What does predicate act of domestic violence mean in NJ?
With offices in Morristown, NJ
A predicate act of domestic violence means an act of domestic violence that just happened which gives rise to the need for a restraining order. There are a number of potential predicate acts of domestic violence that a plaintiff can allege when attempting to obtain a temporary restraining order (TRO) such as assault, terroristic threats, stalking, criminal mischief, burglary, and criminal trespass.
If you or a loved one has a restraining order case in New Jersey and are in need of legal assistance, the Tormey Law Firm LLC can help. Our experienced restraining order attorneys have handled these types of cases in practically every county in the State of NJ including in Elizabeth, Somerville, New Brunswick, and Freehold. As a result, our lawyers are ready and able to assist you with your restraining order case immediately. Contact our offices anytime for a free initial consultation at (908)-336-5008.
Travis J. Tormey has been cited in numerous publications including the Star Ledger, Daily Record, Bergen Record, Asbury Park Press and AOL News. He has also appeared as a legal expert on CBS radio with regards to domestic violence in New Jersey. Mr. Tormey has received numerous awards from the American Trial Lawyers Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. He also received the clients choice awards from Avvo.com in ’13, ’14’, ’15, ’16, and ’17 and is a 10.0 rating.
Here is a review from one of our many satisfied restraining order clients:
“Case dismissed with Data Driven Facts”
Posted by Shoubhik
“Travis dealt my case with passion, professionalism and punctuality. The flat fee was very reasonable for the amount of effort that had to be put in the case (4 hearings). Travis helped me arrange all the data I had gathered for my defense. His thoroughness with my case and his knowledge of the law were quite evident when he presented the closing summary in front of the judge. I would highly recommend him to prospective clients.”
Element #1 to Obtain Restraining Order in NJ: Predicate Acts of Domestic Violence
For a Judge to issue a final restraining order in NJ, the court must have jurisdiction to do so. In addition, the court must find enough grounds that a predicate act of domestic violence has occurred. This is the first element necessary to obtain a permanent restraining order. The second element is a prior history of domestic violence. The third and final element is the necessity of a restraining order to protect the safety and well being of the victim. All three of these elements must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence in order for a plaintiff to obtain a final restraining order in NJ.
The predicate acts of domestic violence in New Jersey include the following:
- Terroristic Threats
- Sexual Assault
- Criminal Restraint
- False Imprisonment
- Criminal Sexual Contact
- Criminal Mischief
- Criminal Trespass
- Criminal Coercion
- Contempt of a domestic violence order that constitutes a crime or disorderly persons offense
- Any other crime involving risk of death or serious bodily injury to a person protected under the “Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991”
A plaintiff can allege one or multiple acts of domestic violence in the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). However, only one (1) must be proven in order to get a final restraining order.
Note: It is important to remember that these are not criminal charges. This is a civil order handled in Family Court. As a result, the burden of proof is “by a preponderance of evidence” as opposed to “beyond a reasonable doubt” which is used in criminal cases.
Note: Criminal charges can also be filed in addition to the restraining order. Criminal charges are a completely separate issue which would be handled in a different court. A restraining order can be filed without issuing any criminal charges.
How do I prove a predicate act of violence?
There are a number of ways for a plaintiff to prove that a predicate act of domestic violence has occurred. The most common way is through the Plaintiff’s testimony at trial. The plaintiff can testify as to what happened and admit any evidence they have including the following:
- pictures of injuries
- video of the incident
- emails, text messages, voicemails
- any witnesses who saw the incident happen can testify
- police reports
- hospital records
The Judge will consider all of this evidence and the credibility of the Plaintiff when determining if an act of domestic violence occurred. Of course, the defendant will have an opportunity to cross examine the plaintiff and their evidence and give their own version of events. However, a defendant does not have to testify at trial, it is the Plaintiff’s burden to prove the case. If a defendant chooses not to testify at trial, this will not be held against them by the court.
Tormey Law Firm LLC: Morristown Restraining Order Lawyers
For additional information regarding restraining orders in NJ, browse this website. Also, contact our restraining order defense lawyers anytime for immediate assistance at (908)-336-5008. The initial consultation is always provided free of charge.