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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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