Out of State Restraining Orders in New Jersey
Domestic Violence Lawyers in Hackensack, Newark, Morristown, New Brunswick, NJ
Restraining orders are court-issued documents that protect victims of domestic violence in New Jersey and other states. Although many people think that if they move or live outside of the state that issued the restraining order, then the order is no longer enforceable, this is not the case. Restraining orders issued in New Jersey and elsewhere are, in fact, enforceable in other states under Federal Law. The enforceability of restraining orders in other states is often referred to as state-to-state reciprocity. This “reciprocity” is guaranteed through United States Federal Law and spells significant implications for people on both sides of domestic violence restraining orders in New Jersey.
If you are involved in a domestic violence case or have questions regarding a restraining order in New Jersey, contact us now for help. The highly experienced lawyers at our firm have assisted thousands of clients across the state with all aspects of domestic violence matters, including temporary and final restraining orders, subsequent violations, criminal charges related to acts of domestic violence, retrieval of weapons that have been confiscated by the state, child custody matters, and more. Whether your case is in Hackensack, New Brunswick, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Newark, Freehold, or another town in NJ, we have helped many people in your situation are are here for you. Call (908)-336-5008 for a free consultation with an attorney well-versed in New Jersey domestic violence laws and how to handle these cases. A member of our team if available immediately to assist you.
Do Restraining Orders Apply in Other States?
Prior to 1994, many individual states did not enforce restraining orders issued outside of their home jurisdiction. Sadly, most states failed and simply refused to protect victims of domestic violence by not enforcing the original protection orders if issued out of state. Due to the continued obstinacy of the individual states, a federal law was enacted in 1994 to protect victims of domestic violence by forcing the individual states to enforce restraining orders issued by other states. This law was enacted through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and gives full faith and credit to restraining orders issued from one state to another if specific criteria are met. This means that a restraining order issued in New Jersey still applies out-of-state. Likewise, a restraining order from another state is also considered valid in New Jersey.
Are Orders of Protection Enforced Across State Lines?
Federal law requires every state, including New Jersey, to enforce restraining orders of other states if certain basic factors exist. First, the order must have been issued to protect any person against future acts of domestic violence at the hands of another. Specifically, the order must state the name of the person who is protected, as well as the name of the person who is prohibited from contacting the other. Additionally, the court issuing the order must have had jurisdiction over parties, meaning that it had the legal authority to hear the case and make legal determinations as to whether abuse occurred and that the victim must be protected from abuse. Lastly, the person against whom the order was issued must have received notice of the hearing in which the restraining order was issued.
Aside from the above, most restraining orders are protected by Federal Law and the protected party enjoys reciprocity among the states. Even if there is a potential issue concerning the legality of the order, if the order has been violated, the protected party should contact authorities in the state in which they live. The victim should not be concerned about the legality of the order. Any objections to the legality of the order will be raised by the Defendant and their attorney and can be addressed if necessary by the victim’s own attorney. For this reason, any protected party under a restraining order should seek the assistance of law enforcement if a violation of a restraining order occurs. Keep in mind, the order continuously remains in effect without the victim having to do anything.
If I am moving to New Jersey, how do I make my restraining order apply in this state?
A protected person under a restraining order does not need to take any further steps to make the restraining order effective in another state. Further, a person with an order of protective against someone else does not need to take any action specific action before a complaint can be made for a violation of the order. While some states may request that you file your order with a designated authority, it does not need to be filed to be lawfully effective. For example, if a person moves to New Jersey from another state, and a judge from the other state heard the case and issued the order appropriately prior to the move, the order remains active and enforceable without ever having to do anything in this state.
What if I move outside of New Jersey, is my restraining order still valid?
If you file a restraining order against another person in New Jersey and the judge issues a final order in your case, it is considered effective and enforceable throughout the country. While a temporary restraining order has a relatively lesser burden of proof, there must be a restraining order hearing where all of the necessary requirements are met, before a final restraining order can be issued. Once you obtain a final restraining order at this hearing, where the presiding family court judge reviews all of the witnesses, evidence, and arguments of each party or his or her lawyer, the fact that an FRO was issued and not dismissed makes it valid across the United States.
There is no requirement that a protected person advise New Jersey that they plan to or have moved out of state. But, if you do not notify the court that you moved, you will not be able to receive correspondence concerning the restraining order such as motions to dissolve or modify the order. For this reason, you should contact the court, confirm that your address will remain private, and then provide your new address. In some cases, you may wish for your address to remain private to all parties. If so, you can contact the New Jersey Address Confidentiality Program, which assists in keeping your address private by sending mail to a different address than where you live. This is a useful tool if you move within the state or from another state.
Should I keep a certified copy of my restraining order?
Some states may require a certified copy of your restraining order. A certified copy is one issued by the court that heard your case. A certified copy is not a photocopy. The distinction between a certified copy and a photocopy is that normally, certified copies have a stamp, seal, or certification that makes it clear that it is a “true and correct” copy from the court. The seal further signifies that it is an official court document that has not been altered. If you have been granted an order of protection, you should contact the court and request several certified copies. Having certified copies on hand will assist enforcement in other states and will alleviate any stress caused by not having one when needed.
You should not be concerned with the cost of obtaining certified copies, as there is no fee for these documents. Once you receive a copy, you can make photocopies to carry with you or leave at places you frequent. For example, it is in your best interests to keep a copy at your place of employment and in your home. You should also carry a copy with you and if applicable, provide a copy to your children’s school. As you know, a violation of the order can occur no matter where you are and having a copy on hand can prove invaluable.
Hackensack NJ Domestic Violence Order Lawyers Can Help
If you need answers about out of state restraining orders in New Jersey or are seeking help with another domestic violence issue, contact The Tormey Law Firm for the help you need now. We have experience handling all types of cases involving alleged acts of domestic violence as well as violations of orders of protection. Our firm serves Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic County, and areas throughout New Jersey. All you have to do is pick up the phone and call (908)-336-5008 to consult a knowledgeable lawyer free of charge. You can also send us a message and request a confidential consultation or set up an appointment at one of our convenient office locations.