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When Does A Final Restraining Order Expire?

When does a Final Restraining Order expire in the State of New Jersey? The answer is simple: It NEVER expires. A Final Restraining Order entered in the State of New Jersey is permanent. Under limited circumstances a party can seek that a Final Restraining Order be dissolved. Pursuant to Carfagno v. Carfagno, 288 N.J. Super 424 (1995), the Court will consider the following factors in determining if a Final Restraining Order should be dissolved:

     (1) whether the victim consented to lift the restraining order;

     (2) whether the victim fears the defendant;

     (3) the nature of the relationship between the parties today;

     (4) the number of times that the defendant has been convicted of contempt for violating the order;

     (5) whether the defendant has a continuing involvement with drug or alcohol abuse;

     (6) whether the defendant has been involved in other violent acts with other persons;

     (7) whether the defendant has engaged in counseling;

     (8) the age and health of the defendant;

     (9) whether the victim is acting in good faith when opposing the defendant's request;

     (10) whether another jurisdiction has entered a restraining order protecting the victim from the defendant; and

     (11) other factors deemed relevant by the court.

      Id. at 435.

Upon a motion from a party, the Court can hold a hearing to determine if the Final Restraining Order should be dissolved. The victim would be afforded the opportunity to testify and inform the Court of whether or not he/she objects to the dissolution. Without a motion being made to the Court to dissolve a Final Restraining Order, the Order will remain active indefinitely.

Posted by: Keri L. Greene

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