A New Jersey state appeals court has overturned a restraining order, ruling that a one-time threat to publish the nude pictures of a person on the Internet, did not constitute harassment under New Jersey’s domestic violence laws.
The plaintiff identified only as 19-year-old CJ, had a romantic relationship with her taekwondo instructor, who was married at the time. CJ’s parents and the instructor’s wife soon found out about the affair, and during a conference call, all parties involved decided to not contact each other anymore. However, a couple of days later, the instructor’s wife spoke to CJ’s mother and during the conversation, the mother told the instructor’s wife that her husband was still proclaiming his love for CJ.
The instructor was apparently enraged by this, and left a series of text messages on the mother's phone that targeted both CJ and the mother. The messages were full of expletives, and in one of the messages, the instructor threatened to publish nude pictures of the plaintiff on the Internet.
An Atlantic County judge ruled that CJ was under threat of harm, because of the threat to publish embarrassing pictures online. He entered the restraining order, ruling that even though there was no evidence of any potential for physical harm here, there was definitely intent for psychological harm because of the threat of posting nude pictures online. An appeals court has now reversed the order, ruling that the defendant had made no threats to the plaintiff, and that the obscenity-laden messages in which he threatened to post the pictures online, was a “one-day occurrence. ” Further, there was no history of domestic violence either before or after the restraining order was filed.
The New Jersey family lawyers at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman are dedicated to the representation of persons facing issues of divorce, alimony, child custody, child support, domestic violence and other family law matters.