Temporary & Final Restraining Orders in NJ

NJ Restraining Order Lawyers

NJ Restraining Orders - The Basics

There are two types of restraining orders in New Jersey: temporary and final restraining orders. Under the New Jersey’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, a domestic violence victim may obtain a restraining order committed by the following:

  • a spouse, former spouse,
  • a present or former household member,
  • someone with whom they have had or are expecting a child,
  • or someone with whom they have had a dating relationship.

Important: Only an adult or an emancipated minor may obtain a restraining order.

There are 14 criminal offenses that qualify as grounds to obtain a restraining order under the law. Some of these include the following:

You may find an overview of the eligibility requirements for a restraining order at the New Jersey State Police website.

As New Jersey Domestic Violence lawyers, we present clients accused of domestic violence in Bergen County and the neighboring three counties, Essex, Hudson, & Passaic County. We also represent victims of domestic violence who wish to get a restraining order against their abuser.

NJ Temporary Restraining Orders

The first type of restraining order is a “temporary restraining order” (TRO). If you are a victim of domestic violence and need immediate protection from your abuser, you can request a temporary restraining order. If a judge finds that it is necessary to protect your life, health, or well-being, he/she will immediately issue a temporary restraining order. 

Your temporary restraining order will remain in effect until the day of the final restraining order hearing. Final restraining order hearings are generally scheduled within 10 days of getting your temporary restraining order.

There are times when you may not be able to appear before a judge to get your temporary restraining order against your abuser. In these situations, a judge can issue a TRO upon:

  • your sworn testimony or complaint;
  • or upon the sworn testimony or complaint of a person who represents you if you are physically or mentally incapable of filing personally.

But the judge must believe that there are urgent circumstances to excuse your failure to appear personally in court.

What to do if the courthouse is closed?
You can:

  • file at the municipal court (if it is open);
  • call 911 or your local police department.

There is an “on-call” municipal court judge who can issue you a TRO and schedule the court date for the final restraining order hearing. If a municipal judge denies you the TRO, you can re-file your petition in the Superior Court Family Division when the court reopens based on the same incident.

Standard of Proof To Determine A Final Restraining Order
At your final restraining order (FRO) hearing, the standard for proving the allegations in the complaint shall be by a preponderance of the evidence.
Not every allegation of domestic violence rises to the level required under NJ law for a finding of domestic violence. 

In some cases, the court has concluded that the defendant’s alleged conduct in placing a note on the plaintiff’s car asking to talk to her could not establish predicate crime for a finding of domestic violence. In this case, the court did not find that putting a note on the alleged victim’s car constituted harassment. As a result, the court did not issue a final restraining order.

In another case, the court did not find that the husband’s alleged conduct, during his separation from his wife, in blocking wife’s driveway for several minutes with his car when picking up children for a visit, giving wife vulgar hand gesture when picking up son for visit, calling wife obscene names, saying offensive things of ethnic and sexual nature about wife’s new boyfriend in child’s presence and kicking wife’s garbage can over when returning son home after visit did not constitute “harassment” or “domestic violence” warranting issuance of a restraining order under Prevention of Domestic Violence Act.

Types of Proof To Show A Final Restraining Order Is Necessary
In issuing a final restraining order, the court shall consider but not be limited to the following factors:
(1) The previous history of domestic violence between the plaintiff and defendant, including threats, harassment, and physical abuse;
(2) The existence of immediate danger to person or property;
(3) The financial circumstances of the plaintiff and defendant;
(4) The best interests of the victim and any child;
(5) In determining custody and parenting time the protection of the victim’s safety; and
(6) The existence of a verifiable order of protection from another jurisdiction.

The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (DVA) requires that acts claimed by the plaintiff to be domestic violence be evaluated in light of the previous history of violence between the parties. The judge is not obligated to find past history of abuse before determining that act of domestic violence has been committed. However, the court must at least consider that factor in the course of its analysis.

