Rule 5:7A requires a showing of “domestic violence” for a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) to be issued.
Essentially, a municipal court or superior court judge must find credible evidence to believe that an act of domestic violence has occurred. The definition of “domestic violence” is contained in New Jersey Statute 2C:25-28 and requires the commission of one or more of the following enumerated offenses
(1) Homicide N.J.S. 2C:11-1: A person is guilty of criminal homicide if he purposely, knowingly, recklessly or, under the circumstances set forth in section 2C:11-5, causes the death of another human being. Criminal homicide is murder, manslaughter or death by auto.
(2) Assault N.J.S. 2C:12-1: A person is guilty of simple assault if they attempt to cause or purposely, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; or if the negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or they attempt by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.
A person is guilty of aggravated assault if they attempt to cause serious bodily injury to another, or causes such injury purposely or knowingly or under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life recklessly causes such injury; or attempts to cause or purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or recklessly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon.
(3) Terroristic threats N.J.S. 2C:12-3: A person is guilty of terroristic threats if they threaten to commit any crime of violence with the purpose to terrorize another or if they threaten to kill another with the purpose to put them in imminent fear of death under circumstances reasonably causing the victim to believe the immediacy of the threat and the likelihood that it will be carried out.
(4) Kidnapping N.J.S. 2C:13-1: A person is guilty of kidnapping if they unlawfully remove another from the place where they are found or if they unlawfully confine another with the purpose of holding that person for ransom or reward or as a shield or hostage. A person is also guilty of kidnapping if they unlawfully remove another from their place of residence or business, or a substantial distance from the vicinity where they are found, or if they unlawfully confine another for a substantial period, with any of the following purposes
- To facilitate commission of any crime or flight thereafter;
- To inflict bodily injury on or to terrorize the victim or another;
- To interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function; or
- To permanently deprive a parent, guardian, or other lawful custodian of custody of the victim.
(5) Criminal restraint N.J.S. 2C:13-2: A person commits criminal restraint is they knowingly restrain another unlawfully in circumstances exposing the other to risk of serious bodily injury or holds another in a condition of involuntary servitude.
(6) False imprisonment N.J.S. 2C:13-3: A person is guilty of false imprisonment if they knowingly restrain another unlawfully so as to interfere substantially with their liberty.
(7) Sexual assault N.J.S. 2C:14-2: Sexual assault is made up of many different potential acts by a defendant. A link is provided in lieu of providing all of the content here.
(8) Criminal sexual contact N.J.S. 2C:14-3: An actor is guilty of aggravated criminal sexual contact if they commit an act of sexual contact with the victim under any of the circumstances set forth in 2C:14-2a. (2) through (7). An actor is guilty of criminal sexual contact if they commit an act of sexual contact with the victim under any of the circumstances set forth in section 2C:14-2c. (1) through (4).
(9) Lewdness N.J.S. 2C:14-4: A person commits the act of lewdness if they do any flagrantly lewd and offensive act which they know or reasonably expects is likely to be observed by other nonconsenting persons who would be affronted or alarmed.
(10) Criminal mischief N.J.S. 2C:17-3: A person is guilty of criminal mischief if they purposely or knowingly damages tangible property of another or damages tangible property of another recklessly or negligently in the employment of fire, explosives or other dangerous means listed in subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:17-2; or purposely, knowingly or recklessly tampers with tangible property of another so as to endanger person or property, including the damaging or destroying of a rental premises by a tenant in retaliation for institution of eviction proceedings.
(11) Burglary N.J.S. 2C:18-2: A person is guilty of burglary if, with purpose to commit an offense therein or thereon they: (1) enter a research facility, structure, or a separately secured or occupied portion thereof unless the structure was at the time open to the public or the actor is licensed or privileged to enter; (2) surreptitiously remains in a research facility, structure, or a separately secured or occupied portion thereof knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so; or (3) trespasses in or upon utility company property where public notice prohibiting trespass is given by conspicuous posting, or fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed to exclude intruders.
(12) Criminal trespass N.J.S. 2C:18-3: A person commits an offense of criminal trespass if, knowing that they are not licensed or privileged to do so, they enter or surreptitiously remains in any research facility, structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof, or in or upon utility company property, or in the sterile area or operational area of an airport. A person also commits the act if, knowing that they are not licensed or privileged to do so, they enter or remains in any place as to which notice against trespass is given by: (1) actual communication to the actor; or (2) posting in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders; or (3) fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed to exclude intruders.
(13) Harassment N.J.S. 2C:33-4: A person commits the act of harassment if, with purpose to harass another, they: a. make, or causes to be made, a communication or communications anonymously or at extremely inconvenient hours, or in offensively coarse language, or any other manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm; b. subjects another to striking, kicking, shoving, or other offensive touching, or threatens to do so; or c. engages in any other course of alarming conduct or of repeatedly committed acts with purpose to alarm or seriously annoy such other person.
(14) Stalking N.J.S. 2C:12-10: A person is guilty of fourth degree stalking if they purposefully or knowingly engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his safety or the safety of a third person or suffer other emotional distress. A person is guilty of third degree stalking if they commit the crime of stalking in violation of an existing court order prohibiting the behavior or if they commit the crime of stalking while serving a term of imprisonment or while on parole or probation as the result of a conviction for any indictable offense under the laws of this State, any other state or the United States.
Where a reasonable basis exists to believe that one or more of the above mentioned offenses has occurred, a TRO shall be granted. The TRO shall bar any contact between the parties and failure to obey by the restraining order shall result in a criminal violation. Thereafter if sufficient credible evidence has been presented at the final restraining order (FRO) hearing the Superior Court will issue a FRO against the defendant either continuing or modifying the restrictions set forth in the TRO.
In addition to the domestic violence complaint based on any of the above predicate acts the accused will also be subject to criminal charges for the underlying act that was allegedly committed. These criminal charges will be handled separately either at the municipal level or by the Superior Court depending on the offense committed.
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 your matter and the issues of jurisdiction 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.