How to Fill out Restraining Order Forms in New Jersey?
If you are seeking a restraining order in New Jersey, you will need to complete the New Jersey Domestic Violence Civil Complaint and Temporary Restraining Order form. This four-page document is the basis upon which you request a TRO and will be served upon the person you are accusing of domestic violence. The TRO application form is also an essential piece of the puzzle at a final restraining order hearing. If you need help filling out an application for a temporary restraining order in New Jersey, the attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm can help. We are a team of highly skilled New Jersey domestic violence lawyers who regularly assist victims in obtaining permanent restraining orders. We walk alongside you at every stage of the restraining order process and will passionately argue your case for protection. From our offices in Morristown, Hackensack, and Newark, we advocate for domestic abuse victims in essentially every county in New Jersey. Prior to your FRO hearing in the Superior Court, Family Division, we work with you to compose the most comprehensive case. It is our goal to protect and serve your interests from the moment we hear your story. Contact us now at (908)-336-5008 or submit an online contact form to begin your journey toward a safer, more peaceful situation.
I Need to Complete a Temporary Restraining Order Application
Page One: The Domestic Violence Complaint
On page one, you will need to provide personal information about yourself and the defendant. Make sure to include as much information as you can about the defendant, including name, date of birth, social security number, current place of residence, employment information, contact information, etc.
Next, you will need to describe what occurred. Make sure to provide as much information as possible about the specific incidents of domestic violence, when they happened, and if there were any weapons involved. You should include weapons that were used or threatened to have been used at any time. Then, you will be required to select any specific criminal offenses that the defendant committed against you. There can be more than one but they need to be considered predicate acts of domestic violence under the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act.
The next section relates to the defendant’s prior history of domestic violence. You need to select the box that says prior history and explain this history as much as you can in order to testify about it at the Final Restraining Order hearing. Notably, a history of domestic violence is one of the necessary criteria for the issuance of an FRO in New Jersey.
In the next area, you should provide the criminal history of the defendant if you are aware of any. You will also be required to include any prior or pending court proceedings involving you and the defendant, including temporary restraining orders.
The section after that relates to any criminal complaints filed against the defendant. You have the option to file a criminal complaint in addition to a complaint for a restraining order. Your choice to do so will be reflected in this area.
If police responded to a domestic violence scene, this section asks you about any weapons that were seized, if you are aware of any weapons in the defendant’s possession, and if the defendant was arrested after a domestic violence incident.
Next, you will check the box that applies to the relationship between you and the defendant. You can select among the following choices: married, divorced, present household member, former household member, unmarried co-parents, expectant parents, or have had a dating relationship. If you share any children with the defendant, the next box will ask you about them. Make sure to include their name, gender, date of birth, and the person with whom they currently live.
In the last section of the first page, you will be required to explain your current or former living arrangement or family relationship. Do you live together presently, previously, or have you ever resided together? You will have the opportunity to describe any family relationship here. After that, you will need to sign and date this page confirming that all of your statements are true and that you may be subject to punishment if any of them are false.
Page Two: Relief
Page two is where you explain any relief that you are seeking in connection with the temporary restraining order. The temporary restraining order column reflects what you are requesting in the TRO and the final restraining order column refers to what you are seeking in the FRO. The granted column relates only to the requests in the TRO and will be reviewed by a judge before they determine what relief to grant. The types of relief included in this section include:
- Barring the defendant from returning to the domestic violence scene
- Prohibiting the defendant from further acts of domestic violence
- Places the defendant shouldn’t be able to go (i.e. your home, work)
- People the defendant shouldn’t be able to communicate with (loved ones, people who may be threatened)
- Any emergent financial relief for you or your dependents
- Request for evaluations or treatment (i.e. psychiatric evaluation, substance abuse treatment, anger management)
- Prohibiting the defendant from possessing or obtaining weapons
- Granting you exclusive possession of a shared residence
- Providing you with temporary custody of your children
- Other relief that may be applicable to your case
In the last section of this page, the law enforcement officer will detail the specific date and time when the defendant will be accompanied to the scene, residence, shared place of business, or other address. This is the only time the defendant should be allowed to return to the place to gather specific personal items with a police escort. When the date and time is determined, police will contact you directly to inform you.
Page Three: Warrant to Search for an Seize Weapons for Safekeeping
This is where the law enforcement officer will indicate any premises where they are requesting a warrant to search for any weapons, firearms, firearms purchaser identification cards, and permits to carry firearms.
Part two of this page is for the defendant to be made aware of the relief you are seeking so he or she can prepare for the final restraining order hearing. The notice to the defendant is located at the bottom of this page and states the following:
“A violation of any of the provisions listed in this order may constitute either civil or criminal contempt pursuant to N.J.S. A. 2C:25-30 and may result in your arrest, prosecution, and possible incarceration, as well as an imposition of a fine or jail sentence. Only a court can modify any of the terms or conditions of this court order.”
It is important to note that this applies ONLY if the TRO is granted. If you obtain a temporary restraining order, the defendant can be charged with violating the TRO if he or she does not comply with the provisions granted in the order.
After you complete the form, you will be required to appear before a judge to swear under oath about your experience with the party you are seeking a restraining order against. In certain cases where you cannot appear, you will be required to sign a sworn statement to the same effect. The judge will determine whether or not to issue a temporary restraining order based on:
- Whether or not the defendant committed an act of domestic violence;
- If there is a history of domestic violence between you and the defendant; and
- If you need a temporary restraining order to protect your safety
Page Four: Order Granted or Denied and Notice to Appear
The last page of the application form indicates whether or not the TRO was granted or denied. If the TRO is granted, a final restraining order hearing will be scheduled and the date of this hearing will be included in the “Notice to Appear” section. Once the temporary restraining order is granted, the defendant must be served this form and must sign the bottom to confirm receipt.
For more information about the restraining order process in New Jersey, call The Tormey Law Firm now at (908)-336-5008. One of our attorneys is available immediately to provide you with a free consultation.
To read the full guide for Completing a Domestic Violence Complaint and Application for a Temporary Restraining Order as provided to New Jersey police officers, read this manual from the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, which also includes the blank TRO application form.