Final Restraining Order Attorneys Morris County, NJ
Serving Clients across Chester, Chatham, Mendham, Morristown, and Morris County
When a Temporary Restraining Order is issued, along with the TRO the judge will also set a date for a Final Restraining Order hearing, usually within 10 days of the initial order. This hearing is critical to both parties involved, as it can provide a variety of legal and enforceable protections for victims of domestic violence and abuse, but also limit the rights and freedoms of the accused party.
Critically, Final Restraining Orders in New Jersey are permanent, and can only be revoked in the case that a dismissal is requested by either party and ultimately granted. However, this process can often be extremely difficult for both parties, so in most cases, if a Final Restraining Order is issued, expect it to last.
If you have been granted a Temporary Restraining Order against an abuser, or a TRO has been issued against you, it is highly recommended that you seek experienced legal representation before your Final Restraining Order hearing. As FRO’s tend to be permanent orders, with lifelong and serious implications for both parties, having an experienced restraining order attorney on your side during this process can help ensure your unique needs and concerns are properly taken into account during any FRO hearing.
At The Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our family law attorneys have extensive experience helping clients favorably resolve Final Restraining Order hearings across Morris County.
Contact our firm today to discuss your final restraining order hearing, or dismissing a final restraining order, in a free and confidential consultation.
Final Restraining Order Hearings
The standard of evidence is much higher during Final Restraining Order hearings than it is when the initial Temporary Restraining order is sought. As noted on our TRO page, the burden of proof for securing a TRO is designed to be much lower in order to allow victims of domestic violence and abuse to secure immediate protection without worrying about providing and proving hard evidence, or the trial process itself. However, within 10 days of the TRO being granted, an FRO hearing will be held, and hard proof of violence and abuse will be required in order to extend the TRO beyond this point in the form of an FRO.
In order for a judge to issue a FRO, they must find the following three things to be the case:
- The plaintiff and the defendant have a qualified domestic relationship according to the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act. This can include not only married partners, but people living together romantically or platonically (no romantic relationship), people who have previously had a romantic relationship but now live apart, or people who have a child in common.
- The accused party (the plaintiff), committed a predicate act of domestic violence, a list of which you can see here.
- There is an immediate need for legal restraints in order to prevent further acts of domestic violence.
During the FRO hearing, both parties may need to testify, witnesses and confidants will be interviewed, police and medical records examined, and any and all other relevant evidence will be presented and examined.
As this process often requires a great deal of examination and cross-examination of witnesses and testimony, it is highly recommended that you speak with our attorneys about legal representation during this process, as we have the experience, legal knowledge, and skills necessary to questioning, proving, and contesting evidence and testimony of all kinds during the FRO hearing process.
Morris County Final Restraining Order Protections and Consequences
FRO’s offer many of the same protections to the plaintiff that a TRO can provide, of course, the difference being that an FRO, once issued, is permanent in the state of New Jersey. Although the exact terms of your FRO may differ from those outlined in your initial TRO, the protections a Final Restraining Order can provide include:
- Prohibiting contact and harassment between the defendant and the plaintiff
- Prohibiting contact between the defendant (the accused party) and the family, children, or employer of the plaintiff
In addition to these protections, Final Restraining Orders may also require:
- The plaintiff to provide temporary financial support to the defendant, including rent or mortgage payments
- The plaintiff to reimburse the defendant for financial losses such as attorney’s fees
- The temporary possession by the plaintiff of private property such as a shared home or residence (meaning the defendant may be required to vacate a residence, even if they are the titled owner)
- A temporary or permanent modification to child visitation or child custody orders, including suspension of child visitation entirely
- The plaintiff to attend drug/alcohol counseling, or violence and anger management counseling
Finally, if an FRO is issued, the defendant will not be allowed to legally possess a firearm, and their name will be placed in the National Domestic Violence Registry, a database accessible by law enforcement agencies and Family Court personnel. In addition, the defendant may not be able to obtain employment in law enforcement or corrections and may have difficulty obtaining child custody or parenting time in any future divorce proceeding (be it with the plaintiff, or a spouse unrelated to the FRO).
Whether you are seeking protection from domestic violence and abuse, or have been accused of domestic violence and are facing a FRO trial, it is extremely important to retain experienced legal counsel during this process. Every situation is different and may require different protections, restrictions, modifications to child custody, and financial obligations.
As all of these issues are decided on a permanent basis during a FRO hearing, our attorneys understand just how critical a process this is for you, and we are prepared to provide you with effective, knowledgeable, and compassionate legal counsel in order to help you ensure the outcome that you need and deserve.
Dismissing a Final Restraining Order
While any Final Restraining Order which is issued in New Jersey is a permanent order, they can be vacated by either the victim or the aggressor, should certain requirements be met. However, this process and its requirements are extremely stringent, and dismissals of Final Restraining Orders are only granted after very careful consideration by a family law court.
In order for “the aggressor” to secure a dismissal of their FRO, they will need to demonstrate the following three elements:
- There is good cause for the order to be dismissed
- Demonstrate that the circumstances between the victim and the aggressor have changed significantly, in such a way that a restraining order is no longer necessary
- Provide the court with a transcript of the initial FRO court appearance.
It is also possible for the victim of domestic violence to dismiss a FRO which has been issued in order to protect them. Most likely, the victim will need to speak with a court official in order to determine whether this dismissal is being sought voluntarily or under duress by the aggressor, that the victim fully understands the consequences of removing the restraining order, and also that the victim understands that part of the domestic violence cycle is feeling guilty or responsible to the violent party. The victim will need to fill out and sign a “Certification to Dissolve a Restraining Order”, and finally speak with a judge explaining why you want to vacate your order.
Contact Our Mendham Final Restraining Order Attorneys Today
At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience handling domestic violence matters, including providing experienced and effective representation to clients during any Final Restraining Order hearing.
By practicing exclusively family law, our firm can focus on the issues most important to you and your family. We are intimately familiar with the Final Restraining Order hearing process, and as such we are prepared to thoroughly investigate your unique situation, ensure that evidence and testimony are presented, and questioned, in a clear and compelling manner, and that you secure the outcome you need and deserve during the FRO process.