Are you involved in a case where there is domestic violence involved? Cases involving domestic violence and restraining orders are highly emotional. Fernandez Garcia Law has the ability to assist you through these difficult times. In New Jersey, victims of domestic violence can seek protection through protective orders which are often referred to as a “Restraining Order.” This not only protects parties from contacting each other, but could impact your employment or relationship with other family members depending on the circumstances.
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The two most common restraining orders in New Jersey are Temporary Restraining Orders (“TRO”) and Final Restraining Orders (“FRO”). Restraining orders Elizabeth NJ residents can file will restrict one person from coming within a particular distance of another individual. The victim must have some relationship with the defendant (i.e., dating, married, family, etc.).
The order ensures that the victim and friends or family members will not be contacted by the defendant. The defendant is also not able to go to the home or workplace of the individual victim or the victim’s family.
It is important to note that if the victim and the abuser reconcile the court-ordered restraining order will not automatically expire. If the victim willingly reconnects with the defendant, the defendant may still face criminal charges.
A TRO is the most common form of restraining order provided in New Jersey. It is ordered to ensure that the victim of domestic abuse receives the protection that they need. If the police respond to a domestic violence call and observe physical marks on the victim, they will arrest the defendant and a TRO may be issued.
A TRO can be requested with the Domestic Violence Unit of the Family Division which is located at the County Courthouse. Alternatively, it is possible to request a TRO at the local police department. If you are filing locally it is important to ensure that you make your complaint at the police department in the area you reside.
Once a complaint has been filed, the police will contact a Judge. The Judge will hear the request and may issue a TRO over the phone or in person. Criminal charges may also be filed against the defendant.
Law enforcement officers will then serve the defendant with the TRO. This will include details on the final hearing which will take place 10 days after the TRO was issued. Any firearms the defendant has in his/her possession will also be seized at this time.
If the defendant and victim live together, the defendant will be required to leave while the TRO is in effect. This is true regardless of whether the defendant owns the property or was the first person to live there.
A Judge can either extend, remove or replace the TRO with a final restraining order.
The FRO is a more detailed restraining order. It can be put in place at the final hearing. During the hearing, both the defendant and the victim will provide testimony to the Judge.
For a FRO to be put in place, the two parties must qualify as a domestic relationship and the defendant needs to have committed a predicate act of violence. There must also be an immediate requirement to avoid further acts of domestic violence. A FRO in New Jersey is permanent and will only be vacated when one of the parties makes a motion to do so.
This form of protection can be provided to individuals who are over the age of eighteen or an emancipated minor. The individual could have suffered domestic violence from:
Obtaining a FRO can be a long and complex process. Ideally, both the defendant and the plaintiff should make sure they have legal counsel in this situation.
Do you think you need a restraining order or would you like more information about restraining orders in Elizabeth NJ? Do you need to defend yourself from a restraining order?