There are different types of protective orders that people in New Jersey can get from a court. The most common type is a restraining order, which people can get after there is 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 in a more peaceful way.
When the parties in a case are considering a civil restraints order, they will decide what kinds of protections should be put in place. A restraining order, on the other hand, is decided by a judge. The judge in a restraining order case decides if it should be granted and what its terms should be. Any negotiations or document drafting should be done by a licensed attorney. If you are facing a restraining order petition against you, then make sure that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.
What Is a Civil Restraints Order?
A civil restraints order is a type of restraining order that the court orders to protect someone that is similar to a restraining order. A civil restraints order is made through negotiations and a settlement between the petitioner and the defendant. The judge makes sure that any agreement is reasonable and includes all important details. After the judge approves, he or she will sign and enter the civil restraints order.
In a restraining order case, the judge has to decide what happened between the parties and if the court should issue a restraining order for the petitioner. This is usually accomplished by conducting a final restraining order hearing and making a final decision after reviewing evidence and legal arguments that the petitioner and defendant present during the hearing. If the parties decide to seek a civil restraints order instead of a restraining order, then the judge will not need to hold a final restraining order hearing nor make any decisions regarding the issuance of a final restraining order or its provisions. A successfully negotiated civil restraints order will prompt the judge to cancel any upcoming final restraining order hearings.
Civil restraints orders and restraining orders both offer protection from the court with specific orders. The main difference between civil restraints orders and restraining orders is how they are enforced. If someone is accused of violating a restraining order provision, then he or she will be charged with a crime.
Most alleged violations of a civil restraints order typically result in a punishment that is civil in nature. This can mean that the judge will issue a fine or some other penalty that the court finds is appropriate. The police generally do not get called when there are alleged violations of civil restraints orders unless a crime was committed.
Provisions of a Cape May County Civil Restraints Order
If a petitioner seeks a civil restraints order in Cape May County, then the protections can imitate what is typically found in a restraining order, which includes:
- The defendant is ordered to have no contact with the petitioner
- The parties being allowed partial contact through text message or email
- The parties being allowed contact that is only related to child custody
- The defendant being banned from committing assaultive or abusive conduct against the petitioner
- The defendant being banned from committing harassing conduct against the petitioner
Many other provisions can be included in a civil restraints order as deemed necessary. The provisions of a civil restraints order will depend on the facts and circumstances of a given case. All civil restraints order negotiations and agreement drafting should be conducted by an experienced attorney to avoid any prospective violations of standing court orders or state law.
When Can A Civil Restraints Order Be Entered?
A civil restraints order is not always an option and is only available during certain times. Domestic court proceedings, such as divorce or restraining order cases, is when a civil restraints order can typically be discussed and agreed to. Generally, a court must grant a temporary restraining order in a restraining order case before a civil restraints order can be discussed.
If a petitioner seeks a restraining order, then he or she has to file a petition with the court. This petition will tell the story of the relationship with the other person and why the petitioner needs protection from the other person. After a petitioner files the required petition, there will be a hearing held where the judge will ask the petitioner questions about what has happened. If the judge thinks it is necessary to immediately protect the petitioner from the defendant, then he or she can issue a temporary restraining order. There will be a full hearing to decide whether protections should become permanent within ten days of the granting of the temporary restraining order.
The petitioner and defendant can usually negotiate a civil restraints order in the ten-day period before a final restraining order hearing. If they can agree on protections, the parties can avoid taking part in a final restraining order hearing, and the hearing will be canceled by the court.
Advantages of a Civil Restraints Order Over a Restraining Order
Many advantages can be realized for both petitioner and defendant when exploring a civil restraints order in lieu of a restraining order. Common petitioner advantages for a civil restraints order include:
- Guaranteed protective orders
- The cancelation of any final restraining order hearings
- The authority to negotiate the protection terms desired
On the flip side, the defendant can also realize many advantages. Common defendant advantages for a civil restraints order include:
- Having more authority regarding protection terms
- The cancelation of any final restraining order hearings
- Avoiding police involvement for any alleged civil restraints order violations
- Avoiding potential employment and professional licensing problems that can accompany a restraining order
If the petitioner and defendant want to try to agree on a civil restraints order, then the court will pause any final restraining order hearings until the parties come to an agreement. If parties can agree on what is needed in a civil restraints order, then they will write it down in an agreement and submit it to the court. The judge will approve it if it appears sufficient.
What Happens if Someone Violates a Civil Restraints Order?
If someone is restrained by a civil restraints order and violates any of its provisions, then it is common to receive a civil sanction. This is different from the typical punishment that a defendant faces if there is an alleged violation of a provision while restrained by a restraining order. If someone who is restrained by a restraining order violates one of its provisions, then criminal punishment usually follows. This includes potential 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/or up to $1,000 in fines.
Where Can I File a Civil Restraints Order in Cape May County?
A civil restraints order must be presented to the local county Superior Court. All civil restraints orders in Cape May County must be filed with the Cape May County Superior Court.
The Cape May County Superior Court is located at:
9 N. Main St.
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
The Court is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Monday-Friday.
If you are facing a possible restraining order against you, then it is very important to have a lawyer who knows what they are doing to help you. Trying to handle a restraining order case on your own can be dangerous, as doing so can accidentally violate any existing court orders.
Can I Have a Civil Restraints Order Canceled?
Yes, a civil restraints order can be canceled if both the petitioner and defendant agree to it. This is similar to how the order was originally authorized. The petitioner and defendant may find that their positions and desires have changed as time has passed. However, it is important to note that the petitioner and defendant cannot unilaterally decide whether a civil restraints order can be canceled. The judge will make a decision after determining whether it is safe. 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 Cape May County, then make sure that you speak to an experienced attorney. It is important to understand what the Cape May 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. To learn why the Lento Law Firm is the right choice, call us toll-free at 888-535-3686 or contact us online.