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Restraining Order Process

The procedure in New Jersey for obtaining a Restraining Order is set forth in New Jersey Court Rule 5:7A.

A person requesting a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) is required by appear personally before a judge to testify on the record and by sworn complaint pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:25-28. There is an exception to this personal appearance which will be discussed below. If, based on the person’s sworn testimony, it appears that the victim is in danger of domestic violence, the judge shall, based upon the victim’s affidavit, complaint or testimony, order emergency relief including ex parte relief by issuing a temporary restraining order as authorized by N.J.S.A. 2C:25-17 et seq.

As indicated above, there is an exception to the personal appearance requirement. A judge may issue a TRO upon sworn oral testimony of a victim who is not physically present. Such sworn testimony may be communicated to the judge by telephone, radio, or other electronic means. The judge or the law enforcement officer assisting the victim must record the sworn testimony by recording device or long hand notes summarizing what the victim testifies to.

Under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, the judge shall issue a TRO when the victim appears to be in danger of domestic violence. The order may be, and almost always is, issued ex parte to protect the life, health, or well-being of a victim.

Once a TRO is issued, a final restraining order (“FRO”) shall be issued against a defendant only on a specific finding of domestic violence after a hearing has been conducted and competent evidence has been introduced or on a stipulation by the defendant to the commission of an act or acts of domestic violence as defined by the statute. The hearing is required to be held within ten (10) days of issuance of the TRO. A hearing is to be conducted by a Superior Court Judge in the Family Division to determine whether or not the temporary restraining order shall become a FRO. This is the stage and forum for our experienced criminal defense team, who have significant experience in family matters and restraining orders to present your side of the case. It is imperative that individuals take advantage of this opportunity because issuance of an FRO has significant implications.

When a law enforcement officer makes an arrest without a warrant on a criminal complaint brought for a violation otherwise defined as an offense under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:25-17 et seq., bail may be set and a complaint-warrant may be issued pursuant to the procedures prescribed in R. 3:4-1 (b).

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.

For experienced domestic violence assistance, contact your New Jersey domestic violence lawyer for an initial consultation. Mark | Lavigne, LLC provides legal services to all of Ocean and Monmouth Counties in central New Jersey and Somerset, Essex, Hunterdon, Union and Middlesex Counties.

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