A restraining order is a civil order issues by a court to provide protection to a victim of domestic violence. It can be protection from a current or ex -spouse, a present or former household member, someone you are dating or have dated, or someone with whom you have had child or expecting a child.
You can obtain a restraining order NJ if anyone of the above commits any one of the following crimes against you:
- terroristic threats
- criminal restraint
- false imprisonment
- sexual assault
- criminal trespass
- criminal coercion
- criminal sexual contact
- contempt of a domestic violence order
- criminal mischief
There are two types of restraining orders in the state of New Jersey: temporary restraining order (TRO) and final restraining order (FRO). Restraining orders are issued to protect the victims of abuse and violence but they are not meant to punish the accused or the perpetrators. Restraining orders will reflect badly on a person’s record and might hinder while seeking employment. If a restraining order has been ordered against you, if someone complains about a violation of that order, you might be arrested. NJ restraining orders are most often abused and it is always advisable to consult a legal expert if a restraining order has been filed against you.
Temporary restraining order (TRO)
Temporary restraining orders can be issued immediately to protect the victim from further harm. Generally, a sufficient amount of evidence is required before a judge decides to grant a TRO. However, is most cases, TROs are issued immediately upon the victims’ allegations depending upon the gravity of the situation and the risk involved. A TRO will hold valid until a hearing for final restraining order which is usually done within 10 days of the issuance of the TRO. You may or may not be required to present in court to get a TRO issued. In case where you are not able to appear in court, the judge can issue a TRO upon your complaint. In case you are physically or mentally incapable of appearing in court, a person representing you can file for a TRO on your behalf. Regular court hours are 8:30 am to 3:30 pm Monday to Friday. In cases of emergency and if the court is closed, you can also approach the local municipal court, local police department, or call 911. In case your petition is denied by the local municipal court, you can approach the family division of the superior court during court hours.
Final Restraining Order
A court hearing will be held within 10 days of issuance of a TRO. The final outcome of the hearing will determine if a TRO will become a FRO. During the court hearing, the alleged victim will need to testify and explain the circumstances and incidents leading to the claim of a restraining order NJ. The alleged victim must provide sufficient exhibits and evidence. Both the victim and defendant can seek legal counsel. There will cross examinations and the judge may ask various questions to both parties and the witnesses to determine whether a FRO is warranted. It is easy to get a TRO issued but converting it to FRO require solid evidence and witnesses. A FRO is permanent until the alleged victim or the court removes it.
Violation of Restraining Order NJ
The violation of a restraining order is considered a criminal act and might result in jail time if convicted. All legal proceedings of a violation of restraining order will be held under the criminal code.
Removing a Restraining Order NJ
Once a restraining order has been issued, it is not easy to remove it. Even if both the parties agree and come to a mutual consent to remove the restraining order, the court will not dismiss the restraining order. The court will take into consideration other factors apart from the mutual consent to determine if any there are any future risks. The court will dismiss the restraining order NJ only when it finds substantial evidence that proves that there has been a substantial change in circumstances and that there is “good cause” in removing the restraining order.
The court will consider the following factors among various other factors deemed relevant by the court to determine if the request for dismissal is genuine and not coerced:
- the victim’ consent to dismiss the order
- the change and status of relationship between the two parties
- if the victim stills feels threatened by the defendant
- any cases of violation of the restraining order
- the age of the defendant
- any drug or alcohol abuse by the defendant
- any criminal activity or act of violence by the defendant
- if the defendant has gone through proper counselling
Removing a restraining order is not an easy task. It requires more than just a mutual understanding between the two parties involved. You will need expert legal advice to present your case and appeal for removal of the restraining order NJ.
Our firm specializes in all areas of family law relating to children, child support and custody. Your situation and your case are important to us. For questions about your particular case, please call and schedule a confidential consultation with one of our attorneys.
Call 732-414-6669 and get the legal advice you need.