Determining Grounds for Filing a Restraining Order in New Jersey
Guiding clients with domestic-violence related issues in Wayne, Montclair, Woodland Park, Passaic, and surrounding communities
One hopes to be able to count on partners, housemates, and co-parents to be positive influences and presences in their life. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and some relationships turn sour, often in a violent way. The United States Department of Justice defines domestic violence nationally as any act that is intended to place control over another person within a specific type of relationship. In the case of domestic violence, it is the right of the victim to file a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and participate in a hearing shortly thereafter to seek a Final Restraining Order (FRO), which provides long-term protection. Whether a victim meets the requirements to file for a TRO, however, depends on New Jersey-mandated factors. Read on to learn what the grounds are for filing a restraining order in New Jersey.
The attorneys at The Montanari Law Group, LLC have extensive experience handling these complex and delicate matters in a confidential way. We want to give you the peace of mind you need during these troublesome times. If you reside near Clifton, Little Falls, Hawthorne, Haledon, Verona, Nutley and towns around Passaic County, our team is here to help guide you with your restraining order matter.
What is required to show standing for obtaining a NJ restraining order?
In order for a person to be eligible to apply for a restraining order in New Jersey, they must show that they are a person protected by the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991. This act, which outlines nineteen specific forms of domestic violence as criminal offenses, names the type of person that may seek the support of a restraining order in order to resolve a relationship of domestic violence. The relationship between the two people involved must be:
- a current or prior dating or spousal relationship,
- a relationship in which the plaintiff and defendant lived in the same household, or
- a co-parenting situation in which the plaintiff and defendant share one or more children.
If the plaintiff and defendant fit one of these relational boundaries and all of the following grounds for filing a TRO are met, the person may file a complaint for a restraining order. Read on to learn what the victim must prove to meet the grounds for obtaining a restraining order.
What grounds make you eligible to obtain a restraining order in NJ?
If the plaintiff and defendant meet one of the above relational containers outlined above, the plaintiff must meet the criteria that they were the victim of domestic violence in three specific ways. First, the victim must have been the victim of domestic violence. The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991 (called simply “the Act”) outlines 19 specific actions that are considered acts of domestic abuse and come with a criminal charge. These are:
- sexual assault
- criminal sexual contact
- cyber harassment
- criminal mischief
- criminal restraint
- false imprisonment
- terroristic threats
- criminal coercion
- criminal trespassing
- contempt of a restraining order issued for domestic violence
- any unnamed crime that involves the risk of death or serious injury to a person protected by the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991
If the person can prove that they have been the victim of one of the above criminal acts of domestic violence, they meet the first element of eligibility for applying for a restraining order.
Additionally, the person generally must prove that the act of domestic violence was one of the repeated offenses. Can the person prove that the accused displayed a history of abuse in the relationship or household? Only in very serious domestic violence cases is there no requirement to prove that this was a repeated act.
Finally, the victim must show that without a restraining order, they will not be safe. If there is reasonable cause for the victim of domestic violence – which, as noted above, is a repeat or serious offense – to fear for their safety in the absence of legal procedure, a TRO will likely be issued. Within 10 days, a hearing to provide the accused an opportunity to defend themselves will be scheduled, at which point a Final Restraining Order (FRO) may be issued.
Ensure you have what is required to file a restraining order with one of our Little Falls NJ Domestic Violence Attorneys
Obtaining a restraining order is an essential part of ensuring your safety. Are you or someone you know facing domestic violence, and you need legal help exiting the situation? Don’t delay. Contact an experienced attorney to support you in filing for a Temporary Restraining Order and obtaining the Final Order you need at your upcoming hearing in Family Court. At The Montanari Law Group, we understand the nuances of safely exiting a violent living situation or relationship, and we are experienced in providing swift and confidential support. We serve clients in towns like Wayne, Clifton, Paterson, and across Northern New Jersey in all matters of domestic violence.
Contact us online or call our office at 973-233-4396 for a free, confidential consultation to learn how we can successfully help you obtain a restraining order.