AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE ENFORCEMENT OF COURT ORDERS UNDER THE MASSACHUSETTS CIVIL RIGHTS ACT.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
Chapter 12 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after
section 11 I the following section:-
Section 11J. In actions brought pursuant to section eleven H or
eleven I, whenever the court issues a temporary restraining order or a
preliminary or permanent injunction, ordering a defendant to refrain from
certain conduct or activities, the order issued shall contain the following
statement: VIOLATION OF THIS ORDER IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.
After any such order has been served upon the defendant, any violation of
such order shall be punishable by a fine of not more than five thousand
dollars or by imprisonment for not more than two and one-half years in a
house of correction, or both such fine and imprisonment; provided, however,
that if bodily injury results from such violation, the violation shall be
punishable by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars or by
imprisonment for not more than ten years, or both.
The clerk shall transmit two certified copies of each such order issued
under section eleven H or eleven I to each appropriate law enforcement
agency having jurisdiction over locations where such defendant is alleged
to have committed the act giving rise to the action, and such law
enforcement agency shall serve one copy of the order upon such defendant.
Unless otherwise ordered by the court, service shall be by delivering a
copy in hand to the defendant. Law enforcement agencies shall establish
procedures adequate to ensure that all officers responsible for the
enforcement of the order are informed of the existence and terms of such
order. Whenever any law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe
that such defendant has violated the provisions of this section, such
officer shall have the authority to arrest said defendant.
Following the final disposition of a criminal contempt proceeding
initiated by the attorney general for violation of an order issued in an
action brought by the attorney general under section eleven H, the
commonwealth shall move to dismiss any charges brought under this section
against such defendant for such violation of the order.
Whenever the court vacates a temporary restraining order or a preliminary
or permanent injunction issued under section eleven H or eleven I, the
clerk shall promptly notify in writing each appropriate law enforcement agency which had
been notified of the issuance of the order and shall direct each such
agency to destroy all record of such vacated order, and such agency shall
comply with such directive.