Sometimes family law matters are complicated by domestic violence and a party needs to obtain a restraining order. To obtain a restraining order in New Jersey there are basically two steps. First, you obtain a temporary restraining order, either at the courthouse or your local police station. Next, after a usually brief waiting period, there is a hearing to determine whether the temporary restraining order should be converted into a final restraining order. At that hearing the judge (there is no jury) usually considers testimony and other evidence of both parties and any other witnesses before determining whether a final restraining order should be issued.
The following conduct can be classified as domestic violence:
Homicide (NJSA 2C:11-1 et seq);
Assault (NJSA 2C:12-1);
Terroristic threats (NJSA 2C:12-3);
Kidnapping (NJSA 2C:13-1);
Criminal restraint (NJSA 2C:13-2);
False imprisonment (NJSA 2C:13-3);
Sexual assault (NJSA 2C:14-2);
Criminal sexual contact (NJSA 2C:14-3);
Lewdness (NJSA 2C:14-4);
Criminal mischief (NJSA 2C:17-3);
Burglary (NJSA 2C:18-2);
Criminal trespass (NJSA 2C:18-3);
Harassment (NJSA 2C:33-4);
Stalking P.L.1992, c.209 (C.2C:12-10);
Criminal coercion (NJSA 2C:13-5);
Robbery (NJSA 2C:15-1);
Contempt of a domestic violence order pursuant to subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:29-9 that constitutes a crime or disorderly persons offense; and/or
Any other crime involving risk of death or serious bodily injury to a person protected under the “Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991,” P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-17 et al.).
“Cyber-stalking” is another category of conduct that can be classified as domestic violence; it generally involves harassment over social media.
Domestic violence law can be complicated: A specific relationship is required between the parties in order to bring an application for a final restraining order; there are jurisdictional requirements; an analysis of any prior history of domestic violence impacts whether a final restraining order is imposed; emergent child custody provisions can be imposed in both temporary and final restraining orders; financial relief can be ordered in both temporary and final restraining orders; among many other considerations. Whether as accuser or accused, it is best to understand the law and consequences of a domestic violence matter. Jennifer and Erin have tried many domestic violence matters over the years. In addition, they have handled matters where other issues, including child custody are further complicated by the presence of domestic violence.