A Lawrence man attempted to get a restraining order against Mayor William Lantigua, the man claimed that the mayor made obscene gestures and swore at him. The man admitted that he had been following the mayor. The judge found that although the mayor's conduct as described may have been rude it did not amount to criminal harassment which is necessary to obtain a restraining order.
Massachusetts law now allows a person who can prove criminal harassment to obtain a restraining order against another. Restraining orders in the past were reserved for those involved in a domestic relationship. To prove criminal harassment one must show a repeated behavioral pattern of harassment which can take the form of annoying phone calls, threats or acts of violence.