Jeurys Familia, the closer for the New York Mets, has been suspended for 15 games. The suspension was handed down by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and was issued as a result of domestic violence allegations out of Fort Lee, New Jersey. Famlia’s suspension is set to begin on Opening Day of the 2017 regular baseball season, but he did remain eligible for spring training and exhibition games.
The alleged domestic violence incident occurred on October 31, 2016, when Familia was arrested at his home in Bergen County, New Jersey. Familia’s wife had called the police and reported that Familia was drunk and going crazy. As a result, Familia was charged with simple assault. However, the simple assault charge was eventually dismissed in Fort Lee Municipal Court. Additionally, it did not appear that Familia’s wife filed for a domestic violence restraining order as a result of the alleged assault. Nevertheless, MLB conducted an independent investigation and determined that a suspension was appropriate.
This story demonstrates that allegations of domestic violence, even if dismissed in court, can have far-reaching consequences. Under New Jersey’s domestic violence laws, there are generally two avenues that victims of domestic violence can take for protection after suffering harassment, assault, or any other kind of domestic abuse. The first option is to call the police and report the incident, which may result in criminal charges that will be resolved in either a municipal court or the New Jersey Superior Court, Criminal Division, depending on the severity of the allegation. The second option is to file for a domestic violence restraining order in the county where the incident occurred or where either the victim or the alleged perpetrator resides. For example, had Familia’s wife sought a temporary restraining order (TRO), she could have gone to the Bergen County Superior Court, Family Part and applied for a restraining order because the alleged incident occurred in Fort Lee, NJ.
If a temporary restraining order is granted in New Jersey, then the case will be listed for a final restraining order (FRO) hearing within 10 days. At a final restraining order hearing, the plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of the evidence (or “more likely than not”) that an act of domestic violence occurred and that a final restraining order is necessary for protection from future abuse. Additionally, although the consequences of a final restraining order are extensive, the parties are not guaranteed legal representation. That is, defendants are not given an opportunity to apply for a public defender during civil restraining order proceedings and a defendant must either represent themselves or hire a private attorney.
Fort Lee Simple Assault and Temporary Restraining Order Lawyers
If you are served with a temporary restraining order and are scheduled to attend a final restraining order hearing, you should not go through it alone. Instead, you should contact the experienced domestic violence and restraining order attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm.