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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Quick question for the board:

What would you consider a substantial dating relationship when determining a domestic violence arrest? I always went by the old school of at least 3 months dating or some other determining factor such as living together or child in common. I looked up the law and of course it is somewhat vague on nailing down a certain time frame.


Chapter 209A: Section 1. Definitions.
""Abuse'', the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between family or household members:
(a) Attempting to cause or causing physical harm;
(b) Placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm;
(c) Causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat or duress.
""Court'', the superior, probate and family, district or Boston municipal court departments of the trial court, except when the petitioner is in a dating relationship when ""Court'' shall mean district, probate, or Boston municipal courts.
""Family or household members'', persons who:
(a) Are or were married to one another;
(b) Are or were residing together in the same household;
(c) Are or were related by blood or marriage;
(d) Having a child in common regardless of whether they have ever married or lived together; or
(e) Are or have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship, which shall be adjudged by district, probate or Boston municipal courts consideration of the following factors:
(1) The length of time of the relationship; (2) the type of relationship; (3) the frequency of interaction between the parties; and (4) if the relationship has been terminated by either person, the length of time elapsed since the termination of the relationship.


I am assuming they are leaving it up to the officer to decide what a substantial dating relationship is, error on the side of caution and make the arrest and let the judge sort out the mess. I’m just curious what most officers consider a substantial relationship. After 2 dates? After 1 week? A Month? :confused:
 

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I have attended several classes on DV and believe it or not in all we were told that even the first date is considered a substantial dating relationship.(Atty Pat Rogers was one of the instructors) So I guess they really leave the discretion to the officer.
 

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Hi LEOs,
Patsfan, the rule of thumb is 3 or more dates or if they had have sexual relations before the 3rd date also if the realtionship on the first date is 24hours or more. At least that was what I was told in the academy. I know of an example case where a man picked up a female at a bar and went home with her to his house and after having her stay a few nights they got into an argument with physical force and she got a restraining order and the man had to leave his own house because she was staying there. LOL I am serious he got kicked out of his own house by a stranger he met several nights before and RO was place on him. Remember domestic A+B and restraining orders can be a very confusing call to go on. The courts know this and what is great is that the 209A law gives the officer free liablity of false arrest or no arrest etc.. if the officer arrests or doesnt arrest on good faith.
 
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