How to Modify a Restraining Order in New Jersey

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Jul 18, 2023 | 0 Comments

Restraining orders can be a powerful tool for keeping victims of alleged abuse safe and out of dangerous situations. They are permanent court orders that are in effect indefinitely. However, life circumstances can change, and a restraining order's constraints might not fit how a petitioner's life—or a defendant's behavior—has changed. How can a restraining order be modified?

Who Can Modify a Restraining Order?

Either the petitioner—the person who asked for a restraining order—or the defendant—the person who must comply with the restraining order—can ask for the order to be modified. You will need to get a court order from a judge if you want to modify a restraining order. Keep in mind that until you obtain that court order, you must continue to follow the restraining order. Even if you have reconciled with the other party, both of you need to keep following the rules laid out in the restraining order—or you could face legal issues for violating it.

What Are Some Reasons to Modify a Restraining Order?

If you are asking a judge to reconsider or modify a restraining order, you will need to convince them that the restraining order is no longer necessary to protect the petitioner's safety and well-being. You'll need to show that the situation that made the restraining order possible has changed in a significant way, and the defendant is no longer a threat to the petitioner in the way they were before. When making the determination of whether to modify a restraining order, the judge is usually most concerned with the safety of the petitioner and will want to make sure that the defendant is no longer a threat to them.

What does this look like in real life? It could include situations where the defendant has gotten counseling or pursued treatment for mental health issues that made them a danger in the past, and now they are no longer a danger to the petitioner. Or maybe the defendant and the petitioner have reconciled their relationship, or the defendant is in ill health and is no longer a threat to the petitioner. In all of these cases, circumstances have significantly changed in a way that may mean the restraining order is no longer necessary.

How Can I Modify a Restraining Order?

To modify a restraining order, you will need to present a judge with information to convince them that the restraining order is no longer necessary. This is not always easy to do. If you are trying to make a case to modify a restraining order in New Jersey, contact Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm Team today. We can help you identify and present the facts of your case to convince a judge that the situation has changed and the restraining order is no longer warranted. Whether you are the defendant or the petitioner, we can advocate for you in the courtroom and help you get the results you want. Contact us online or call 888.535.3686 to set up a consultation.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in New Jersey and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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