Obtaining a Restraining Order Against a Person You Met Online in NJ
Online dating apps have taken New Jersey by storm, from Tinder to Hinge to Bumble and beyond. But as anyone who has used these dating apps knows, people can be creeps. Far from every online dating interaction is positive. Creepy individuals and outright stalkers can piggyback off the information provided on these dating apps onto your Instagram or Facebook account, mercilessly DM’ing you or otherwise making harassing or unwelcome contact with you. Thankfully, New Jersey law permits you file criminal charges and possibly seek a restraining order against someone who found your information through a dating app and used it unlawfully, or someone whom you no longer wanted to date who reacts by stalking, harassing, or threatening you. Here’s what you need to know about how the law can help you deal with scary behavior from someone you met online in New Jersey. If you are in this unfortunate situation, the experienced team of restraining order attorneys at our firm have helped countless people who find themselves where you are. Contact us today at (908)-336-5008 for a free consultation.
What if Someone from a Dating App is Harassing or Stalking Me in NJ?
New Jersey law criminalizes “cyber bullying,” “cyber stalking,” and “cyber harassment.” Actionable cyber bullying offenses include behavior carried out through an online or electronic medium that is intended to alarm or annoy the victim. For example, if someone DM’s you through Instagram or messages you through a dating app like Tinder and asks you on a date, or otherwise makes advances toward you, but you decline, that person could start making threats against you, harassing you, or otherwise cyber bullying or cyber harassing you. New Jersey’s law prohibiting cyber bullying covers threats of physical injury to you or your property (your pet or car, for example). It also covers situations where a harasser who you may have met on an online dating site sends you materials or messages intended to emotionally harm you or reasonably place you in fear of emotional or physical harm.
Sound familiar? This type of conduct is all too familiar in online dating app message systems and on social media platforms, but, thankfully, New Jersey law offers you protections in these types of situations. More severe types of cyber bullying on social media or dating app platforms can even amount to stalking, a more serious category of crime that applies to situations where your harasser has engaged in more than one action against you that was intended to put you in fear for your personal safety or for another person’s personal safety. Repeated conduct like this elevates the crime to a more serious level and may make law enforcement even more likely to step in and protect you from your harasser, whether that harasser found you on Instagram, Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, or any other social media or dating app.
Can I get a Restraining Order Against Someone I met Online Dating in New Jersey?
You can report cyber harassment or stalking to the police. If a person you met on a dating app is threatening you, harassing you, or stalking you, the first thing you can do is file a criminal complaint against them. This is true regardless of whether or not you ever actually started dating the person. On the other hand, in order to qualify for a restraining order, you have to actually have been dating this person at some point before the alarming conduct started. The NJ Prevention of Domestic Violence Act recognizes the need for a restraining for people in former or current dating relationships, among others. You should know all of the necessary grounds for a restraining order to make sure you qualify, and contact our NJ domestic violence attorneys who can answer your specific questions.
If you have started a dating relationship with your harasser or stalker through a dating app, you are able to request a domestic violence restraining order by reporting the harassment, stalking, threats, etc. to the police, a municipal court, or the Family Part of a New Jersey Superior Court. Harassment or stalking can include threatening messages, DMs, or even revenge porn. Once you have made your report, a court may issue a temporary restraining order preventing the harasser from contacting your or your family or friends, and set a hearing date on a final restraining order that may make these protections permanent.
Get Help with Restraining Order Against Online Dating Stalker NJ
If you want to obtain a restraining order against someone from a dating app, this process can be complicated. You need to get dedicated legal guidance from a qualified New Jersey restraining order lawyer who has handled these cases before and can assist you throughout your case. Assembling the right evidence and handling a restraining order trial must be done the right way to actually win these cases. Contact us now at (908)-336-5008 to find out how our firm can help you position yourself for the best result.