Knowledge of New Jersey's family law can be empowering. This is true whether you're the subject of a temporary restraining order (TRO) in New Jersey or you've requested a temporary restraining order against someone.
If the court grants a temporary restraining order, both the individual who filed for the order and the person who is subject to the order should know how the state will serve the TRO. The fewer surprises all parties face, the more smoothly the legal process may go for everyone.
How to Request a Temporary Restraining Order in New Jersey
If you have not yet requested a temporary restraining order, you can file for a restraining order by:
- Filing in person with the Family Division of the Superior Courthouse in your county
- Filing in person at the nearest municipal courthouse
- Calling the local police department to find out whether they can pursue a temporary restraining order for you, or otherwise help you file for a TRO
You do not have to waste time figuring out how to file for a temporary restraining order. Attorney Joseph D. Lento knows the laws and procedures related to restraining orders in New Jersey, and he can provide advice and instruction specific to your circumstances. He will ensure that you file for a TRO in an appropriate, efficient manner.
How You May Find Out About a Temporary Restraining Order in New Jersey
New Jersey's state police may generally inform individuals that they're the subject of a temporary restraining order. How law enforcement officers serve notice will depend on where the individual facing the TRO is at the time of service.
The state police may serve the subject of a TRO by:
- Arriving to the home where the subject resides, and possibly informing them that they must gather their necessary items and leave the premises—if the subject shares the home with the individual who filed for the TRO
- Meeting the subject of the TRO at their place of employment, and possibly escorting them to their home so that they may gather their items under police supervision
If the location of the person served with a restraining order is unknown, the presiding law enforcement agency will take reasonable steps to locate the individual. Once the police have located the subject, they may explain the terms of the temporary restraining order and supervise the removal of their items from a prohibited residence.
The person who filed the restraining order may, or may not, have prior knowledge that law enforcement is coming to serve the TRO. If the person who requested the order has an attorney monitoring the progress of the TRO, then the lawyer may give forewarning that New Jersey state police are going to serve the subject of the order.
What Else Will Law Enforcement Do When Serving a Temporary Restraining Order?
Once law enforcement makes contact with the subject of the TRO, they will generally:
- Read the subject any rights that apply to the service of the restraining order
- Ensure the subject understands the terms of the restraining order
- Answer any relevant questions that the subject has about the restraining order or the next steps in the legal process
- Inform the subject of the date of their final restraining order (FRO) hearing
- Confiscate firearms and any other weapons that the TRO prohibits the subject from possessing
Police officers serving the TRO may also explain any custody-related issues covered by the restraining order, as New Jersey Courts explain. If you have an attorney, it may be wise to have them present during the service of the order, whether you are the one who filed the order or the one being subjected to the TRO.
Once Law Enforcement Has Served the TRO, What Should All Parties Expect?
A temporary restraining order in New Jersey will place strict parameters on the subject. Because these parameters will relate to the person who filed the order, it is important that the petitioner also be aware of the TRO's restrictions.
A temporary restraining order may:
- Prohibit the subject from entering certain premises, including but not limited to an apartment or home they shared with the petitioner
- Limit the circumstances under which the subject can see their children
- Prohibit the subject from calling, texting, or otherwise contacting the individual who filed the TRO
- Prohibit the subject from possessing weapons of any kind
- Require the subject to pay the petitioner child support as a condition of the TRO
- Impose other strict rules that the subject must follow
A final restraining order hearing should occur no more than ten days after the service of the TRO.
If the subject of the TRO violates the terms of the order before their final restraining order hearing, then they may expect that a judge will approve the final restraining order. Violating a temporary or permanent restraining order in New Jersey may even result in criminal charges.
A Lawyer Can Help, Regardless of Which Side of a Restraining Order You Fall On
The service of a temporary restraining order may only be the first step in a series of legal procedures. If you have filed for a TRO, then you may need to:
- Report any violations of the TRO by the subject of the restraining order
- Participate in the final restraining order hearing, if you would like to follow through with a longer-term restraining order against the subject
- Navigate the demands of a TRO or FRO, which may include sharing custody with someone you have a restraining order against
On the other hand, as someone who has been served with a TRO, you may:
- Have to fight the approval of a final restraining order, which could make your life even more difficult
- Need to develop a plan to ensure you don't accidentally violate the terms of your TRO or FRO
- Need to be ready to contest or appeal any allegations that you have violated a TRO or FRO
The Lento Law Firm can help with these and any other challenges you face.
Call the Lento Law Firm Today for Help with a TRO in New Jersey
Our team specializes in family law, and restraining orders particularly. We will fight for the most positive outcome for you, regardless of whether you've petitioned for a restraining order or have been served with one.
Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 today. You can also provide your case details online.