Issues of domestic violence in New Jersey are dealt with through the courts. When a family experiences incidents of domestic violence, the most typical course of action for the victim is to seek out a restraining order. A restraining order is a court order that prohibits one party from interacting with the other, on the basis of safety for that individual or their family from acts of domestic violence. Restraining orders can affect many aspects of a person's life. They may affect matters of custody and divorce, not to mention any criminal charges that may be associated with incidents of domestic violence.
Filing For A Restraining Order In New Jersey
The first thing that a domestic violence victim must do is proceed to their local county courthouse. In court, the person requesting the restraining order will be known as the "plaintiff" while the subject of the restraining order will be known as the "defendant." When a restraining order is issued in New Jersey, it will come in one of two forms: temporary or final. Temporary restraining orders can sometimes be issued to plaintiffs as "ex parte" restraining orders, meaning that they are issued without a defendant present. Typically, a temporary restraining order will be issued ex parte if a judge has reason to believe that the plaintiff is in any sort of danger of experiencing domestic violence or has already experienced domestic violence.
Temporary restraining orders may be issued at a county court, or sometimes even at a municipal level. In emergency situations, plaintiffs may make the request from their local police or emergency service. Many times there is a judge who is "on call" who is able to issue orders in emergencies. Temporary restraining orders will last about 10 days, or until a hearing can be scheduled. If a temporary restraining order is issued ex parte, the defendant will generally be notified through court mailing.
Final Restraining Orders
Final restraining orders are restraining orders that have been finalized through a court hearing. Final restraining orders are typically permanent and do not have an end date assigned. These orders will be assigned through hearings. The outcome of a hearing is determined by the plaintiff and defendant's respective ability to make an argument and present evidence and testimony. Retaining the services of an attorney can be helpful through these hearings. Attorneys can make the difference between a positive and negative outcome. In addition to this, if a defendant wishes to petition the court to end the restraining order, an additional hearing must be held following the filing of a legal motion. An attorney can assist with this filing as well. Final restraining orders may have certain provisions or extensions that the initial temporary orders did not. Violating a restraining order can be a crime under New Jersey law.
If you or a loved one is involved in a domestic violence case in New Jersey, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.