Under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (DVA), trial courts must weigh the entire relationship between the parties and must specifically set forth their findings of fact in that regard. Judges can make this determination by considering evidence of the defendant’s prior abusive acts, regardless of whether those acts have been subject to domestic violence adjudication.

 

NJ Final Restraining Order Consequences

If a final restraining order is entered against you the judge must grant any relief necessary to prevent further abuse.

A judge in a domestic violence proceeding may issue an order granting any or all of the following relief:

No Contact
(a) Restrain the defendant from subjecting the victim to domestic violence;
(b) Restrain the defendant from “entering the residence, property, school, or place of employment of the victim or of other family or household members of the victim and requiring the defendant to stay away from any specified place that is named in the order and is frequented regularly by the victim or other family or household members.”
(c) Restrain the defendant from making contact with the plaintiff or others, including an order forbidding the defendant from personally or through an agent initiating any communication likely to cause annoyance or alarm including, but not limited to, personal, written, or telephone contact with the victim or other family members, or their employers, employees, or fellow workers, or others with whom communication would be likely to cause annoyance or alarm to the victim.
(d) Prohibit the defendant from stalking or following, or threatening to harm, to stalk or to follow, the complainant or any other person named in the order in a manner that, taken in the context of past actions of the defendant, would put the complainant in reasonable fear that the defendant would cause the death or injury of the complainant or any other person.

Behavior prohibited under this act includes, but is not limited to, behavior prohibited under the provisions of [N.J.S.A. 2C:12–10.]

You may have to move out of your place of residence
(a) Exclusive Possession.
Granting exclusive possession to the plaintiff of the residence or household regardless of whether the residence or household is jointly or solely owned by the parties or jointly or solely leased by the parties. This order shall not in any manner affect title or interest to any real property held by either party or both jointly. If it is not possible for the victim to remain in the residence, the court may order the defendant to pay the victim’s rent at a residence other than the one previously shared by the parties if the defendant is found to have a duty to support the victim and the victim requires alternative housing.
(b) Payments of Housing Costs.
You may have to “make or continue to make rent or mortgage payments on the residence occupied by the victim if the defendant is found to have a duty to support the victim or other dependent household members; provided that this issue has not been resolved or is not being litigated between the parties in another action.”

Child Custody and Visitation
(a) Custody.
Award temporary custody of a minor child. “The court shall presume that the best interests of the child are served by an award of custody to the non-abusive parent.”
(b) Parenting Time.
Provide for parenting time.
The order shall protect the safety and well-being of the plaintiff and minor children and shall specify the place and frequency of the parenting time. Parenting time arrangements shall not compromise any other remedy provided by the court by requiring or encouraging contact between the plaintiff and defendant. Orders for parenting time may include a designation of a place of parenting time away from the plaintiff, the participation of a third party, or supervised parenting time.
(c) Suspend Parenting Time.
“The court shall consider suspension of the parenting time order and hold an emergency hearing upon an application made by the plaintiff certifying under oath that the defendant’s access to the child pursuant to the parenting time order has threatened the safety and well-being of the child.”

Compensation
You may have to pay the victim monetary compensation for losses suffered as a direct result of the act of domestic violence. The order may require the defendant to pay the victim directly, to reimburse the Violent Crimes Compensation Board for any and all compensation paid by the Violent Crimes Compensation Board directly to or on behalf of the victim, and may require that the defendant reimburse any parties that may have compensated the victim, as the court may determine.

Compensatory losses shall include, but not be limited to:

  • loss of earnings or other support, including child or spousal support,
  • out-of-pocket losses for injuries sustained,
  • cost of repair or replacement of real or personal property damaged or destroyed or taken by the defendant,
  • cost of counseling for the victim,
  • moving or other travel expenses,
  • reasonable attorney’s fees,
  • court costs, and compensation for pain and suffering. 

