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Restraining Order Falsely Issued Against Me – We Can Help

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Appeal Final Restraining Order NJ

Need to appeal a permanent restraining order in NJ? You’ve come to the right place.

The first and most important thing to do when facing a permanent restraining order is to hire an experienced attorney to fight the case in court so that a final restraining order (FRO) is not issued against you. However, if a final (permanent) restraining order has been issued against you in court after a hearing, the case is not over. You have 45 days to appeal the judge’s decision. There must be grounds for your appeal, meaning there has to be some argument to be made that a mistake caused the judge to issue the wrong decision.

If you or a loved one needs assistance with a restraining order in NJ, the Tormey Law Firm LLC can help. Our attorneys have literally handled hundreds of restraining order cases in almost every county in the State of NJ including in Passaic County, Hudson County, Middlesex County, and Monmouth County. Our lawyers know the process, the judges, and the system and will ensure everything is done to protect your rights. A final (or permanent) restraining order can have a lasting impact on your life and future including employment, travel restrictions, ability to own weapons, etc. Contact our offices anytime for immediate assistance at (908)-336-5008. The initial consultation is always provided free of charge.

Here is a review from one of our many satisfied restraining order clients:

“Travis successfully defended me in an unprecedented Final Restraining Order Trial with ease”

“Upon consultation I hired Travis Tormey to defend me in a very emotional and scary time of need where I was facing a potentially devasting FRO. Travis was knowledgeable, comforting, and most importantly confident. THIS GUY KNOWS THE LAW! Watch his YouTube clips, read his reviews, and simply call him to discuss your case. I did and was so impressed with his amazing win in court. Don’t go into court without this guy in your corner. Consulted, hired, and successfully had my day in court. Thanks for everything, I hope I never need a defense attorney again, but if I do, Travis Tormey is the only lawyer I would use. All 5 stars !” – Aaron

Can I Appeal a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) Issued Against Me?

Yes. If a temporary restraining order (TRO) has been issued against you, you have the right to appeal. Your appeal must be filed in writing to the Court and then an emergent hearing will be held to determine whether or not the TRO will remain in place and if any modifications will be made to the TRO (custody, vistitation, child support, etc.). If the TRO appeal is granted, then the case is dismissed. If the TRO appeal is denied, then the case will proceed through the courts normally and a final hearing will be scheduled.

NOTE: If your TRO appeal is denied, it doesn’t mean you will lose your case at trial or a permanent restraining order has been issued against you. It just means that the Court found enough grounds for a TRO to be issued against you in the first place.

How to Appeal a Final Restraining Order in NJ

If a Judge issued a Final Restraining Order (FRO) against you, you have 45 days to appeal. You must file an appeal alleging that there were errors made during the trial with regards to facts, evidence, the law, etc. in order to have a basis for your appeal.

What happens at an FRO hearing?

At the final restraining order (FRO) hearing, the Plaintiff goes first and has the burden of proof. This is a civil standard of proof known as “preponderance of the evidence” which is more likely than not. The Plaintiff will testify, put in any evidence he or she has which can include text messages, voicemails, pictures of injuries, police or hospital reports, videos, etc. Then, the Defendant will cross examine the plaintiff and their witnesses (if any). After that, the Defendant can testify (if they so chose) and admit any evidence they have. However, they don’t need to testify or put in any evidence. The burden always remains with the Plaintiff.

After the hearing, the Judge will issue a decision. The Plaintiff must show that there was an act of domestic violence, a prior history of domestic violence, and that they need a restraining order to protect them. If all of these are proven, a final restraining order will be issued. If not, the temporary restraining order is dismissed.

The Judge issued a ruling a disagree with, can I appeal?

The answer is yes. Whether you are the Plaintiff and you think the Judge should have issued the FRO but did not or you are the Defendant and you had a final restraining order issued against you, you have the right to appeal. The appeal must be filed within 45 days of the Judge’s decision.

What are some potential grounds for appeal?

There are numerous potential grounds for appeal. The key is the hire an experienced domestic violence appeals lawyer who is familiar with these types of cases and can review the transcripts of the hearing and determine what can be challenged.

Some of the potential grounds for appeal are as follows:

