Burlington County is the largest county in New Jersey. Within its borders are 450,000 residents. The county itself is located in close proximity to both Pennsylvania and Delaware. Serving the county in all legal matters is Burlington County Superior Court, located in Mount Holly. Matters of Family Law are resolved in the court's Family Division. The court takes a firm stance on issues that pertain to domestic violence and relies on a set procedure for resolving these matters. Issues of domestic violence can interfere with ongoing legal matters in any custody or divorce cases.
Domestic Violence Cases In Burlington County, New Jersey
The first thing to happen in a majority of domestic violence cases is for one spouse or partner to file a restraining order against the other. In Burlington County, as well as the rest of New Jersey, there are two distinct types of restraining orders that may be filed. When a person files for a restraining order they will be known as the plaintiff, while the person who the order is filed against is known as the defendant. The simplest way to obtain a restraining order for victims of domestic violence is an ex parte restraining order. Ex parte restraining orders are issued without the defendant present. The issuance of these orders is typically done in emergencies. A judge will issue and order an ex parte restraining order if they believe that the plaintiff is in danger, has been abused, or is otherwise exhibiting signs of immediate harm from domestic violence. A full restraining order can be issued after a hearing with both a defendant and plaintiff present. A restraining order can seriously impact a number of matters in a defendant's life, such as custody parenting time, and the ability to own firearms, visit certain locations, or interact with the plaintiff.
Hearings for restraining orders will be held with both plaintiff and defendant present, at the Burlington County Superior Court. At the hearings, each side will be able to use evidence and argument to present their case. In addition, both sides are welcome to representation by an attorney. In the courtroom, an attorney is a valuable asset for either side. Attorneys will know the rules of the court and what evidence and witnesses are favorable and helpful to present to the judge. When the hearing is concluded the judge will either finalize or dismiss the restraining order.
Restraining Order Violations
In Burlington County, it is a crime for a defendant to violate the terms of a restraining order. This crime is known as criminal contempt and can result in both jail time and fines, depending on the severity. This will also be included in addition to any other crimes the defendant may have committed as well. While many actions can result in charges of criminal contempt, certain violations, such as failing to pay monetary compensation or failing to return property, may result in more lenient approaches from the court depending on the circumstances.
If you or a loved one is involved in matters of Family Law in New Jersey, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.