Gloucester County is one of several South Jersey counties. The county is located close to both Pennsylvania and Delaware. The county has over 290,000 residents within its borders. Serving the population in all legal matters is the Gloucester County Superior Court. The court oversees issues related to Family Law in its Family Division. Domestic violence issues in Gloucester County can lead to serious complications in ongoing or established matters of Family Law. When a family experiences domestic violence, one option they have is to file a restraining order with the court.
Domestic Violence In Gloucester County, New Jersey
When a person wishes to file a restraining order, it must be done through the court. When the filing is done, the person initiating the restraining order is known as the plaintiff, and the person whom the restraining order is filed against is known as the defendant. The court will typically issue a restraining order in one of two ways: a full restraining order, or an ex parte restraining order. Full restraining orders cannot be issued without a hearing with a judge. An ex parte restraining order, on the other hand, can be issued without the defendant present. These orders are typically issued by the judge if they believe that the plaintiff is a victim of domestic violence, or is at serious and immediate risk of harm or violence. In particularly serious emergencies, an ex parte restraining order may even be without the plaintiff present for the request. Ex parte restraining orders are temporary, however, they may still have a severe impact on a defendant's life. A defendant's custody parenting time can be negatively affected, defendants may need to surrender property or firearms, and may be unable to visit certain locations or interact with certain individuals, especially the plaintiff. A final restraining order may even have certain provisions for the defendant, such as mandatory counseling, or forms of compensation towards the defendant.
When a restraining order is to be decided at a hearing, both the plaintiff and defendant must attend. It is advisable for both sides to have attorney representation and counsel. Hearings will be determined based upon either sides' ability to present evidence and argument. After the judge has heard the case from both sides, a decision will be made on whether or not to finalize the restraining order.
Restraining Order Violations
In New Jersey, violating a restraining order is a crime. Violators will be charged with the crime of criminal contempt. These criminal charges can lead to jail time and fines, and possibly even both. In addition to this, criminal convictions of any kind can seriously and drastically affect standing custody orders, and possibly divorce proceedings as well. While a majority of restraining order violations will result in criminal charges, violating certain provision may not always result in a charge of criminal contempt. Some provisions such as returning property, or attending counseling will receive attention from the court, but may not be criminal unless they are severely disruptive to the plaintiff.
If you or a loved one is involved in a domestic violence case in Gloucester County, New Jersey, contact attorney Joseph D.Lento today.