Atlantic County is one of New Jersey's coastal counties, and home to the popular vacation spot, Atlantic City. The county supports a populace of over 275,000 residents. Legal matters that arise in the county are resolved through the Atlantic County Superior Court. The court oversees matters of Family Law within its Family Division. For families that experience domestic violence, the court offers opportunities to file restraining orders. Restraining orders are not taken lightly, and if approved, they can have an impact not only on the person who the order is filed against but on the family as a whole.
Domestic Violence Cases In Atlantic County, New Jersey
When an individual wishes to file a restraining order against another, they generally must proceed to the Atlantic County Superior Court. Throughout the process of the filing, the person who initiates the filing will be known as the plaintiff, while the other party will be known as the defendant. There are two types of restraining orders that a person may file. The first of which is a full restraining order, which can only be completed and signed by a judge after a hearing. The second type of restraining order is called an ex parte restraining order. These orders are filed without the presence of the defendant, and are typically only issued in emergencies, or when a plaintiff has experienced or is under immediate threat of domestic violence. Ex parte restraining orders are typically temporary until the hearing for a final restraining order can be held.
When a hearing is scheduled, both defendant and plaintiff must appear in court. At restraining order hearings, it is highly advisable to retain the services of an attorney. These hearings will be decided by either side's strength of argument and evidence. The assistance of a skilled attorney can greatly change the tide of the legal battle. If a restraining order is finalized, the defendant will be seriously affected in all aspects of their life. On top of this, final restraining orders may have additional provisions beyond what was laid out in the initial restraining order. Restraining orders can affect things like parenting time, or custody status, among many other things.
Violating A Restraining Order
When a defendant violates a restraining order, they will be charged with the crime of criminal contempt in Atlantic County. Criminal contempt charges can potentially result in jail time, hefty fines, and even both, depending on the circumstances. In addition to this, criminal convictions can reduce or eliminate parenting time, depending on the severity of the circumstances. However, not all terms of the agreement are subject to criminal charges. for instance, for violations where a defendant fails to return property or provide monetary compensation, the defendant may face actions from the court, but not criminal contempt charges, depending on the situation.
If you or a loved one is engaged in a domestic violence case in Atlantic County, New Jersey, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.