In New Jersey, there are different types of protective orders that alleged victims of certain crimes can get from a court. The most common type of protective order is a restraining order, which is typically obtained after a conflict in court. Another type of protective order is called a civil restraints order. This type of order can be obtained if the parties want to try to resolve things more peacefully.
When people are considering a civil restraints order, they sit down and decide what kinds of protections should be put in place and included in the order. A restraining order is not decided this way; the judge decides if a restraining order should be granted, and the terms of the restraining order are decided by the judge. It is important that any negotiations and document drafting should be completed by a licensed attorney. If you are facing a potential restraining order against you, then make sure that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.
What Is a Civil Restraints Order?
A civil restraints order is court-ordered protection that the court can enter like a restraining order. This type of order is reached through negotiation and a settlement between the petitioner and the defendant. The judge in these situations is tasked with ensuring that any resolution between the parties is reasonable and does not leave out any important details. Once the judge is satisfied with a proposed civil restraints order agreement, he or she will sign and enter the civil restraints order.
When a judge presides over a restraining order case, he or she has to decide what happened between the parties and if the court should issue a restraining order for the petitioner. This is usually done by listening to testimony at a final restraining order hearing and making a final decision after reviewing evidence and legal arguments that the petitioner and defendant present. If the parties decide to seek a civil restraints order in lieu of a restraining order, then the judge will not need to hold a final restraining order hearing nor make any decisions regarding a final restraining order. This is because a successfully negotiated civil restraints order will result in the cancelation of any upcoming final restraining order hearings.
Civil restraints orders and restraining orders are two types of court orders that offer protection. The difference between these two types of orders is in how they are enforced. If someone accused of violating a restraining order is guilty, they will be charged with a crime.
If someone is accused of violating a civil restraints order, the typical punishment is something that is civil in nature. This might mean fines or some other measure that the court decides is appropriate. The police generally don't get involved in alleged violations of civil restraints orders unless a crime was committed.
Provisions of an Atlantic County Civil Restraints Order
If a petitioner seeks a civil restraints order in Atlantic County, then the protections can reflect what is typically found in a restraining order, which includes:
- No-contact orders against the defendant
- Partial contact orders allowing contact through text message or email
- Partial contact orders that are related to child custody
- A prohibition of assaultive or abusive conduct against the petitioner
- A prohibition of harassing conduct against the petitioner
A limitless set of other provisions can be included in a civil restraints order. The included provisions will depend on the facts and circumstances of the case. All court-related negotiations and document drafting should be handled by an experienced attorney to avoid any potential violations of existing court orders or state law.
When Can A Civil Restraints Order Be Entered?
A civil restraints order is not always available and can only be discussed at specific times. Domestic court proceedings, such as divorce or restraining order cases, is the typical time where a civil restraints order can be discussed and agreed to. Generally, a temporary restraining order must be issued in a restraining order case before a civil restraints order can be explored.
Restraining orders will be not be authorized without a petition filed with the court that details the relationship between the parties involved and the specific allegations that give rise to court-ordered protection. Once a restraining order petition is filed by an alleged victim, the judge will conduct a hearing with the petitioner to have specific questions answered regarding the situation and determine if a temporary restraining order should be issued. A final restraining order hearing will be set within ten days of the temporary order to decide if the temporary order should become a final restraining order which is permanent.
Usually, the ten-day period before a final restraining order hearing is when a petitioner and defendant can negotiate a civil restraints order. If they can agree on protections in a civil restraints order, then the parties can avoid taking part in a final restraining order hearing, and it will be canceled.
Advantages of a Civil Restraints Order Over a Restraining Order
There are several advantages that exist for both petitioner and defendant when seeking a civil restraints order instead of a restraining order. Some advantages that a petitioner can realize when seeking a civil restraints order over a restraining order include:
- Guaranteed court-ordered protection
- Preventing any final restraining order hearings from taking place
- The ability to dictate the protection terms sought
This is a partial list of advantages over a restraining order that are available to the petitioner in a civil restraints order case. Some advantages that a defendant can realize when seeking a civil restraints order over a restraining order include:
- Having a stronger voice regarding protection terms
- Avoiding any final restraining order hearings and restraining orders
- Avoiding the police for any alleged violations
- Avoiding any employment and professional licensing problems
If the petitioner and defendant decide to explore whether an agreement for civil restraints orders can be reached, then the court will stop any final restraining order hearings until terms are agreed upon. If the petitioner and defendant can agree on the necessary provisions of a civil restraints order, then an agreement will be drafted and submitted to the court. The judge will approve it and sign the order if it is deemed sufficient.
What Happens if Someone Violates a Civil Restraints Order?
If someone who is restrained by a civil restraints order violates any of its provisions, then he or she will probably face a civil sanction. This is different from the punishment a defendant might face if he or she violates a provision while restrained by a restraining order. If someone who is restrained by a criminal order violates a provision, then he or she faces punishment, including jail time and/or a fine due to a criminal contempt charge. A criminal contempt conviction can result in up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Where Can I File a Civil Restraints Order in Atlantic County?
A civil restraints order must be submitted to the local county Superior Court. All civil restraints orders in Atlantic County must be filed with the Atlantic County Superior Court.
The Atlantic County Superior Court is located at:
413 Second St
P.O Box 900
Belvidere, NJ 07823
The Court is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Monday-Friday.
If you are being summoned to court because of a potential restraining order against you, then it is critical to have an experienced lawyer help you. Trying to handle a restraining order case on your own can be dangerous as you might unintentionally violate existing protective orders that a judge has issued.
Can I Have a Civil Restraints Order Canceled?
Yes, a civil restraints order can be canceled by agreement, similar to how it was initially authorized by an agreement. The petitioner and defendant may find that over time their positions and needs have changed. It is important to note that the petitioner and defendant cannot unilaterally determine whether a civil restraints order can be canceled. The judge will make the final call whether to cancel an existing civil restraints order after deciding if it is safe to do so. If you have legal questions, then call us at the Lento Law Firm today!
Contact the Lento Law Firm Today
If you have questions about civil restraints orders in Atlantic County, then make sure that you speak to an experienced attorney immediately. It is important to understand what the Atlantic County Superior Court is seeking when determining whether to grant a civil restraints order. The attorneys at the Lento Law Firm have the experience and ability to put you in the best position for success regardless of your situation. To learn why the Lento Law Firm is the right choice, call us toll-free at 888-535-3686 or contact us online.