Cape May County is New Jersey's southernmost point, and home of the famed Cape May shore point, along with many other popular Jersey Shore vacation spots. Cape May County has over 95,000 residents. The populace is served in matters of law by the Cape May County Superior Court. The court oversees all matters of law within the county, including those pertaining to Family Law. Matters of family law are resolved in the court's Family Division. When a family experiences domestic violence, the first step is the filing of a restraining order.
Domestic Violence Cases In Cape May County, New Jersey
When a person wishes to file a restraining order in Cape May County, they must do so with the court. When a filing is initiated, the person who begins the process is known as the plaintiff, and the person who the restraining order is filed against is known as the defendant. Restraining orders come in two separate forms, depending on the situation. The first of which is an ex parte restraining order, sometimes known as a temporary restraining order. These are issued to plaintiffs in situations where a judge finds that there is reason to believe that the plaintiff may be in danger of domestic violence occurring or has already experienced domestic violence. Ex parte restraining orders are typically meant to last until a hearing for a full restraining order and can be issued without the presence of a defendant. Final, or full restraining orders are those that have undergone the hearing process and have been approved by a judge.
At a hearing for a full restraining order, both defendant and plaintiff must appear in court. Each side will have to present relevant and strong evidence, argument, and testimony to support their cases against one another. Both sides are entitled to be represented by their own counsel. Legal counsel at a hearing for a restraining order can strongly influence the outcome of the judge's decision. After the judge has heard each side's arguments, a decision will be made. If the restraining order is made final, it may have more specific terms or even more restrictions on a person's ability to interact with the plaintiff. This can also affect a defendant's custody rights and parenting time with any children as well.
Violating A Restraining Order
When a person violates a restraining order, they are likely to face criminal charges. Violators in Cape May County will likely face charges of criminal contempt. This crime is punishable by both jail time and fines if the violation warrants it. In certain cases, some provisions of a restraining order do not always warrant criminal charges. Provisions such as returning property or monetary compensation may cause the court to send additional warnings but do not typically automatically result in criminal charges.
If you or a loved one is involved in a domestic violence case, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.