Personal Property
(a) Possession.
The judge may grant either party “temporary possession of the specified personal property, such as an automobile, checkbook, documentation of health insurance, an identification document, a key, and other personal effects.”
(b) Supervised Removal.
Require that “a law enforcement officer accompany either party to the residence or any shared business premises to supervise the removal of personal belongings in order to ensure the personal safety of the plaintiff when a restraining order has been issued. This order shall be restricted in duration.”


No Firearms
You will be prohibited from possessing any firearm or other weapon enumerated in subsection r. of N.J.S.A. 2C:39–1 and ordering the search for and seizure of any such weapon at any location where the judge has reasonable cause to believe the weapon is located.

 

Appealing A Final Restraining Order

If a final restraining order is entered against me, can I appeal the judges’ decision?

Yes, you have 45 days to appeal the judge’s decision.

Although appeals can be expensive, it’s definitely worth the money to try. If you feel that you didn’t get a fair trial or that certain evidence was irrelevant, an appeal is a way to go.
There are specific steps that must be taken to file an appeal of a final restraining order.
Please do not try to do this alone, get help!

NJ Final Restraining Orders Never Expire

Unlike other states, final restraining orders in NJ never expire. If a final restraining order is entered against you and you lose your appeal, then that final restraining order stays in place until there’s a change in circumstances.  This may be one of the following:

  1. The person whom once feared you (Domestic Violence victim) changes his/her mind and asks the court to remove or lift the Final Restraining Order; or
  2. You appeal the decision of the court that issued the FRO and win; or
  3. After plenty of time has passed, you file a motion asking the court to “vacate” or “undo” the original order.

Read more: Need To Remove A Final Restraining Order? Here’s How

Our Experience

You or a loved one need help getting a restraining order or defending against a restraining order. We are here to help. Understandably, you are terrified & have a lot of questions. You’ve heard about the process but feel completely overwhelmed. You want a local attorney near you to represent you.

Mr. Peyrouton is from Ridgewood & represents victims in obtaining a final restraining order against their abuse. He also represents alleged abusers in defending against domestic violence accusations in New Jersey In addition to be an attorney, he is also a published author. His publications are featured in the New Jersey Law Journal.

How We Can Help

Regardless of the situation you are in, we are here to defend & protect you. Whether you are facing a restraining order, drug charge, theft charge, or aggravated assault charge, we are here to help you. Even a DWI case can really complicate your life.

If we can’t get your charges dismissed, we can either get them downgraded or place you in a diversionary program. The point is, our criminal defense lawyers will fight tirelessly to get you the best result possible. Take advantage of our free consultation to see how we can help.

Our Practice Areas

Below, you will find a few of our practice areas.

Areas We Serve

Our Hackensack criminal lawyers represent clients in Bergen County & nearby counties & cities. 

Get Help With Your Case

How Do Your Free Consultations Work?

There are plenty of excellent Hackensack criminal lawyers in our area. Most, if not all of them, offer free, 20-minute, consultations. However, our free consultations do not have a time limit. You will never feel rushed.

The best way for us to help you is to patiently listen to your side of the story. Your version of events will serve as the basis for your legal defense. It is during these initial meetings that your memory of the event is fresh in your mind. Why we would rush you during such an important aspect of your case.

We understand that your choice of attorney could mean the difference between your freedom and spending years behind bars. 

When you hire an attorney, you are entering a long-term relationship. For this reason, it is important that you feel comfortable with the team of Hackensack criminal lawyers that will represent you.

