Domestic violence is a serious crime which impacts both men and women. Each year, people from every social and economic background are assaulted, harassed, and threatened by their spouses or cohabitants. If you are a victim of domestic violence in New Jersey, it is important to know that you are not alone—help is available. Temporary Restraining Orders can provide security and protection from your abuser.
Watch our Video on “Domestic Violence Restraining Orders: How to Present Your Case”
Temporary Restraining Orders in New Jersey
The objective of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) is to eliminate any physical contact between you and your abuser. In New Jersey, a Temporary Restraining Orders includes number of items such as:
- An order requiring the person who committed the domestic violence to stay away from a person, home, workplace, school, or other location
- An order not to call or otherwise contact the protected person (by e-mail, text, and/or mail for instance) at home, work, and/or another location
- An order requiring no contact with other relevant and interested persons
- An order for temporary support
Obtaining a Temporary NJ Restraining Order—What You Need To Know
If you are a victim of domestic violence in New Jersey, you can obtain a Temporary Restraining Order against your abuser at your local police station or at the Family Division of your county Superior Court.
–– Temporary Restraining Order at the NJ Police Station (Monday-Friday 3:30 p.m. – 8:30 a.m. and on weekends)
Temporary Restraining Order at the NJ Courthouse (Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.)
When you arrive at the police station, tell the officer on duty that you:
- Are a victim of domestic abuse in New Jersey
- Would like to file a complaint against your abuser
- Would like a Temporary Restraining Order against your abuser
Be sure to relay each account of violence carefully and precisely, in order to present an accurate picture of your domestic situation. Once your case has been heard, the judge will determine if a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) should be issued.
When the judge grants your Temporary Restraining Order, the police officers have the authority to remove the abuser from your home, in order to protect you from further abuse. Even if the Municipal Court Judge denies your after-hour’s request (through the police) for a TRO, you may still reapply during normal business hours at the Superior Courthouse.
The Final New Jersey Restraining Order
You and your abuser will be ordered to appear at a final restraining order (FRO) hearing—approximately 10 days after receiving the Temporary Restraining Order. During this hearing, you and your abuser will both need to appear at court and testify under oath. Many victims of domestic violence have tremendous difficulty coming face to face with their abuser—especially after obtaining a TRO. As such, it is advisable to contact an experienced New Jersey Family Lawyer to present your case and ensure that a final restraining order is granted.