FRO Standard of Review

At the final restraining order (“FRO”) hearing, the order will be granted if the allegations in the complaint is by a preponderance of the evidence.  This is a relatively low standard of review, as the court can grant a FRO if the evidence suggests that the allegations more likely true than not.  Envision the scales of justice.  If the scales tip more in favor of the victim, then the court can and will issue the FRO.  This standard is significantly lower than the standard that applies to contempt or violation matters or any criminal complaint associated with a domestic violence matter.  At the FRO hearing, the court considers, but is not limited to the following factors

  • The previous history of domestic violence between the plaintiff and defendant, including threats, harassment and physical abuse;
  • The existence of immediate danger to person or property;
  • The financial circumstances of the plaintiff and defendant;
  • The best interests of the victim and any child;
  • In determining custody and parenting time, the protection of the victim’s safety; and
  • The existence of a verifiable order of protection from another jurisdiction.

Because the standard of review in a domestic violence matter is so low, it is vitally import to hire a skilled litigator who is knowledgeable about domestic violence cases to represent your interests.  What may appear to be irrelevant or a minor issue to a pro se litigant can prove to be an invaluable tool or piece of evidence to an experienced domestic violence attorney.  One or two missteps in an FRO hearing can cost you the chance to secure a necessary FRO or result in an unnecessary or unwarranted FRO being issued against you.

 

This information has been compiled as a result of the numerous trials and domestic violence matters Kevin B. Legreide, Esq. has conducted and been involved in over the years.  Mr. Legreide is also highly experienced in criminal and municipal matters and understands the relationship between a civil domestic violence matter and the pending criminal or municipal matter.

 

To discuss your domestic violence matter or FRO hearing, call The Mark Law Firm.  The Mark Law Firm provides domestic violence assistance to all of Ocean and Monmouth Counties in central New Jersey and Somerset, Essex, Hunterdon, Union and Middlesex Counties.