New Jersey Restraining Orders
In New Jersey, this legal process is a civil action rather than a criminal matter. After a court issues a temporary or final restraining order, violation of the terms becomes a criminal offense. Of course, victims can always file formal complaints. An attorney who specializes in family law, divorce petitions, and domestic violence cases can help you understand your options when you live in the Ocean, Monmouth and Middlesex County areas of New Jersey.Understanding the Process
A good NJ law firm can guide you through the process, or you can apply for an emergency order when courts are closed by calling the local police department. Civic organizations can also help you file the necessary paperwork. Victims can file for a temporary protection order at the Superior Court’s Family Division. Regardless of your reasons, a NJ judge will grant a temporary restraining order.
Victims are people who have been subjected to domestic violence, persons who are at least 18 years of age who want to discourage abuse, and emancipated minors. People who are having matrimonial problems, going through divorce proceedings, or are victims of abuse seek protection orders to safeguard their independence, mental health, and physical well-being.
- Judges issue TROs easily, but a hearing is held within 10 days.
- The standard of proof in these cases is not as strict as those required for criminal convictions.
- A Superior Court judge will evaluate whether an assault has likely occurred, whether a history of domestic abuse exists, and whether the victim reasonably fears for his or her safety.
- If the judge determines that the three conditions have been proven, the judge will issue an FRO.
Violence at home in New Jersey includes many acts under the state’s Criminal Code. Physical injuries are not necessary to obtain a TRO. Legal grounds include the following offenses:
- Criminal Trespass
- Terrorist threats
- Criminal mischief
Broad grounds under NJ law include verbal abuse, threats, financial punishment, isolation, and intimidation. Abusers can be parents, guardians, spouses and even caretakers or persons in authority over others.Getting an Final Restraining Order
The victim has to testify before a judge but the abuser doesn’t need to show up in court for the petition to be granted. Once issued, FROs become permanent unless the victim petitions the court to remove it. Judges have leeway to amend the order, send one or both parties to counseling or resolve matters in other ways. For example, a no-contact order is similar to, but not the same as, a protection order.
Whether you seek to obtain a restraining order in New Jersey or want to fight an unjust allegation of domestic violence, call today to get expert advice from the Goldstein Law Group law offices. A qualified attorney can also help you with related issues such as divorce, child custody, monetary relief, and other family matters.