A civil abuse order of protection cannot be served by a traffic stop under the Fourth Amendment and the Massachusetts Constitution. Commonwealth v. Sanborn, 2017 Mass. LEXIS 496 (June 29, 2017):
We may not read G. L. c. 209A to circumvent the constitutional protections of the Fourth Amendment and art. 14. As such, c. 209A cannot authorize a stop in the absence of a constitutional justification, such as a warrant, reasonable suspicion of criminal activity or a civil traffic violation, or a reasonable belief that emergency intervention is required. Ultimately, whether a stop to serve a c. 209A order is a reasonable measure to avert the harm from an emergency depends on an objective assessment of the necessity of doing so, in light of all facts known to law enforcement at the time. See Commonwealth v. Meneus, 476 Mass. 231, 235, 66 N.E.3d 1019 (2017). In such circumstances, the justification for the stop stems not from G. L. c. 209A, but from the constitutional exception to the warrant requirement. When a stop is not constitutionally justified, reasonable means for service would include the mechanisms typically employed for service: in-person delivery, leaving the order at the defendant’s home, or service by mail, as appropriate. See G. L. c. 276, § 25 (service of criminal summons may be made by in-person delivery, by leaving summons at the defendant’s last known address with person of suitable age, or by mail to last known address); Mass. R. Civ. P. 4 (d) (1), as amended, 370 Mass. 918 (1976) (service of civil summons and complaint may be made in person, by delivery to defendant’s last and usual place of abode, or by delivery to defendant’s agent).