What our clients say about us

Peyrouton Law
4.9
Based on 141 reviews
B J
B J
17:00 17 Feb 21
Crashnburn973
Crashnburn973
23:01 15 Feb 21
So far so good....no complaints here...Very good people
J O
J O
17:41 11 Feb 21
I recently got into some legal trouble and was in the need of an attorney fast. Choosing a good attorney, is step 1 in achieving a favorable outcome in any case. And thankfully I made the right choice in choosing Peyrouton Law. Allan and his team are great. They set my mind at ease and they were there with me every step of the way. Allan and Samera always made themselves available for any questions or concerns I had and worked very hard to get me the best possible outcome in my case. They were very affordable and their service far exceeded the price. Thank you Peyrouton Law!
Nikki Pergaminos
Nikki Pergaminos
22:33 10 Feb 21
Mr. Peyrouton has been my attorney for the last ten years. He is very knowledgeable and has always been accessible. I am proud to know him and have him as my lawyer.
Erin Marrero
Erin Marrero
19:54 10 Feb 21
Super Helpful!!A few months ago my husband and I received a BOGUS! speed ticket. Came here explaining our situation long story short ! The ticket was dismissed and I would definitely recommend to anyone seeking professional help.
MICHAEL ANZ
MICHAEL ANZ
01:44 10 Feb 21
Joy Alarcon
Joy Alarcon
01:39 10 Feb 21
Recently I had a need for a criminal attorney and I hired Peyrouton Law Firm. This was a very stressful situation for me to go through however the entire time I had great service and quick response from this law firm. I received exceptional service also from Samera of their legal team/ paralegal staff.She provided me with steps of the entire process and gave me information to put me at ease. Thankfully my issue is resolved now and I am recommending them to all of my friends and family.
johon cano
johon cano
01:10 10 Feb 21
I had got myself into some serious trouble with criminal charges and was going to lose my awesome job because you cant have a criminal conviction on your record at my job.First I went to some jersey city lawyer who treated me horribly and tried to scare me into paying an inflated fee! my mom was with me and he was even rude to her because she has an accent.We left his office and googled more lawyersWe got really lucky when we found Alan.The guy is so awesome!He fought for me at a third of the price of the other lawyer and I was able to keep my job.He's a gentleman fighter and I totally recommend him.
Madelyn Abdalla
Madelyn Abdalla
00:40 10 Feb 21
Last year was such a difficult year for all of us with the rise of Covid-19 and the pandemic. Most businesses and the Courts were closed for months! If you had a legal matter pending during that time...trying to speak to a live person at the Court to get information or questions answered was nearly impossible! So I finally decided to hire an attorney to help! Alan and Samera are such an amazing team. They took my case and started working on it from day one! They constantly corresponded with the Court through fax and email to stay on top of my case. They made several calls throughout the day and did not stop until someone picked up or called back with information on my case. They always kept me updated and were always so nice to me. My case was over a year old and nothing was being done. As soon as I hired Alan, it was closed within 3 months!!! I'm speechless. Thank you both for doing such great work and for being so diligent. And the result was the icing on the cake! God bless and stay safe.
RUBEN CERVA
RUBEN CERVA
00:03 10 Feb 21
Thank you Alan for saving the day...again! Lol From criminal cases to traffic tickets to immigration issues etc...you always come through for me! And you always get the best results! I wish you more and more success! You'll always have me as a client and as a referral!
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How We Can Help

Regardless of the criminal charges you are facing, we are here to defend & protect you. Whether you are facing a restraining order, drug charge, theft charge, or aggravated assault charge, we are here to help you. Even a DWI case can really complicate your life.

If we can’t get your charges dismissed, we can either get them downgraded or place you in a diversionary program. The point is, our criminal defense lawyers will fight tirelessly to get you the best result possible. Take advantage of our free consultation to see how we can help.

Our Experience

You or a loved one have been arrested. Understandably, you are terrified & have a lot of questions. You’ve heard about plea bargains & probation, but the process is overwhelming. You want a local attorney near you to represent you.

Mr. Peyrouton is from Ridgewood & handles all types of criminal matters in New Jersey The New Jersey Law Journal recently published one of his articles on the subject of criminal law.

Our Practice Areas

Below you will find some but not all of our practice areas. Of course, if you do not see your criminal charges listed, feel free to contact us for a free consultation. We will meet with you to discuss your case & to answer all of your legal concerns. Se habla español tambien!

