Typically, when most people think of domestic violence, they think of physical abuse and restraining orders. Historically, this would have been a completely accurate point of view, and New Jersey’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (N.J.S.A. 2C:25-19) even lists eighteen different offenses which constitute domestic violence in New Jersey, with nearly all of them being physical acts of abuse like assault, false imprisonment, and harassment.
However, a New Jersey Court recently found that certain non-physical acts which interfere with an individual’s employment and economic circumstances also qualify as domestic violence, and as such allow for a restraining order to be filed against the perpetrator under New Jersey’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (PDVA).
The case in question concerns an estranged husband and wife, who are known by their initials (wife C.G. and husband E.G.). The plaintiff, wife C.G., planned to return to her former job as a waitress after recovering from a previous injury which had her collecting social security disability benefits. Upon learning of her plans to return to work, husband E.G. began sending his estranged wife emails, threatening to call her employer and get her fired if she went back to work. E.G. reportedly followed up on his threats, visiting C.G.’s place of employment, repeatedly calling C.G.’s employer and his wife, and telling the employer’s wife that E.G. and her boss were having an affair (with no evidence of this being true).
Non-Physical Acts of Domestic Violence Morris County Attorneys
When ruling on this case, judge Laurence Jones had to consider whether these non-physical acts by the husband qualified as Domestic Violence, and which specific PDVA offenses most applied in this case. Judge Jones found that acts of both Harassment and Coercion had been committed by the husband. Harassment in this case meant threatening the wife’s economic stability, which would be an obvious source of fear and anxiety, by visiting her place of employment and contacting the wife’s employer with, importantly, the intent to get her fired.
Judge Jones also found evidence of Coercion, which is defined in the PDVA as acts which either intend to expose a secret and cause harm to an individual, or acts which are intended to harm an individual, either physically or financially.
Finally, in his statement describing why he was issuing the restraining order against the husband, Judge Jones stated “There are arguably few threats more potentially harassing and coercive than threatening one’s livelihood and employment.”
Contact a Chatham Domestic Violence Attorney Today
At The Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, we have extensive experience successfully resolving domestic violence and restraining order cases of all kinds for clients across Chatham, Chester, Mendham, Morristown, and the greater Morris County area.
We have helped both clients who need relief from abusive relationships and situations, as well as clients who have been wrongfully accused of domestic violence by a third party. Whatever your unique circumstances may be, our firm has the legal knowledge, compassion, and focus on family law that you need to safely and favorably resolve any family law issue, including domestic violence and restraining orders. Whether your domestic violence issues stem from physical abuse or economic abuse, we are ready to help.
To speak with one of our experienced family law attorneys today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your case, please contact us online, or through our Morristown office at 973-828-0829.