Cumberland County, New Jersey is one of the state's southernmost counties. The county has a population of over 150,000 residents and is located in close proximity to Delaware. The county is served in all legal matters by the Cumberland County Superior Court. Matters of Family Law, including custody and divorce, are resolved within the court's Family Division. The court also accepts filings for instances of domestic violence. When a family experiences domestic violence, they may petition the court for a restraining order.
Domestic Violence Cases in Cumberland County, New Jersey
When a person files a restraining order, they must petition the court and make a filing. The person who initiates the filing will be known as the plaintiff, while the person whom the order is filed against will be known as the defendant. In Cumberland County, restraining orders come in two forms: ex parte restraining orders and full restraining orders. An ex parte restraining order is one that is issued to a plaintiff without having the defendant present. A full, or final, restraining order is one that is issued after both the plaintiff and defendant have attended a hearing regarding the restraining order. Ex parte restraining orders are typically issued when a judge has sufficient reason to believe that a plaintiff is in immediate danger of domestic violence, or has already suffered from domestic violence. These orders are typically temporary and will last until the hearing date. Restraining orders can affect a number of aspects of a person's life, including any custody or divorce proceedings.
When the time for a hearing arrives, both plaintiff and defendant must appear in front of the judge. Both sides may be represented by their own counsel. Because these hearings will be evidentiary in nature, the presence and representation of an attorney can make a strong impact on the outcome. Both sides will be welcome to present whatever evidence, testimony and arguments they believe to be necessary to support their own, respective cases. Once all relevant information has been heard, the judge will make a ruling and either deny or finalize the restraining order. If a restraining order is finalized, it can affect the defendant in a number of ways, particularly where the defendant may be and when or, if at all, the defendant may interact with the plaintiff. This can also affect matters of custody, as well. Also, final restraining orders may have certain terms that the initial temporary restraining orders did not.
Violating a Restraining Order
When a person violates their restraining order, they are typically charged with the crime of criminal contempt. A conviction of this crime can result in fines and even jail time. However, though serious violations of a restraining order frequently result in criminal charges, certain provisions such as not returning property, or failing to pay monetary compensation on time are not always immediately criminal charges.
If you or a loved one is involved in a domestic violence case in Cumberland County, New Jersey, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.