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Family Law: Restraining Orders

New Jersey Restraining Order Lawyer

Domestic Violence (461)

The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act was enacted to address domestic abuse and provide civil remedies for victims in the form of a restraining order. The Domestic Violence Act addresses the definition of domestic violence, who is a protected party (meaning who can receive a restraining order), how to obtain a restraining order (including the relief a court may grant in a restraining order), and the consequences should a party fail to abide by the restraining order.

The Act specifies that domestic violence is the occurrence of one or more of the following:

  • Homicide
  • Assault
  • Terroristic threats
  • Kidnapping
  • Criminal restraint
  • False imprisonment
  • Sexual assault
  • Criminal sexual contact
  • Lewdness
  • Criminal mischief
  • Burglary
  • Criminal Trespass
  • Harassment
  • Stalking

If you are thinking about obtaining a restraining order, a New Jersey restraining order attorney at the law firm of Helmer, Conley & Kasselman can discuss your options with you. Our attorneys are knowledgeable of the process and can provide helpful guidance. In order to file for a restraining order, the plaintiff has to have a certain relationship with the defendant. A protected person under the Domestic Violence Act is someone who is at least eighteen years old and has been subjected to domestic abuse by a spouse, former spouse, or any present or former household member. A victim of domestic violence in a dating relationship may also seek a restraining order.

Steps in Obtaining a Restraining Order in New Jersey

There are two steps in obtaining a restraining order. First, victims must file a complaint with the Family Part of the Chancery Division of the Superior Court during weekdays and normal courthouse hours. On the weekends, holidays, evenings or other times that the courthouse is not open, a victim may seek protection through a Municipal Court Judge. At this stage, the court may enter a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in favor of the victim if the judge determines that an imminent danger of domestic violence exists. The TRO will immediately be sent to the law enforcement agency for service upon the defendant and to the police in the municipality where the defendant lives.

Second is the Domestic Violence Hearing where both the plaintiff and defendant are permitted to testify and provide witnesses to determine whether a final order shall be entered. A final order may include the following relief:

  • Restraining the defendant from subjecting the victim to domestic violence.
  • Granting exclusive possession of the residence or household.
  • Parenting time.
  • Counseling and/or anger management.
  • Restraints from entering the residence, property, school, place of employment of the victim.
  • Restraining any contact with the plaintiff directly or through third persons.
  • Emergency monetary relief, such as child support.
  • Temporary custody of a child.
  • Preventing the defendant from possessing firearms or weapons and/or ordering the search and seizure of any weapons.
  • Restraint the defendant against stalking, following, or threatening to harm the protected party.

If the court after a hearing finds that the defendant committed an act of domestic violence, a civil penalty shall be ordered against the defendant between $50 and $500 and submitted to the Domestic Violence Victims' Fund.

If you need more information, contact a New Jersey restraining order lawyer at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman today to schedule a consultation.

 

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