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How to Obtain a Restraining Order in Domestic Violence Cases in NJ

A restraining order can be a helpful tool for ensuring safety and creating distance between a victim and perpetrator of domestic abuse.

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Are you or someone you know facing domestic violence? If so, it’s important to take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your children from further harm by obtaining a restraining order. A restraining order is a court-issued document that requires an abuser to stay away from the victim and refrain from certain activities, such as contacting them.

A restraining order can be a helpful tool for ensuring safety and creating distance between a victim and perpetrator of domestic abuse. We’re going to discuss the basics of how to obtain a restraining order in cases of domestic violence in New Jersey.

If You’re in Danger Right Now, Call 911

The most immediate action you can take is to call 911 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger from a person wanting, or trying, to physically harm you. If you need someone to talk to, the National Domestic Abuse Hotline is available 24 hours a day at 800-799-7233. If you prefer to text, text “START” to 88788.

What’s a Restraining Order?

A restraining order is a legally binding court document that bars a person from having contact with you. This can mean that they cannot come within so many feet of you or your residence physically. It can also mean they may not contact you via messages or the phone, which can constitute harassment.

There are two types of restraining orders. A temporary restraining order (or TRO) is one that’s issued until a hearing can be held to determine if further action should be taken. A final restraining order (FRO) is in place permanently. The only thing that can withdraw a final restraining order is if the victim of the abuse asks a judge to lift the order.

How Do I Get an Order of Protection in the State of New Jersey?

There are two ways to get an order of protection in New Jersey. One way is to go during regular court hours to your county’s Superior Court and report to the Family Division Office. This can be in either the home county of the accused abuser, the home county of the victim, or the county where the violence occurred.

The second way to get a restraining order is to go to your local police department (or the police department where the attack occurred). This should be done if you need the order outside of regular court hours. There, you can file a criminal complaint against the other person and request an order of protection.

Whether you’re applying at the courthouse or a police station, a staff member or domestic violence advocate can assist you with filling out the application. Also, regardless of where you apply, the request will need to be presented to a judge who’ll then decide whether or not to issue the temporary restraining order against the alleged abuser.

If a TRO is issued, there will be a hearing within 10 days to make the temporary restraining order final. (The accused has the option to request an earlier hearing.) 

How Does a Restraining Order Work in NJ?

A restraining order is intended to protect the victim of abuse or domestic violence from further attacks or encounters with the alleged abuser. It orders the accused attacker to refrain from coming within a set number of feet from the victim while under the restraining order. 

If a person violates this restraining order, then they can be arrested for not only violating the order, but for also any other crimes they may commit should they attempt to hurt or harm the original victim.

What’s a No-Contact Order?

A different type of order is the “no-contact” order. This means you’re requesting that a specific person can’t make any contact at all with you. That means they can’t speak to you, call or text you, send letters or emails, or attempt to communicate with you via social media. The order also prevents them from trying to contact you through a third-party intermediary.

What’s a Civil Restraining Order?

Another type of restraining order is the civil restraining order. In this situation, the order is issued during a divorce or child custody case. It can include restraining one party to protect the other from domestic violence. But it can also be used to protect that party from harassment as well.

Can a Family Law Attorney Help in Cases of Domestic Violence?

Smedley Law Group understands that family law matters can be emotionally charged and complex. When domestic violence is involved, the situation becomes even more challenging. That’s why our experienced team provides knowledgeable and compassionate support to clients throughout New Jersey who are dealing with these sensitive issues. 

Our attorneys have extensive experience in handling divorce cases that involve domestic violence, and we work tirelessly to ensure our clients’ safety and protection. We understand the importance of taking immediate action, and we’re here to guide you through the legal process with care and understanding. We’re committed to providing the highest level of legal representation to those who need it most.


Contact the Expert Family Law Attorneys at Smedley Law Group in Woodbury, NJ Today

If you’re thinking about filing for divorce, you’ll also most likely be dealing with another matter like child custody, child support, division of assets or even domestic violence, so you’ll need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorneys at Smedley Law Group represent clients throughout the state, including West Deptford, Woodbury Heights, Runnemede, and Westville. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at (856) 251-0800 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 750 Cooper Street, Woodbury, NJ 08096.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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