Areas We Serve

Get Help With Your Case

How Do Your Free Consultations Work?

There are plenty of excellent Hackensack criminal lawyers in our area. Most, if not all of them, offer free, 20-minute, consultations. However, our free consultations do not have a time limit. You will never feel rushed.

The best way for us to help you is to patiently listen to your side of the story. Your version of events will serve as the basis for your legal defense. It is during these initial meetings that your memory of the event is fresh in your mind. Why we would rush you during such an important aspect of your case.

We understand that your choice of attorney could mean the difference between your freedom and spending years behind bars. 

When you hire an attorney, you are entering a long-term relationship. For this reason, it is important that you feel comfortable with the team of Hackensack criminal lawyers that will represent you.

What our clients say about us

Peyrouton Law
4.9
Based on 141 reviews
B J
B J
17:00 17 Feb 21
Crashnburn973
Crashnburn973
23:01 15 Feb 21
So far so good....no complaints here...Very good people
J O
J O
17:41 11 Feb 21
I recently got into some legal trouble and was in the need of an attorney fast. Choosing a good attorney, is step 1 in achieving a favorable outcome in any case. And thankfully I made the right choice in choosing Peyrouton Law. Allan and his team are great. They set my mind at ease and they were there with me every step of the way. Allan and Samera always made themselves available for any questions or concerns I had and worked very hard to get me the best possible outcome in my case. They were very affordable and their service far exceeded the price. Thank you Peyrouton Law!
Nikki Pergaminos
Nikki Pergaminos
22:33 10 Feb 21
Mr. Peyrouton has been my attorney for the last ten years. He is very knowledgeable and has always been accessible. I am proud to know him and have him as my lawyer.
Erin Marrero
Erin Marrero
19:54 10 Feb 21
Super Helpful!!A few months ago my husband and I received a BOGUS! speed ticket. Came here explaining our situation long story short ! The ticket was dismissed and I would definitely recommend to anyone seeking professional help.
MICHAEL ANZ
MICHAEL ANZ
01:44 10 Feb 21
Joy Alarcon
Joy Alarcon
01:39 10 Feb 21
Recently I had a need for a criminal attorney and I hired Peyrouton Law Firm. This was a very stressful situation for me to go through however the entire time I had great service and quick response from this law firm. I received exceptional service also from Samera of their legal team/ paralegal staff.She provided me with steps of the entire process and gave me information to put me at ease. Thankfully my issue is resolved now and I am recommending them to all of my friends and family.
johon cano
johon cano
01:10 10 Feb 21
I had got myself into some serious trouble with criminal charges and was going to lose my awesome job because you cant have a criminal conviction on your record at my job.First I went to some jersey city lawyer who treated me horribly and tried to scare me into paying an inflated fee! my mom was with me and he was even rude to her because she has an accent.We left his office and googled more lawyersWe got really lucky when we found Alan.The guy is so awesome!He fought for me at a third of the price of the other lawyer and I was able to keep my job.He's a gentleman fighter and I totally recommend him.
Madelyn Abdalla
Madelyn Abdalla
00:40 10 Feb 21
Last year was such a difficult year for all of us with the rise of Covid-19 and the pandemic. Most businesses and the Courts were closed for months! If you had a legal matter pending during that time...trying to speak to a live person at the Court to get information or questions answered was nearly impossible! So I finally decided to hire an attorney to help! Alan and Samera are such an amazing team. They took my case and started working on it from day one! They constantly corresponded with the Court through fax and email to stay on top of my case. They made several calls throughout the day and did not stop until someone picked up or called back with information on my case. They always kept me updated and were always so nice to me. My case was over a year old and nothing was being done. As soon as I hired Alan, it was closed within 3 months!!! I'm speechless. Thank you both for doing such great work and for being so diligent. And the result was the icing on the cake! God bless and stay safe.
RUBEN CERVA
RUBEN CERVA
00:03 10 Feb 21
Thank you Alan for saving the day...again! Lol From criminal cases to traffic tickets to immigration issues etc...you always come through for me! And you always get the best results! I wish you more and more success! You'll always have me as a client and as a referral!

