Linden NJ Domestic Violence Lawyers
Handling Domestic Violence Criminal Charges and Restraining Orders in Union County NJ
My boyfriend and I recently broke up. We are both residents of Union County, NJ and have lived together in Linden for about five years. He has been abusive to me throughout our entire relationship. However, after finally mustering up the courage to leave him, he has not stopped harassing me via text, showing up at my job, and coming back into the apartment with his key while I am there. I want to file a restraining order because he has not stopped contacting me and threatening my life if I do not get back together with him. I do not know where to begin and what this will mean for me if I get one. The apartment has always been in his name, but I pay for it monthly.
Where would I file for a temporary restraining order in Linden, New Jersey?
You may file for a temporary restraining order at Union County Superior Court, located at 2 Broad Street in Elizabeth, NJ 07207 during the hours of 8:30am through 4:30pm. If the Court is closed and you are in need of immediate assistance, you may then visit the Linden Police Department located at 301 North Wood Avenue, Linden New Jersey 07036. In limited circumstances, the Municipal Court may also accommodate with the issuance of a temporary restraining order due to holidays or other Court closings. The Linden Municipal Court is also located at 301 North Wood Avenue, Linden New Jersey 07036.
If I file for a restraining order, would I automatically get kicked out of our apartment?
You would be considered the plaintiff if you file for a restraining order. The purpose of a restraining order is to protect the plaintiff from immediate harm or threat the defendant poses. In such cases, the plaintiff would remain in the residence and the defendant would be required to leave the shared premises. This will remain the status quo until the restraining order hearing. It is not a permanent fix to the situation but will likely be how things stand until the parties are appear before a judge.
Therefore, if you were living together up and until the temporary restraining order was issued, the defendant will have to move out immediately pending the final restraining order hearing. The Court gives the “victim” (otherwise known as the plaintiff) more courtesies regarding shelter and protection until the parties are heard in Court.
What if I decide to move out and let him stay in the apartment?
If you move out of Union County, for example, you may still choose Union County as the venue to file for the restraining order. Generally, the venue for a restraining order is determined by the county where either of the parties reside, or where the acts of domestic violence took place. There may also be other instances where a different venue is applicable, which is determined by specific circumstances related to one’s case.
Also, you may move out and let the other party resume residence. Either way, it is important to note that the purpose of the temporary restraining order is to prevent contact between the parties. Therefore, once the restraining order is issued it is in the interest of both parties to avoid contact with each other.
What can I expect right after the issuance of the temporary restraining order?
In about ten days, or the date listed on the restraining order, you will have to appear in Court. The defendant will most likely be present at this hearing as well. It is important to understand that as the plaintiff you have the burden to prove to the Court that the defendant committed a predicate act of domestic violence and that you fear for your safety by showing the continued need for protection through the issuance of a final restraining order. This usually does not occur at the first hearing but will be a part of the next steps moving forward. If the parties reach an alternative agreement to trial, commonly referred to as a civil restraints agreement, the restraining order matter will later be dismissed.
What if the defendant is a gun owner?
Laws related to restraining orders prohibit a defendant in a temporary and final restraining order from possession of firearms or weapons. This means that he or she will be unable to buy or maintain possession of a firearm. In addition to that, the defendant will not be able to obtain or retain a firearm identification card in New Jersey should the restraining order become final and he or she must also relinquish control of firearms or weapons upon the issuance of a restraining order to police.
How does the seizure of weapons and firearms occur?
Once the restraining order is issued, the police serve the defendant with a restraining order. If the defendant is at home when he or she is served with the order, it acts in place of a search warrant and gives the police the authority to search the defendant’s residence for firearms or deadly weapons. Upon the police department’s search, they can seize whatever deadly weapons or firearms are present.
Essentially, an additional warrant is not required because the temporary restraining order gives the police the power to search the premises. If the individual refuses to surrender the weapon(s), he or she may be arrested. Following the seizure of the weapon(s), the police department must transfer the weapons, firearms identification, and any other related items to the local prosecutor’s office. From that point, it will then be decided by the prosecutor’s office whether the weapons are permanently removed from the defendant. The action to permanently remove the items from the defendant is known as a forfeiture action. If the Prosecutor’s Office decides not to proceed, then the firearms, etc. would then likely be returned.
What happens if the Defendant is temporarily staying with someone else and that individual has firearms or deadly weapons?
The same as the above would apply. The police search the premises of where the defendant is staying and any firearm(s) can still be forfeited under the same conditions.
What if the final restraining order is issued and the Defendant permanently moves in with someone that intends to get a firearms identification card in New Jersey?
When someone files for a firearms identification with a local police department in New Jersey, he or she goes through a background check and investigation to determine eligibility. If that person is living with someone that is a defendant to a restraining order, he or she will likely be denied for a firearm identification card on those grounds alone. Thus, it is important for a defendant to understand the weight and severity of a restraining order on others as well.
As a plaintiff or a defendant, it is imperative to understand the gravity of a restraining order. Call the experienced professionals at The Tormey Law Firm today to guide you through the process.