Restraining Order Attorneys Morris County, NJ
Helping Clients with Temporary Restraining Orders in Chatham, Chester, Mendham, Morristown, and Morris County
New Jersey law protects victims of domestic violence, and emotional and verbal abuse, through protective orders commonly referred to as “Restraining Orders”. New Jersey restraining orders are sought, enacted, and enforced according to the terms outlined in the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act.
Parties who are seeking protection from domestic violence and abuse can do so by requesting a “Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)”. We will discuss the process for doing so in the section below, but one of the most important things to understand about temporary restraining orders is that there is a relatively low requirement for hard evidence substantiating the petitioning party’s claims of domestic violence and abuse. This can be beneficial for victims of abuse as they can fairly easily secure immediate legal protection, and only worry about providing proof of their allegations afterward in their Final Restraining Order hearing. However, this can also cause many parties to be falsely accused of domestic violence by angry or manipulative partners or relatives.
If you are in need of relief and protection from domestic violence or abuse, or have had a TRO filed against you and are in need of legal representation, the experienced and compassionate family law attorneys of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark are ready to begin helping you today. Contact our firm to discuss your unique situation, needs, and concerns regarding your temporary restraining order in a free and confidential consultation.
What Restrictions or Protections Can a Temporary Restraining Order Include?
Temporary Restraining Orders, like Final Restraining Orders, legally prevent one named person (the defendant) from contacting or coming within a certain distance of another named person (the plaintiff), and potentially also the family and relatives of the plaintiff as well. The defendant is also barred from going to the residence or place of employment of the plaintiff as well.
If the defendant lives in the same homes as the plaintiff, the defendant will be required to leave that home, and find a new place to reside as long as the TRO is in effect. This is true even if the defendant is the owner of that home. While this may seem extremely unfair if you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, and are now required to leave your home, you need to remember that there are very real cases of domestic violence, and this law greatly helps to protect abuse victims.
While TROs may protect victims of violence and abuse, it is important to remember that they will only last until the time of your Final Restraining Order hearing. As New Jersey courts recognize the necessity of providing protections to abuse victims, but also the restrictions that TROs can place on innocent parties, Final Restraining Order hearings are placed on an expedited legal track, and will almost always be held within 10 days of the granting of the initial TRO. For this reason, it is critical for either party involved in a TRO to quickly seek legal representation, as the expedited nature of a FRO hearing will not leave much time for your attorney to investigate your case, and present an effective and informed case for you.
How Do I Get a Temporary Restraining Order in Morris County?
In order to secure a Temporary Restraining Order against an abuser, you will need to file a complaint with the Family Part of the Chancery Division of the Superior Court. In layman’s terms, you need to go to your county courthouse, the county courthouse of the abuser’s residence, or the county courthouse of the municipality where the abuse occurred. For incidents of domestic violence and abuse in Chester, Chatham, Mendham, or Morristown, you will need to go to the Morris County courthouse.
Once there, you will need to provide identification, and also ideally (but not mandatory) information about your abuser such as their address, place of employment, phone numbers, license plate number or vehicle description, whether or not they possess a firearm, and if they have any history of drug abuse. The county clerk will then provide you with the various forms you will need to fill out, or you can fill them out prior to arriving to the courthouse by downloading them and printing them out. Remember, it is the clerk’s duty to provide you with the informs, but not to provide you with legal advice. For any concerns or issues, you may have regarding your Temporary Restraining Order, contact an experienced Morris County attorney.
**If your situation is an emergency situation, or is outside of normal hours of court operation, you can alternatively contact the police department by calling 911. The police can call an on-call judge at any time.**
Once a judge is presented with your request for a TRO, they will review your request, and if they believe that the TRO it is necessary to protect your life, health or well-being, they will schedule a Final Restraining Order hearing, and grant your TRO. The police will then serve your abuser with the complaint and the issued TRO, and inform them of the date set for their Final Restraining Order hearing. As previously mentioned, if you and your abuser are living together, the police will escort them from the premises. They may be able to return to collect important belongings, but only with a police escort.
Importantly, TROs are granted without the judge speaking with the accused party. This allows for an expedited process for abuse victims, but can also leave parties innocent of the alleged abuse in a very difficult situation. Fortunately, for reasons already discussed, the FRO hearing will be within 10 days of the initial TRO, so innocent parties will quickly be given the opportunity to defend themselves, even though they cannot during the actual granting of the TRO.
Restraining Order Violation Attorneys Morristown, NJ (N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9 (b))
Once a Temporary Restraining Order or Final Restraining Order has been issued, any unauthorized contact or violations of their terms will constitute a “contempt” offense as outlined in N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9 (b). Less severe violations of restraining orders will usually result in a disorderly persons offense, while more serious violations (such as an assault) will be considered a criminal offense, and as such handled in criminal court, rather than civil court.
Penalties and consequences for violating a restraining order will depend on the situation, the degree of the offense, the number of times the offender has previously violated a restraining order, and what kind of deal, if any, their attorney can help them to negotiate.
Contact Our Chatham Restraining Order Attorneys Today
At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have more than 75 years of combined legal experience when it comes to helping clients with family law matters of all kinds including domestic violence and restraining orders issues across Chatham, Chester, Mendham, Morristown, and the greater Morris County area.
Whether you are the victim of domestic violence or abuse, and are in need of legal protection, or you have been wrongly served with a Temporary Restraining Order, our attorneys are prepared to treat you with respect and compassion, and to help you successfully protect your health, as well as your legal and financial future.
Our firm is ready to discuss your unique needs and concerns when it comes to a Temporary Restraining Order, or your Final Restraining Order hearing, in a free and confidential consultation today. To schedule your consultation, please contact us online, or through our Morristown, NJ office at (973) 840-8970.