Under current New Jersey law, restraining orders are only granted in cases that involve a personal or intimate relationship unless there is a criminal conviction. A person who is being threatened can petition for a restraining order against their spouse or domestic partner, but not against a neighbor or stranger. This is known as the “stranger loophole.” However, that could soon change.
A bill before the New Jersey Senate judiciary committee aims to make it easier to obtain a restraining order. This bill would close the loophole, allowing citizens to petition for a restraining order against anyone, regardless of relationship, and without a criminal conviction. You could be faced with a restraining order by someone you don't even know, without any criminal charges being filed. Whether there is merit to the petition for the restraining order or not, you would still suffer by having to face this situation and get it resolved.
What Does This Mean for You?
The risk of expanding this bill is that it creates opportunities for abuse. With the removal of existing criteria, the grounds for requesting a restraining order would be much more open. Essentially, anyone could request a restraining order against you. It could potentially open the floodgates for a wave of new restraining order cases.
A restraining order against you can be a serious threat to your reputation, your employment, your financial stability, and your future. Even if the restraining order is not granted, the process interrupts your life, calls your character into question, and costs you money. Unfortunately, there are many collateral consequences that come along with a restraining order. This is why it is so important that you retain an experienced attorney immediately. Attorney Joseph D. Lento is an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney, and he knows how to protect you and your livelihood from a restraining order case.
What Does This Mean for the Judicial System?
If you currently have a restraining order against you, this bill could affect you, as well. Court systems are already overwhelmed with cases. A new influx of restraining order cases could cripple the system, creating long delays and forcing parties to wait for extensive periods of time to have their cases heard. This ordeal you are facing could take even longer to be resolved.
A restraining order can have a lasting negative effect on your life. It can interfere with your relationships, your job, and much more. The best way to handle this is to get Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team on your side to guide you through this process and protect you.