Harassment Restraining Order in New Jersey
Fight False Allegations of Domestic Violence with the Tormey Law Firm LLC
Harassment is the most common predicate act of domestic violence that is alleged in NJ restraining order matters. Harassment can include harassing communication such as phone calls, text messages, social media posts, etc. It can also include an offensive touching such as pushing, pinching, slapping, or any other unwanted contact between a defendant and a plaintiff.
The restraining order defense lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm LLC have successfully handled restraining order cases in practically every county in New Jersey. In fact, Mr. Tormey has been recognized as a top trial lawyer under 40 years of ago by the National Trial Lawyers Association and by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. In addition, Mr. Tormey has been cited by numerous publications as a legal resource on domestic violence including appearing on CBS Radio concerning the Ray Rice aggravated assault domestic violence case in New Jersey. If you or a loved one is in need of legal assistance regarding a restraining order matter in NJ, you’ve come to the right place. Contact our offices anytime for immediate assistance at (908)-336-5008. The initial consultation is always provided free of charge. We represent clients throughout New Jersey including in Chatham, Harding, Randolph, and Morris Plains.
Here are some restraining orders involving harassment allegations we have handled for clients throughout NJ with tremendous results:
- Harassment Restraining Order Essex County
- Cyber Harassment Restraining Order Newark NJ
- Harassment Restraining Order Bergen County
- Harassment and Contempt Charges Passaic County NJ
- Harassment Allegations Restraining Order Trial Essex County
Here is a review from one of our many satisfied domestic violence, restraining order clients:
“Breath of fresh air”
Posted by anonymous
“Chris was respectful, courteous, well spoken and very professional. He slowly explained the entire process, prepped me patiently before the court hearing and it looked like he genuinely cared about his work. Afterwards he stuck around to answer any questions I may have. I highly recommend Chris if you want a lawyer you feel like you can trust and not just take your money. He made the experience very personable and even gave me his direct cell phone. If I ever need another lawyer in NJ I will call Chris for sure!”
Predicate Acts of Domestic Violence in NJ: Harassment
One of the most common alleged predicate acts of domestic violence in New Jersey is harassment. Harassment requires under N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4:
Except as provided in subsection e., a person commits a petty disorderly persons offense if, with purpose to harass another, he or she:
a. Makes, or causes to be made, a communication or communications anonymously or at extremely inconvenient hours, or in offensively coarse language, or any other manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm;
b. Subjects another to striking, kicking, shoving, or other offensive touching, or threatens to do so; or
c. Engages in any other course of alarming conduct or of repeatedly committed acts with purpose to alarm or seriously annoy such other person.
A communication under subsection a. may be deemed to have been made either at the place where it originated or at the place where it was received.
e. A person commits a crime of the fourth degree if, in committing an offense under this section, he was serving a term of imprisonment or was on parole or probation as the result of a conviction of any indictable offense under the laws of this State, any other state or the United States.
Proving a Harassment Charge at Trial
In order to prove harassment as a predicate act of domestic violence in NJ, the plaintiff must show that either subsection (a), (b), or (c) was violated above. Therefore, harassment can be based on harassing communications or an offensive touching so it can be both verbal and/or physical harassment.
NOTE: It is important to remember that, although harassment is a criminal charge and we use the criminal statute under N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4, the plaintiff must only establish the civil standard of a “preponderance of evidence” in a restraining order case because a restraining order is civil in nature. Preponderance of evidence is a “more likely than not” standard so the plaintiff must establish 51% that the offense was committed and that is sufficient in a civil case.
Many times plaintiffs allege harassment based on swearing or name calling. This typically does not rise to the level sufficient to prove harassment for a domestic violence restraining order trial.
Evidence to Prove Harassment at Trial
Some of the most common evidence used to prove harassment at a final restraining order hearing include the following:
- The testimony of the Plaintiff (detailing interactions and the allegations of harassment)
- Text messages
- Voice mails
- Social media posts
- Videos of harassing behavior
- Witness testimony (who have first hand knowledge of the harassing behavior)
Even if Harassment Is Proven, It’s Not Enough on Its Own
Even if a plaintiff can prove harassment, this is not enough to obtain a final restraining order. A plaintiff must also show a prior history of harassment and that they are in fear for their safety and need to be left alone. Even if there are no threats of violence, a person has a right to be left alone so continued harassment can be enough to obtain a permanent restraining order in NJ in some circumstances even without physical violence.
For additional information or immediate assistance with a restraining order case in NJ, contact the Tormey Law Firm at (908)-336-5008.