When an alleged victim of domestic violence calls the police in New Jersey, the investigating officer would typically ask if they want a restraining order against the accused. Such restraining orders are issued by the civil court, but violating an order would usually result in criminal charges. If you have received a restraining order in New Jersey, your immediate step should be to read the document in detail and talk to an attorney. You need a lawyer specializing in criminal defense and family law. Cases that involve both restraining orders and domestic violence also often have issues like child custody. In this post, we are sharing more insight on three types of restraining orders in the state.
Emergency restraining orders
An emergency restraining order is usually issued when the civil courts are closed, typically at night or on weekends. If the judge finds that there is an imminent threat to the plaintiff, they can issue an emergency restraining order, which will be valid for a short time. The plaintiff can ask for a temporary restraining order later.
Temporary restraining orders
Temporary restraining orders are issued ex-parte. This means that the alleged victim or survivor of abuse or domestic violence can ask for a TRO without the defendant being present. Again, the discretion is on the judge, who can decide whether the plaintiff is at risk of abuse or harm from the abuser and issue a restraining order accordingly. The TRO may require the abuser to move out of the house and hand over their firearms, besides following no-contact rules. No matter how wronged you feel, do not ignore the TRO.
Final Restraining Orders
A hearing would be scheduled within ten days of issuing the TRO. Both parties have the chance to present evidence, key details, and witnesses to the court. There is no jury, and the judge will decide whether the plaintiff needs a FRO or whether the TRO should be dismissed. If a FRO is issued against you, the police will ask for your photo and fingerprints, and that will appear in your background check, no matter which state you are in. Final restraining orders in NJ are indefinite and can only be dismissed by the court at the request of the plaintiff.
Call a lawyer if you don’t want the TRO to become a FRO. Your lawyer can help come up with an appropriate line of defense, depending on the facts of the case.