How Long Do Restraining Orders Last in New Jersey
Unlike most other states, final restraining orders (FRO) in New Jersey do not expire and can only be removed by the plaintiff themselves or if a Judge grants a Defendant’s motion to vacate. FRO’s in New Jersey carry with them rather devastating consequences, including being placed in a national domestic violence registry, being required to go through additional security on international flights and forfeiting their right to own firearms not to mention forbidden from having any contact with the plaintiff. As one can image, if an FRO is granted, most individual’s have a strong incentive to remove the order of protection as soon as they can.
How to Vacate a FRO in New Jersey?
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:25-29(d), a court may dissolve or modify a final restraining order upon a showing of good cause by the Defendant. Generally speaking, the court will dissolve the FRO if the Defendant can show there is a change of circumstances that in essence make the continued enforcement of the FRO inequitable, oppressive, or unjust, or in contravention of the policy of the law. The court will typically look to what is has come known as the Carfagno factors when determining whether or not the Defendant has shown good cause. The Carfagno factors are as follows:
- Consent of Victim to Lift the Order
- The Victim’s Fear of the Defendant
- Nature of the Relationship Between the Parties Today
- Contempt Convictions
- Alcohol and Drug Involvement
- Other Violent Acts
- Whether Defendant Has Engaged in Domestic Violence Counseling
- Age/Health of Defendant
- Good Faith of Victim
- Orders Entered by Other Jurisdictions
- Other Factors Deemed Relevant by the Court
For more information on how to Vacate a Final Restraining Order in New Jersey, please click the link.
FRO Granted Six Years Ago is Vacated in Monmouth County
Several months ago Keith Oliver Criminal Law was retained to file a motion to vacate a final restraining order that was granted back in 2013 in Monmouth County. After speaking to our client, we learned that the initial temporary restraining order (TRO) was granted when both parties were in college and that the final restraining order was granted after a four day trial. In order to file the motion we needed to first obtain the transcripts from the FRO hearing. Upon receiving the transcripts and speaking to our client, we were able to draft and file the motion to vacate the final restraining order with the Chancery Division, Family Part of the Monmouth County Superior Court. We highlighted the significant change in circumstances as well as how oppressive the FRO was become to our client over the last six years. After filing the motion with the court, which included serving the plaintiff, a hearing date was set. On the eve of the hearing, the plaintiff decided not to contest the vacating of the FRO and the Judge granted our motion on the papers. As a result, the FRO that had been haunting our client for the last six years was finally removed. He is now free to move on with his life without this order lingering around.
N.I. v. D.B. (2019)