A person extorts if he purposely threatens to:

a. Inflict bodily injury on or physically confine or restrain anyone or commit any other criminal offense;
b. Accuse anyone of an offense or cause charges of an offense to be instituted against any person;
c. Expose or publicize any secret or any asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or to impair his credit or business repute;
d. Take or withhold action as an official, or cause an official to take or withhold action;
e. Bring about or continue a strike, boycott or other collective action, if the property is not demanded or received for the benefit of the group in whose interest the actor purports to act;
f. Testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information with respect to another’s legal claim or defense; or
g. Inflict any other harm which would not substantially benefit the actor but which is calculated to materially harm another person.

***It is an affirmative defense to prosecution based on paragraphs b, c, d or f that the property obtained was honestly claimed as restitution or indemnification for harm done in the circumstances or as lawful compensation for property or services.

Reasonable Articulable Suspicion

Reasonable suspicion is a “search” standard that applies in criminal law.

When a police officer conducts a warrantless search, and does not have probable cause to justify the search, the courts look to see if the police had
a “reasonable & articulable suspicion” for the search.

A mere “hunch” is not enough.

In other words, a police officer has to provide an acceptable explanation for the search.

United States Constitution

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

NJSA - 2C:43-7.2.
Eligibility for parole;
persons convicted of certain violent crimes

a. A court imposing a sentence of incarceration for a crime of the first or second degree enumerated in subsection d. of this section shall fix a minimum term of 85% of the sentence imposed, during which the defendant shall not be eligible for parole.


b. The minimum term required by subsection a. of this section shall be fixed as a part of every sentence of incarceration imposed upon every conviction of a crime enumerated in subsection d. of this section, whether the sentence of incarceration is determined pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-6, N.J.S.2C:43-7, N.J.S.2C:11-3 or any other provision of law, and shall be calculated based upon the sentence of incarceration actually imposed. The provisions of subsection a. of this section shall not be construed or applied to reduce the time that must be served before eligibility for parole by an inmate sentenced to a mandatory minimum period of incarceration. Solely for the purpose of calculating the minimum term of parole ineligibility pursuant to subsection a. of this section, a sentence of life imprisonment shall be deemed to be 75 years.


c. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary and in addition to any other sentence imposed, a court imposing a minimum period of parole ineligibility of 85 percent of the sentence pursuant to this section shall also impose a five-year term of parole supervision if the defendant is being sentenced for a crime of the first degree, or a three-year term of parole supervision if the defendant is being sentenced for a crime of the second degree. The term of parole supervision shall commence upon the completion of the sentence of incarceration imposed by the court pursuant to subsection a. of this section unless the defendant is serving a sentence of incarceration for another crime at the time he completes the sentence of incarceration imposed pursuant to subsection a., in which case the term of parole supervision shall commence immediately upon the defendant’s release from incarceration. During the term of parole supervision the defendant shall remain in release status in the community in the legal custody of the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections and shall be supervised by the State Parole Board as if on parole and shall be subject to the provisions and conditions

Felony Degree

Prison & Fines

Examples

First-Degree

1st-degree felony charges in NJ are reserved for the most serious criminal offenses. Prison terms start at a minimum of 10 years in prison.

Second-Degree

2nd-degree felony charges carry 5-10 yrs in prison.
These charges can often be “downgraded” to 3rd or 4th-degree crimes.

Third-Degree

3rd-degree felony charges carry 3-5 years.
You have a good shot at PTI if you are charged with a 3rd-degree.

Fourth-Degree

4th-degree felony charges carry up to 18 months in jail. These cases can get “remanded” to a lower court. In this way, you will be out of “felony” danger.