Bergen County, New Jersey Civil Restraints Attorney
In New Jersey, protective orders authorized by a court can be obtained in a few different ways. In many cases, restraining orders are sought by alleged victims of assault or abuse. In others, civil restraints accomplish what the petitioner desires but are done so in a less combative way. Civil restraints are negotiated by both sides, similar to how a contract gets agreed upon. This option is more diplomatic than the typical restraining order process and might be what you need to resolve your issues. Once the terms of a civil restraints order are agreed upon, it will then be presented to the court for approval and entry. If you are facing a restraining order petition, then it is important to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney to understand your options.
What Is a Civil Restraints Order?
A civil restraints order is essentially an agreed-upon restraining order. It is negotiated like a contract but has the authority of a restraining order that is typically awarded by a judge. When a civil restraints order is negotiated, the judge that is presiding over the case does not oversee or control the negotiation in any way. Once specific measures are agreed to, they are put into an agreement and presented to the judge for approval and entry. The judge's role in a civil restraints order is to ensure that the agreement made is reasonable and acceptable to the court.
When a restraining order case makes it to the final hearing, the role of the judge is to determine fact and determine the appropriate measures going forward. Testimony is heard from both sides, and the judge is left to make a decision about what is reasonable to ensure the safety of the petitioner if a restraining order is ultimately authorized. In a civil restraints order case, no testimony is taken, and the judge is relieved of these duties.
One key difference between restraining orders and civil restraints orders is the sanctions for any violations. If a defendant violates a civil restraining order, then the sanction is typically a civil matter. If a defendant violates a restraining order, then the sanction is typically a criminal matter. While both types of orders offer the same level of protection and authority, this difference can be important in deciding what the most desired approach should be.
Provisions of a Bergen County Civil Restraints Order
Restraining orders and civil restraints orders in Bergen County can both contain similar provisions, including:
- No contact orders
- Specific contact orders limiting contact through text message or email
- Specific contact orders related to child custody
- Orders against assaultive conduct, abusive conduct, or harassment
The parties involved are the ones that decide what specific provisions are entered into a civil restraints order. This will require representation on both sides as the defendant should not directly speak to the petitioner if a civil restraints order is desired. Make sure you have an attorney's help to determine if a civil restraints order is a possibility.
When Can A Civil Restraints Order Be Entered?
There are specific times when a civil restraints order can be negotiated and entered. Generally, one can be entered during a divorce or other domestic proceeding, such as a restraining order. Typically, one cannot be negotiated until after a temporary restraining order (TRO) has already been authorized by a judge.
TROs can be easily obtained by a petitioner as the law exists to protect those who allege harm at the hands of another. TRO hearings are conducted without the defendant being present and only include the judge and the petitioner. The defendant is notified of the TRO after it has been authorized, and a hearing date is set within ten days. This hearing will allow the judge to determine whether a final restraining order should be granted and what it should contain. Civil restraints orders must be negotiated and entered before a final hearing occurs. If the final hearing takes place and the judge grants a final restraining order, then it is too late to seek a civil restraining order.
Advantages a Civil Restraints Order Has Over a Restraining Order
There are several reasons why a party might prefer a civil restraints order over a restraining order. In restraining order cases, the petitioner is the person who is asking for court protection, and the defendant is the person they are asking for protection from. The petitioner must agree to a civil restraints agreement before it will be accepted by the court. Reasons why a petitioner might prefer a civil restraints order include:
- The petitioner will get court protection as desired
- The petitioner can avoid participating in a final restraining order hearing
- The petitioner will have authority over specific terms of any civil restraints order
These are just some of the reasons why a petitioner might prefer a civil restraints order over a final restraining order (FRO). Reasons why a defendant might prefer a civil restraints order include:
- Having some control over the final outcome
- The defendant can avoid participating in a final restraining order hearing
- The defendant can avoid a final restraining order entry
- The defendant can avoid police involvement for alleged violations
- The defendant can avoid professional job and licensing issues that can occur when a final restraining order is entered
A civil restraints order can be a good way to stop someone from getting a restraining order against you. Both parties have to agree on what the order will say before it is presented to the judge for approval and entry. The court is not required to accept the agreement, so make sure both parties agree on everything before asking a judge to accept a civil restraints order.
What Happens if Someone Violates a Civil Restraints Order?
A civil restraints order is a type of civil action in New Jersey. A restraining order is also a type of civil action, but there are big differences between the two types of orders. If someone violates a provision in a civil restraints order, then the petitioner can ask the judge to punish the violator or enforce the order in some way. Usually, breaking a rule in a civil restraints order doesn't lead to jail time.
If you violate a restraining order, you can be charged with criminal contempt. This is a crime that can lead to up to 180 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. If you violate a civil restraints order, then the police may get involved if the violation is also the basis for a restraining order or criminal charges.
Where Can I File a Civil Restraints Order in Bergen County?
A civil restraints order agreement must be filed in the county where the temporary restraining order (TRO) petition was filed. If the petition was filed in Bergen County, then a civil restraints order must be filed with the Bergen County Superior Court. If a FRO hearing is scheduled, then it will be canceled once a civil restraints order is filed.
The Bergen County Superior Court is located at:
10 Main St
Hackensack, NJ 07601
The Court is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Monday-Friday.
It is essential that you have an attorney's help related to a restraining order issue or for negotiating a civil restraints order. Trying to handle a restraining order or civil restraints order case on your own can lead to a TRO violation.
Can I Have a Civil Restraints Order Canceled?
Yes, a civil restraints order can be canceled if the parties and the judge agree to it. The provisions of a civil restraints order are not enforceable once the order is canceled by a judge. Remember that civil restraints orders are negotiated protection where the petitioner and defendant agreed on the provisions. This means that the parties involved had more control over what happened than if a restraining order was made by a judge. A restraining order is an order made by a judge based on their determination of what occurred and what the judge believes is appropriate. The petitioner and defendant may have positions or priorities that change over time, so a civil restraints order might be preferred. If you have questions, then call us at The Lento Law Firm!
Contact the Lento Law Firm Today
If you have questions about civil restraints orders in New Jersey, then it is important that you ask an experienced attorney. It is essential to know what the Bergen 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 skills that are necessary to help put you in the best position for success. To learn why the Lento Law Firm is the right choice, call us toll-free at 888-535-3686 or contact us online.