How Do I File a Restraining Order in Mercer County?
Are you the victim of an act of domestic violence? Are you in fear for your life? If so, the New Jersey court system can help. If you are the victim of an act of domestic violence and are in fear for your safety, you may petition the court for what is known as a restraining order. When seeking a restraining order, also known as an order of protection, their is a strict procedure that must be followed, which includes first filling for what is known as a temporary restraining order. Below is a breakdown of the procedure that must be followed when a victim of domestic violence is seeking a final restraining order. If you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Keith Oliver Criminal Law at 609-789-0779. Our office not only helps victims of domestic violence obtain a final restraining order but we also defend those accused of domestic violence at final restraining order hearings as well.
In Need of an Order of Protection in New Jersey?
In order for a victim of domestic violence to seek a temporary restraining order in New Jersey they must first file a complaint for a restraining order. This complaint is typically filed in the Family Division of the Superior Court in the county where the victim lives. However, since a lot of domestic violence incidents occur after normal business hours, the victim can file the initial complaint at the local police department if needed. So for example, if the victim resides in Princeton but the Defendant lives in Freehold, the victim must file the temporary restraining order in the family division of the Mercer County Superior Court, Family Division, which is located at 175 South Broad Street in Trenton.
When filing the complaint, the victim must state what the current act of domestic violence is. For example, they must provide, in as much detail as possible, what occurred at the hands of the Defendant, whether it be an assault, harassment, stalking, terroristic threats, sexual assault, kidnapping or false imprisonment. In addition, they must also provide any prior acts of domestic violence that suffered from at the hands of the Defendant and again, in as much detail as possible. Once the filing of the complaint is completed, the victim must go before a Judge so that they can determine whether the victim is in fact a victim of an act of domestic violence and whether they are in fear of immediate danger or further acts of domestic violence. If the Judge is satisfied, then a temporary restraining order will be granted.
What Next After a Temporary Restraining Order is Granted?
If a temporary restraining order (TRO) is granted, the Defendant will then need to be served with the order. The local police department or the county sheriffs department will be responsible for serving the Defendant. A TRO is exactly what it sounds like, temporary in nature and before it can become permanent, a final restraining order hearing must be conducted. The final restraining order hearing (FRO) is typically set within 10 days of the granting of the TRO.
What Happens at a FRO Hearing?
A final restraining order hearing is in essence a mini trial. Evidence will be produced, witness will be called to testify and they will be subject to cross examination. During this hearing, the plaintiff will have to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that they are the victim of an act of domestic violence at the hands of the Defendant and that the FRO is necessary to protect them from immediate danger or further acts of domestic violence. These types of hearings are usually very emotional and a lot of personal information is air out in open court. That is one of the many reasons that we strongly recommend that you seek the assistance of an experienced domestic violence defense attorney. If you would like to speak to one of our domestic violence defense attorneys today about your options then please contact us at 609-789-0779.
Trenton NJ Restraining Order Hearing Lawyer
Keith Oliver Criminal Law not only defends those served with a temporary restraining order but also helps victims of domestic violence obtain a final restraining order as well. These hearings are usually very complicated and tend to boil down to a credibility determination. Furthermore, final restraining orders in New Jersey are permanent. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you speak to a domestic violence defense attorneys as soon as possible. Our office serves all of Mercer County, including towns like Ewing, Lawrence, Hamilton, Princeton, Robbinsville, Hopewell, West Windsor and East Windsor. If you would like to speak to one of our attorneys today about your options then please contact us at 609-789-0779 or email us.