Proof for Final Restraining Order in NJ
Morris County Domestic Violence Lawyers in Morristown, New Jersey
There are several elements that a plaintiff must prove in order to obtain a permanent restraining order in New Jersey including that a predicate act of domestic violence occurred, that there is a history of domestic violence, and that the plaintiff is reasonable to be in fear for their safety and they need the protection of the courts. If you or a loved one needs assistance with a domestic violence matter in New Jersey including in Washington Twp, Jefferson Twp., Montville, Budd Lake, and Morris Twp., the Tormey Law Firm can help. Our lawyers have literally handled hundreds of domestic violence restraining order trials throughout New Jersey and they are available now to assist you at (908)-336-5008.
Here is a five star review from one of our many satisfied restraining order clients:
“What can I say that hasn’t already been driven home in all of the other reviews about Travis. I’m a young professional and was served a vindicative Temp. Restraining Order from an Ex. As someone who has never been involved with law or the courts, I was understandably pretty nervous regardless, considering this is something that could appear on a background check for future employment. As soon as I met with Travis all those nerves and fears drifted away. Travis was able to successfully get the TRO dismissed without even going to a trial, and i am truly thankful for Travis and his confidence and savviness when it pertains to the law. Will reccomend him to anyone who requires a knowledgable and down to earth Attorney.”
Proving a Restraining Order Case in New Jersey – Silver v. Silver
In order for a plaintiff to obtain a final restraining order against the defendant, the plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that a predicate act of domestic violence occurred and that there is a need to be protected from the defendant now or in the future. These two requirements are commonly referred to as the “Silver v. Silver” prongs because of the landmark case, Silver v. Silver, 387 N.J. Super. 112 (2006). In that case, the Appellate Division clarified a two-pronged analytical framework that trial courts now use to determine whether or not to issue a final restraining order in domestic violence matters. In assessing these two factors, the trial court will evaluate the credibility of the plaintiff’s testimony and exhibits that were presented during the final restraining order trial. That is, the court will determine which witnesses were truthful, believable, and honest based upon the overall impression made on the judge. For example, a judge may find a witness to be incredible based on poor eye contact, being fidgety, or simply defying common sense. After the court makes credibility determinations, the judge will also address the two prongs of the Silver v. Silver analysis.
The first Silver v. Silver requirement is that the trial court must find that the plaintiff is a victim of domestic violence or, in other words, that the defendant committed an act of domestic violence as defined by the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (“PDVA”). N.J.S.A. 2C:25-17 et. seq. Pursuant to the PDVA, there are nineteen sufficient predicate acts of domestic violence, each defined in New Jersey’s criminal code: homicide, assault, terroristic threats, kidnapping, criminal restraint, false imprisonment, sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, lewdness, criminal mischief, burglary, criminal trespass, harassment, stalking, criminal coercion, robbery, contempt of a domestic violence order, cyber-harassment, and any other crime involving risk of death or serious bodily injury.
The second Silver v. Silver requirement is that the Court must find that the defendant poses an imminent or future danger to the plaintiff or, in other words, that a restraining order is actually needed to protect the victim. Specifically, the Appellate Division held, “the guiding standard is whether a restraining order is necessary…to protect the victim from an immediate danger or to prevent further abuse.” Additionally, the Appellate Division held, “the domestic violence law was intended to address matters of consequence, not ordinary domestic contretemps.” In other words, the Court warned that the second prong requires more than an aberrational or isolated argument but rather a finding that the plaintiff is a true victim of domestic violence that requires protection from the defendant.
How do I win my final restraining order trial in NJ?
Whether you are a plaintiff who needs a final restraining order or you are a defendant who has been accused of domestic violence, it is important to be familiar with the two elements that are required for a final restraining order. The restraining order attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm have successfully, handled countless restraining order cases for both plaintiffs and defendants, and if you are involved in a restraining order matter they are ready to advocate on your behalf during your final restraining order trial. Contact our offices now for immediate assistance at (908)-336-5008.