrested by a sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable, or police officer.

Any medical facility whose rights to provide services under the provisions of this section have been violated or which has reason to believe that any person or entity is about to engage in conduct proscribed herein may commence a civil action for injunctive and other equitable relief, including the award of compensatory and exemplary damages. Said civil action shall be instituted either in superior court for the county in which the conduct complained of occurred, or in the superior court for the county in which any person or entity complained of resides or has a principal place of business. An aggrieved facility which prevails in an action authorized by this paragraph, in addition to other damages, shall be entitled to an award of the costs of the litigation and reasonable attorney’s fees in an amount to be fixed by the court.

Nothing herein shall be construed to interfere with any rights provided by chapter one hundred and fifty A or by the federal Labor-Management Act of 1947 or other rights to engage in peaceful picketing which does not obstruct entry or departure.

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