Questions About Restraining Orders in New Jersey
NJ Domestic Violence Attorneys Answer FAQs about Restraining Order Cases
If you or a loved one has a restraining order case in New Jersey and are in need of legal assistance, the Tormey Law Firm LLC can help. Our experienced restraining order attorneys have handled these types of cases in virtually every county in the State of NJ and will provide you the best representation based on the facts of your case. Our lawyers are ready and able to assist you with your restraining order case immediately, including in Bergenfield, Paramus, Hoboken, Madison, Florham Park, Clifton, Budd Lake, Fort Lee, and Mendham. Contact our offices anytime for a free initial consultation at (908)-336-5008.
Our firm’s founder, Travis J. Tormey, has been cited in numerous publications including the Star Ledger, Daily Record, Bergen Record, Asbury Park Press and AOL News. He has also appeared as a legal expert on CBS radio with regard to domestic violence in New Jersey. Mr. Tormey has received numerous awards from the American Trial Lawyers Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. He also received the clients choice awards from Avvo.com in ’13, ’14’, ’15, and ’16 and is a 10.0 rating. You can see just a review of our reviews from our many highly satisfied restraining order clients and contact us 24/7 if you are in need of knowledgeable legal counsel about restraining orders in New Jersey.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in New Jersey Restraining Order Cases
Here we answer the most commonly asked questions from our clients and prospective clients regarding their New Jersey restraining order cases.
What is a restraining order?
A restraining order is an enforceable document that prevents contact between parties on the grounds of domestic violence. The purpose of a restraining order is to serve as a means of protection for the victim and is often referred to as a protective order.
Does my case fall under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act?
Under the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, the parties must have a special relationship in order to qualify for a restraining order. If you have ever dated the other party, lived with them, been married to them, are related to them, or you have a child together, you may qualify as a victim of domestic violence. If none of those apply to you, then this may not qualify as a domestic relationship and the court may not have jurisdiction in your case.
What is needed for a restraining order?
From a legal standpoint, a temporary restraining order is a preliminary injunction where a plaintiff must allege immediate and irreparable harm. Thus, a plaintiff must allege a predicate act of domestic violence as the foundation of the complaint for a restraining order. This means that he or she may allege assault, terroristic threats, stalking or another act of domestic violence. A plaintiff may further allege a prior history of domestic violence. A prior history generally shows there is a history or pattern of abuse between the parties. Finally, the plaintiff must also show that he or she needs protection. When these elements have been satisfied, a judge in New Jersey Family Court may issue a final restraining order.
Is a restraining order in New Jersey permanent?
- Yes, unlike other states, a final restraining order (FRO) in New Jersey is permanent and will never expire.
Am I entitled to a lawyer in a restraining order case?
- No, since a restraining order is civil and not criminal in nature, you are not entitled to a court appointed attorney. You can represent yourself or hire private counsel.
Will the court give me more time to obtain a lawyer?
- Typically, yes. The court will grant either party one postponement (known as an adjournment) to obtain legal counsel.
Will there be a jury in my restraining order case?
- No, restraining orders are tried before a Superior Court judge in New Jersey Family Court.
They took my guns based on domestic violence allegations. Can I get them back?
- Yes, if the restraining order is dropped you are eligible to get them back. However, they will not be automatically returned. The Prosecutor’s office may seek to forfeit your weapons even if the restraining order was dropped. You can hire an attorney to fight this forfeiture. On the other hand, if the restraining order is made permanent, it is illegal for you to possess firearms, known as forfeiture of weapons for domestic violence.
Is a restraining order a criminal case?
- No, it is civil in nature. However, if a permanent restraining order is issued against you then you will be fingerprinted and placed in a statewide database for domestic violence offenders. In addition, you can face criminal charges for an offense that falls under one of the many predicate acts of domestic violence.
Will a restraining order show up on a background check?
- It could. Although it is civil in nature, the fact that you are fingerprinted and placed in a domestic violence database means there is a record of it, which could be accessed by prospective employers. Also, an arrest or conviction for violating a temporary or final restraining order will show up on a background check (known as a criminal case history or “CCH” in New Jersey).
I’m not a US citizen. If a restraining order is placed on me, could this effect my immigration status?
- Yes. You need to seek specialized advice from an immigration attorney on this issue. Violating a restraining order is also a criminal offense that makes you eligible for deportation if convicted.
If I violate the temporary or final restraining order, what happens?
- You will be arrested and charged with contempt of court. Depending on the circumstances, you may be charged with a disorderly persons offense or a fourth degree crime.
How long after the temporary restraining order is issued until we actually go to court?
- The final restraining order hearing is usually scheduled within 10 days.
Will the restraining order affect child custody or pick up and drop off of my children?
- Yes, it could. Usually the judge will indicate in the TRO and FRO any special conditions regarding custody, visitation, and pick up and drop off of minor children.
My restraining order was dropped. Can I get my guns back now?
- Yes, but it’s not automatic. The county prosecutor’s office may still try and keep them. You should hire an attorney to assist you with this.
Can my restraining order be expunged?
- No, because it is civil and not criminal in nature it is not eligible for expungement. In addition, NJ restraining orders are permanent and never expire so you wouldn’t be able to expunge it anyway.
Will a restraining order effect my professional licenses?
- It could. You most likely need to disclose it to the governing authority.
I have a 10-year old restraining order I want to get lifted. Is that possible?
- Yes. You need to file a motion to vacate the restraining order showing a change in circumstances and good cause.
If the restraining order is dropped, can I go back to my house?
Yes. The restraints are lifted and you are not longer prohibited from returning to your residence.
If the final restraining order is issued, what happens?
The defendant is fingerprinted and placed into a database for domestic violence offenders. The court will impose a fine as well as potentially mandatory counseling the defendant may have to attend. The defendant will be prohibited from any contact with the Plaintiff and will be prohibited from their residence and place of employment. The defendant will also be prohibited from owning or possessing firearms.
Free Consult on Domestic Violence in NJ – Contact us Today
For more information, contact Travis J. Tormey and The Tormey Law Firm directly at (908)-336-5008. Consultations are available anytime and provided free of charge.