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If you have been the victim of domestic violence committed by a family member or a member of your household, you may be entitled to obtain a restraining order against your abuser. A restraining order can provide you with significant protections, including requiring your abuser to move out if you two share a home, obligating your abuser to turn over firearms and other weapons, and preventing your abuser from having contact with yourself or possibly other members of your family.
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On the other hand, having a restraining order against you can mean the loss of your home, damage to your reputation, the loss of custody rights, and negative consequences in other family law matters you may be involved in such as divorce or child custody proceedings.
If you are seeking or defending against a restraining order, it is critical that you have experienced legal representation in your corner to advocate for your rights and interests. Restraining orders involve rights that are too important to leave to chance. Contact Team Law today for a free initial case review to talk to an experienced New Jersey family law attorney about your legal rights and options and to learn more about how our firm can help.
In New Jersey, restraining orders can either be temporary or final. A temporary restraining order is often issued by the court immediately after an individual files a complaint for domestic violence either with the local police department where the alleged victim or abuser lives or where the alleged abuse took place, or with the court itself. The court will then schedule a hearing within 10 days to determine whether to issue a final restraining order.
At the hearing, the party seeking a final restraining order must establish three factors. First, the plaintiff must prove that he or she is a person entitled to protection under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act because he or she is over the age of 18 (or an emancipated minor) and has suffered domestic violence committed by:
Next, the party seeking a final restraining order must establish that the alleged abuser has committed a predicate act of domestic violence. The PDVA recognizes nearly 20 different types of criminal offenses that can constitute an act of domestic violence; the court may also find that domestic violence has occurred if the alleged abuser has committed a crime against a victim that has put the victim at risk of death or serious bodily injury.
Finally, the party seeking a restraining order must prove that there is an immediate need for a restraining order to protect the party from future acts of domestic violence committed by the defendant.
If you’ve been the victim of domestic violence in New Jersey, or if a family or household member has accused you of committing domestic violence, you have important rights at stake. Restraining orders are powerful tools that should be used to protect domestic violence victims from the risks of future violence by their abusers. If you are facing a final restraining order hearing, Team Law is ready to be effective advocates on your behalf to ensure that restraining orders are implemented when needed and to ensure that those orders include terms or other provisions for protection if necessary.
If you’ve received a restraining order for your protection, our attorneys can also help you seek enforcement of the order or other relief if your abuser violates the provisions of the order. Our firm can also help you and your family if a restraining order is no longer necessary for protection and you wish to seek termination of the order.
If you need a restraining order against a family member or former partner, or if you have had a complaint for a restraining order filed against you, you need knowledgeable legal representation to ensure that your rights and interests are properly protected. Contact the family law attorneys at Team Law today to discuss your legal rights and options and to learn more about how our firm can help you with your restraining order matter.
If the court enters a temporary or final restraining order against you, you will be expected to comply with the terms of the order. If you don’t, you can be held in contempt of the order (and if it is a temporary order, your violation can be used as evidence in favor of issuing a final restraining order) and potentially sent to jail for your actions. When a restraining order has been issued against you, you should speak with an experienced attorney to discuss your rights and your options for defending against the entry of a final order or having your restraining order vacated.
Potentially yes. In order to have your restraining order dismissed, you will need to petition the court. A restraining order may be dismissed if you can prove that you and the person protected by the order do not have a qualified domestic relationship, that you have not committed a predicate act of domestic violence, and/or that a restraining order is not needed to protect the alleged victim from future acts of domestic violence. You can greatly improve your chances at obtaining a dismissal of your restraining order when you have an experienced attorney representing your rights and interest.
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Family Law Information Center