  • The Judge got the facts wrong: The judge made mistakes in their findings and in their decision that were not what the parties testified to during the trial.
    • For example, if the Plaintiff testified that the Defendant came to her home 3 times over a period of a few months and the Judge in their opinion stated that the Defendant went to the Plaintiff’s home uninvited many times such as a half dozen or more, that would be an error in the facts which could have effected their ultimate decision.
  • The Judge got the law wrong: The judge found harassment but misinterpreted the harassment statute and issued a finding that is inconsistent with domestic violence law in NJ. This could obviously apply to any of the predicate acts of domestic violence including harassment, stalking, simple assault, etc.
    • For example, harassment requires a purpose to harass or alarm. If the Defendant was contacting the Plaintiff right after they broke up in an attempt to salvage the relationship and get back together, there is no intent to harass or annoy the Plaintiff.
  • The Judge did not rule properly on objections and evidence: The judge considered evidence that should have not been considered and was objected to in court at trial.
    • This is a broad category. The Judge must determine what evidence is relevant and should be admitted in a domestic violence proceeding. They must also determine if the evidence is properly authenticated and whether or not the evidence is inadmissible for other reasons (such as hearsay). If the Judge admits evidence improperly or excludes evidence that should have been admitted, these are all grounds for an appeal.
  • The Judge’s finding was not complete: The judge’s opinion and finding did not detail the grounds for the restraining order including the predicate act, prior history of domestic violence, and that the restraining order was necessary to protect the safety and well being of the plaintiff.
    • For example, if the Judge issues a final restraining order and merely says that the Defendant harassed the Plaintiff and therefore I’m issuing a final restraining order, this is not a complete decision. The Judge must also find a prior history of domestic violence and that there is a need to protect the Plaintiff from further acts of violence.
  • The Judge refused to postpone the case so that I could hire an attorney
  • The Court did not have jurisdiction in the case under the Domestic Violence Act because the parties never dated, never resided together, and do not have a child in common.

These are just some examples of the potential grounds to appeal the issuance of a permanent (final) restraining order in NJ.

Where will my restraining order appeal be heard?

Your case will be heard by the Appellate Division in Trenton. All Superior Court Judges who preside over restraining order trials in Family Court are subject to appeal and the Appellate Court which handles these appeals is in Trenton. It is usually an appellate panel of three (3) judges who hears these appeals and renders a decision.

Do I need to order the transcripts in order to appeal?

It is imperative that you order the trial transcripts and an experienced attorney reviews them with you to determine what your grounds for appeal may be. According to court rules, you must order the transcript and attach them to your appeal. This is so the appellate judges can review exactly what happened at the trial to determine if any mistakes were made and there are any grounds to overturn the final restraining order that was issued against you.

After the appeal is filed and the transcripts are ordered and received, what happens next?

The Appellate Division sets a briefing schedule which details when your brief for your appeal must be filed with the court. The brief is the legal paperwork and argument you are making as to why your appeal should be granted. An experienced domestic violence appeals lawyer will review your transcript then draft a legal argument (brief) which combines the facts of your case with the current case law in making the best arguments possible that the case should be overturned and your appeal should be granted.

Once your brief is filed, the adversary (other side) will have an opportunity to file their brief. Then, the case may proceed to oral argument where both parties get to argue their cases before a team of three (3) appellate Judges. If no oral argument is requested or granted, then the panel of 3 Judges will just review both sides briefs and the transcripts and then render their decision (opinion).

If I lose the appeal, is the Restraining Order permanently on my record?

Yes, until you file a motion to have it removed. Even if you appeal the case and that is denied, you still may be eligible to have the restraining order removed down the line. You can hire an attorney to file a Carfagno motion (under the case Carfagno v. Carfagno) which argues to the court that there has been a significant change in circumstances and the restraining order is no longer necessary. This motion is usually filed after a number of years and when the parties have clearly moved on with their lives.

I Need to Appeal Permanent Restraining Order in NJ? The Tormey Law Firm LLC can help

If a final (permanent) restraining order was issued against you in court, the case is not over. It is important to explore your appellate rights with an experienced restraining order defense lawyer. Contact our offices anytime for a free initial consultation at (908)-336-5008.

Visit Our Offices

With offices in Hackensack, Morristown, Newark, Middletown, and New Brunswick, our lawyers can represent you anywhere in New Jersey and are available immediately to assist you at (908)-336-5008

Hackensack / Bergen County

254 State Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601

  • 201-556-1570
  • 201-556-1572
Hackensack Office

Morristown / Morris County

60 Washington St Suite 200A,
Morristown, NJ 07960

  • 908-336-5008
  • 201-556-1572
Morristown Office

Newark / Essex County

1 Gateway Center Suite 2600
Newark, NJ 07102

  • 201-654-3464
  • 201-556-1572
Newark Office

for a free initial consultation Contact the Tormey Law Firm

Travis J. Tormey is a distinguished member of the legal community and a respected legal resource on domestic violence. He has been featured in a variety of prominent publications and media outlets, including CBS radio, Aol News, the Asbury Park Press,, and the Daily Record. Mr. Tormey has also been recognized as one of the the top criminal attorneys under 40 years of age by the National Trial Lawyers Association and the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys. Whether representing victims or the wrongly accused, Travis remains passionately committed to protecting the rights of the innocent.

Areas we serve

The Tormey Law Firm LLC handles restraining order cases in Bergen County (Hackensack), Morris County (Morristown), Passaic County (Paterson), Union County (Elizabeth), Hudson County (Jersey City), Middlesex County (New Brunswick), Somerset County (Somerville), Sussex County (Newton), Essex County (Newark), Hunterdon County (Flemington), Mercer County (Trenton), Monmouth County (Freehold), Warren County (Belvidere), Ocean County (Toms River), Burlington County (Mount Holly), and throughout NJ.

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