Ocean County is one of New Jersey's coastal counties. The county is the site of many of New Jersey's shore points and a number of popular tourist locations. The county has over 580,000 residents. The population is served by the Ocean County Superior Court in all legal matters. The court's Family Division handles all matters of Family Law for residents of the county, including divorce and custody. The court also provides potential resolutions to any domestic violence issues. A family's first recourse to incidents of domestic violence is typically the request for a restraining order.
Domestic Violence Cases In Ocean County, New Jersey
When a person wishes to file a restraining order in Ocean County, they must proceed to the court. The individual filing for domestic violence will be known in all court proceedings as the plaintiff, while the person that the order is filed against will be known as the defendant. There are two types of restraining orders that may be requested. The first is an ex parte restraining order. These are issued without the presence of a defendant. Typically, the issuance of an ex parte restraining order requires that a judge makes the determination that the plaintiff has suffered or is in danger of suffering harm from domestic violence. These can be issued in emergencies, and typically only last for a short period of time until a hearing can be held to finalize the restraining order. Finalized restraining orders last for a considerable period of time and can have many detrimental effects on a defendant's life, including matters of custody and divorce.
Both defendant and plaintiff must be present at a hearing to finalize a restraining order. Hearings will be decided by a judge, who makes a decision based upon the evidence, testimony, and arguments presented in court. Each side is able to retain the services of an attorney. Having an attorney is crucial to success in the courtroom, and can mean the difference between a favorable and an unfavorable ruling. Finalized restraining orders may contain some provisions that were not a part of the initial ex parte order, depending on what is presented in court.
Violating a Restraining Order
When a person violates a restraining order in Ocean County, they will likely face criminal charges. Restraining order violations are typically met with the charge of criminal contempt. A conviction on these charges can result in jail time and fines. While violations can be criminal charges, the failure to fulfill some obligations of a restraining order is not always met with criminal charges. For instance, the court may demand action from a defendant rather than pursuing charges right away if the defendant fails to provide monetary compensation or to return property to the plaintiff, depending on the severity of the situation.
If you or a loved one is involved in a domestic violence case in Ocean County, New Jersey, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.