Vacating a Final Restraining Order

Since a final restraining order (“FRO”) is final, permanent, and does not expire, the FRO and its effects will remain with you your entire life unless you have the FRO vacated.  To achieve this, you will have to make an application to vacate the FRO with the Superior Court.

 

Such application will require you to prepare and file a notice of motion and a brief in support of the motion.  You are required to provide notice to the victim protected by the FRO so that (s)he has the opportunity to oppose the motion to vacate.  The following factors, set forth in the seminal case of Carfagno v. Carfagno, 288 N.J. Super. 424 (Ch. Div. 1995), will be reviewed and considered by the court

  • Consent of the plaintiff to lift the order;
  • The plaintiff’s objective fear of the defendant;
  • Nature of the relationship between the parties today;
  • Contempt convictions;
  • Alcohol and drug involvement;
  • Other violent acts by the defendant;
  • Whether defendant has engaged in domestic violence counseling;
  • Age and health of the defendant;
  • Good faith of the plaintiff;
  • Orders entered in any other jurisdiction;
  • Other factors deemed relevant by the court.

For the court to consider these factors, the defendant must first make a basic showing in the application that there is a basis for the hearing.  If that basic showing is made, then the court will grant a hearing, at which the parties will have the right to testify, present other witnesses, cross examine witnesses, and present appropriate documentary evidence.

 

It is important to know, however, that even if you successfully have the FRO vacated, this does not erase the finding of domestic violence that was originally made by the court.  It simply allows the FRO to be lifted or vacated so that it does not exist anymore.  The finding of domestic violence remains a part of the court’s record, and the defendant’s name will remain on the National Domestic Violence Registry.  However, it does remove the threat that the defendant might be arrested at any time due to the plaintiff advising the police that the other party has violated the FRO.

 

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 very 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 making a motion to vacate an FRO, call The Mark Law Firm now.  The Mark Law Firm provides assistance in domestic violence cases to all of Ocean and Monmouth Counties in central New Jersey and Somerset, Essex, Hunterdon, Union and Middlesex Counties.