Where Do I Go to File a Restraining Order?
In New Jersey, if an individual feels that they are the victim of an act of domestic violence and that they are in fear for their safety, they may petition the Superior Court in the county where they reside for what is known as a Restraining Order. In order to do so, the victim would need to first obtain what is known as a Temporary Restraining Order, also known as a “TRO”.
How to File a Complaint for Restraining Order
In order for the victim to obtain a TRO, they must first file what is known as a complaint for a restraining order. That complaint should be filed in the Family Division of the Superior Court in the county where victim resides. If the county courthouse is closed, the victim can file the aforementioned complaint at the local police department in the town in which they reside.
In the complaint, the victim will be required to put-forth the specific acts of domestic violence that occurred at the hand of the Defendant and describe any prior acts of domestic violence that have been victim of. Some of the most common acts of domestic violence that are alleged at simple assault, harassment, stalking, terroristic threats, criminal mischief, criminal restraint and false imprisonment.
After the complaint for a TRO is properly filled out, the victim will go before a Superior Court Judge so that it can be determine whether or not the victim has satisfied his/her burden. In essence, the judge will have to conclude that the victim suffered from an act of domestic violence and that they are in fear of immediate danger. If the Judge does in fact conclude that, a TRO will be entered into.
What Happens Once a TRO is Granted in NJ?
Once a TRO is granted, the local police or sheriffs department will be required to serve the temporary restraining order upon the Defendant. The TRO will also state a date in which the parties must return to the Superior Court for the Final Restraining Order Hearing. TRO’s are temporary in nature and as such, in order for the restraints to become permanent, a final restraining order hearing must take place. For more information on final restraining order hearings, please see below.
What Happens at a Final Restraining Order Hearing?
During a Final Restraining Order (FRO), the plaintiff will be required to establish in essence three elements by a preponderance of the evidence standard. First they were in domestic relationship with the Defendant, that the Defendant committed one of the enumerated acts of domestic violence and that in order to protect themselves from immediate danger or further acts of domestic violence, the restraining order must determined. This hearings are in essence mini-trails and as such, we strongly recommend that you seek the assistance of an experienced domestic violence defense attorney prior to the hearing. For more information on final restraining order hearings in New Jersey, please click the link.
Restraining Order Lawyers in Somerset County NJ
At Keith Oliver Criminal Law, we not only defend individuals served with a restraining order but we also help individuals obtain a final restraining order as well. Our office serves all of Somerset and Hunterdon County, including towns like Readington, Raritan, Somerville, Clinton, Bridgewater, Bound Brook, Hillsborough, Franklin, Bernards and Watchung. If you would like to speak to one of our attorneys, then please contact our office at 908-533-1064. Our attorneys will discuss the specific of your case and give you our honest opinion on how we think we can be of assistance. For more information on restraining orders, please checkout womenslaw.org.