The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act was adopted by the State of New Jersey to prevent instances of domestic violence from reoccurring. One of the ways this is accomplished is by eliminating any and all contact between the parties to a domestic harassment, simple assault, terroristic threat, or one of the other forms of domestic violence. The manner in which this relief is initially obtained is through the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”). This page outlines some of the important things you probably want to know about temporary restraining orders, which are also referred to as a no contact order. If you are the subject of a temporary restraining order and need representation at a final restraining order hearing or to fight a violation of a restraining order, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. Our team of TRO defense lawyers have extensive experience representing clients in courts like South Orange, Verona, Livingston, Milburn and Nutley. To schedule a free consultation please contact us directly as 973.733.2204.

Fairfield NJ Temporary Restraining Order Lawyers

Requirements to Obtain a Temporary Restraining Order

Pursuant to the domestic violence law, a municipal court judge or superior court judge can issue a Temporary Restraining Order/TRO against a spouse, loved one, family member, or other qualified individual who is the “victim” of domestic violence. To learn what constitutes a grounds for a judge to find domestic violence, click here.  The judge reviews the facts presented regarding the underlying incident, as well as any history of domestic violence, and renders a decision as to whether or not a temporary restraining order is necessary to protect the victim. It is crucial to understand that the accused/defendant has no opportunity whatsoever to challenge the allegations of domestic violence when this proceeding takes place — the determination is based solely on the evidence presented by the alleged victim and/or police. If the court finds that there is a reasonable basis to believe that domestic violence occurred and that no contact between the parties is necessary to protect the victim, then a Temporary Restraining Order will be issued.

What Does A Temporary Restraining Order Do?

Issuance of a temporary restraining order can have a dramatic impact on an individual’s day-to-day life. The following are some of the ways in which a restraining order can negatively impact someone:

  • Bars Possession of Firearms or other weapons. Police are required to seize all weapons physically possessed by the defendant, as well as those which he/she is capable of obtaining access to. An inventory of the seized weapons must be completed by police. The weapons cannot be returned unless and until the restraining order is dismissed.
  • Precludes Access to the Domestic Residence (whether solely or jointly owned).
  • Prevents and/or limits access with children.
  • Eliminates any communication with the “victim” or anyone else named in the TRO.
  • Results in arrest under certain circumstances. If the victim exhibits injury, there is probable cause to believe that a no contact order has been violated, or there otherwise exists probable cause to believe that an arrest is necessary, then it is mandatory that the accused be taken into custody.

These are only a few of the burdens that result when a TRO is entered against you. In addition to these restrictions, any violations of the order results in arrest for criminal contempt under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9. This is commonly referred to as a restraining order violation.

Service of the Temporary Restraining Order

If the accused is arrested as a result of a domestic violence complaint, the temporary restraining order should be served at that time. If no arrest is made, the officer should use reasonable efforts to personally serve the complaint at the defendant’s place of residence or any other location within the county where there is reason to believe he/she is located.  Where personal service on the defendant cannot be accomplished, the Family Court must be notified that service could not be made.

Criminal Charges Filed In Conjunction With A Restraining Order

Two separate cases often arises following an incident of domestic violence. The first case is a restraining order proceeding in the Family Division — specifically, a Final Restraining Order Hearing. The second proceeding involves a criminal case to address the assault, harassment or other criminal offense that constitutes the act(s) of domestic violence.

Essex County NJ Temporary Restraining Order Attorneys

The good thing about all of this is that the order we are discussing is temporary. You have an opportunity to tell your side of the story one time and only one time — at the Final Restraining Order hearing. You have to win at that proceeding or the restraints contained in the temporary restraining order become permanent and final. This means you can never return to a residence, own a firearm or have any meaningful contact with the plaintiff forever. We sincerely hope that you recognize after reading this that you must make your very best effort at the final hearing and it is highly inadvisable in our judgment for anyone to appear in such a proceeding without an attorney. It is in your best interest to contact an experienced domestic violence lawyer help you avoid a potentially devastating outcome. To this end, a member of our defense team is available 24/7 to assist you at 973-710-1520.