Restraining Orders stemming from domestic violence crimes are a very serious matter in Monmouth County New Jersey and nationwide. They should not be taken lightly under any circumstances and if you are facing one, you should exercise extreme caution. Domestic violence is a problem in this country that is being more and more illuminated every day. More and more people are taking action and opening their mouths about this delicate issue. Because of this, the legislature has taken a very harsh position when it comes to restraining orders. In certain circumstances, they can be ordered ex parte, which means that only one person needs to be present for it to be granted. Restraining orders are governed by the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991.
What is a Restraining Order?
A restraining order is something issued by the Monmouth County court that prevents a specified person from performing certain actions. These actions could be seeing, speaking with, otherwise communicating to, visiting, or even traveling or appearing somewhere that presents the risk of coming into contact with another specified person. They are, by design, very fact specific and each restraining order is crafted to meet the unique demands of the situation. In some situations, a domestic restraining order can even require a person to do something, as opposed to just forbidding them to do it.
Who can get a Domestic Violence Restraining Order?
There are two requirements that need to be met before a judge will order a restraining order in Monmouth County. First, the parties need to be in a special relationship. The relationship is obviously domestic in nature and the types that will qualify are shown below:
- Living or have lived together
- Dating or previously dated
- Planning to have a child together or having a child together
Furthermore, the plaintiff will have to show the judge that one or more of the following offenses have been committed against him or her:
- Terroristic threats
- Criminal restraint
- False imprisonment
- Sexual assault
- Criminal sexual contact
- Criminal mischief
- Criminal trespass
It is important to note that these offenses do not have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt as other criminal offenses must be. They must only be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, which means that it is more likely true than false.
How do I get a Restraining Order?
Both parties to the special relationship required do not need to be present for a restraining order to be issued. The process starts out like most legal affairs, with a complaint filed in Monmouth County Superior Court or the Family Division of the Superior court. The complaint can be filed in a few different locations, such as where the domestic violence occurred, where the plaintiff lives or is currently living (if not the permanent residence), or where the defendant is currently living. In the event of an emergency, the plaintiff can go to the local police department for assistance. The plaintiff will then likely be interviewed by a member of court to be sure the allegations are legitimate. Following the interview, the plaintiff will have a hearing with the judge or other appointed court member and plead their case. When and if the judge is satisfied, a temporary restraining order (TRO) will be issued. It is important to note that the defendant can (and sometimes is) completely blindsided by this because it can all take place without notice to them. A final restraining order (FRO) hearing is then scheduled, which both the plaintiff and defendant must attend, which can finalize the restraining order. These final restraining order hearings are usually scheduled quickly after the temporary restraining order is issued. Because of this, it is essential to contact an experienced Monmouth County Restraining Order attorney for guidance quickly after the order is filed. Your attorney will likely need as much time as possible to prepare to challenge the order. Call Villani & DeLuca today for a free consultation if facing a restraining order.
What to do if facing a Restraining Order?
As you can see, restraining orders are not something to take lightly. They are restrictive, binding, and pack a powerful penalty. If you are facing a final restraining order hearing in Monmouth County, retain legal counsel immediately. At Villani & DeLuca, our attorneys have over 100 years combined experience. They are familiar with the local legal community and have handled many cases dealing with restraining orders. Whether you are challenging a violation of the restraining order or the issuance of the restraining order itself, call Villani & DeLuca at 732-965-3404 for a free consultation today.