Hudson County, New Jersey Civil Restraints Attorney
If you live in New Jersey, then it is important to know about the different types of protective orders that are offered to alleged victims by the state's courts. The powers and types of protection that these orders can offer are similar in some ways, but different in others. Restraining orders are commonly sought by alleged victims of assault or abuse, but another more diplomatic approach exists, a civil restraints order.
A civil restraints order takes the case out of the courtroom and places it at the negotiating table where both the petitioner and defendant can mutually agree on appropriate protection order terms that the court will enforce. Restraining order cases are decided in the courtroom after the judge hears testimony and arguments about why a restraining order should or should not be granted. A civil restraints order skips that process and allows the parties to work it out on their own with the assistance of counsel. If you are facing a restraining order, then make sure that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.
What Is a Civil Restraints Order?
A civil restraints order can best be described as a type of restraining order contract. When a civil restraints order is discussed, the presiding judge does not supervise or control negotiations. Once parties are able to agree on terms and outline their agreement in proposed form, they must present this document to the court for acceptance and entry. The judge's main purpose in a civil restraints order can is to ensure that the agreed-upon measures are appropriate and the agreement is complete.
In restraining order cases, the judge is tasked with determining what happened between parties and whether to grant protection through court orders. The party seeking this type of protective order must show that the defendant committed the acts as described and that continued protection is necessary. The petitioner (the main person that judges are looking to protect) will give testimony about the defendant's alleged acts with other witnesses if there are any to help the judge determine what happened and if a restraining order should be authorized. When a case is resolved through civil restraints orders, the court hearing described above never happens, and an agreement is made between parties on protection going forward.
Restraining orders and civil restraints orders both offer protection against unwanted contact and assault, but there are significant differences in how they're enforced. When an alleged violation occurs on a restraining order, it is treated very seriously. Restraining order violators can face criminal charges even if there was no crime committed. The violation of a restraining order itself is a crime. When an alleged violation occurs on a civil restraints order, it is viewed as a breach of contract and typically results in civil measures of enforcement by the court.
Provisions of a Hudson County Civil Restraints Order
Restraining orders and civil restraints orders in Hudson County both offer significant protection from the court, which includes:
- No contact orders
- Orders allowing limited contact through text message or email
- Orders allowing limited contact related to child custody
- Orders against any assaultive conduct
- Orders against abusive conduct
- Orders against harassment
The parties involved in a civil restraints case will discuss and determine what measures are necessary for an agreement through their respective legal counsel. It is strongly advised to avoid attempting to handle this on your own, as attempting contact with the petitioner can result in a violation of an existing protective order.
When Can A Civil Restraints Order Be Entered?
In many cases, a civil restraints order can be entered during a divorce or domestic court proceeding, such as a restraining order petition. If parties are interested in negotiating and entering a civil restraints order during a restraining order proceeding, then they can only do so after a temporary restraining order (TRO) is authorized by the court.
When an alleged victim seeks a temporary restraining order, he or she must file a detailed petition with the court and attend a hearing with the judge, who will determine if immediate protection is needed. If the judge determines protection is needed, then a temporary restraining order will be issued, and a date for a final restraining order hearing will be set. This hearing typically takes place within ten days and determines if the temporary protections should continue permanently. If a civil restraining order is desired by the parties, then the period before the final restraining order hearing is when negotiations and agreements can take place. If a final restraining order hearing has happened, then it is too late for a civil restraints order.
Advantages of a Civil Restraints Order Over a Restraining Order
There are some key differences between a civil restraints order and a restraining order. Both the petitioner and defendant can find several advantages in negotiating a civil restraints order over going through the restraining order process. A petitioner can find many advantages, including:
- Guaranteed protective orders
- The ability to avoid the stress of a final restraining order hearing
- The ability to choose what terms are desirable
These are just some of the reasons why a petitioner might choose a civil restraints order over a restraining order. A defendant can find many advantages in a civil restraints order as well, including:
- The ability to negotiate terms
- The ability to avoid the stress of a final restraining order hearing
- The ability to avoid a restraining order altogether
- The ability to avoid law enforcement if there are alleged violations
- The ability to avoid employment and professional issues that can arise from a restraining order
If you want to stop restraining order proceedings, then starting a civil restraints order negotiation can be a good way to accomplish that. Both the petitioner and defendant must agree on all terms before a court will accept and enter the agreement for enforcement. If the court doesn't think the agreement is reasonable or complete, it won't accept it.
What Happens if Someone Violates a Civil Restraints Order?
If someone violates a civil restraints order, then the typical penalties are civil and not criminal in nature. This differs from a restraining order as restraining order violations typically result in criminal charges and prosecution. If a violation of a civil restraints order is a criminal offense, then it can be the basis for separate criminal charges unrelated to the civil restraints order violation. Restraining order violations can lead to criminal contempt charges. A conviction for criminal contempt can result in up to 180 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
Where Can I File a Civil Restraints Order in Hudson County?
If a temporary restraining order has been filed already, then a civil restraints order must be filed in the same court. If a temporary restraining order is sought in Hudson County, then a civil restraints order must be filed with the Hudson County Superior Court. Any previously scheduled final restraining order hearings will be canceled once a civil restraints order is filed.
The Hudson County Superior Court is located at:
595 Newark Ave
Jersey City, NJ 07306
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 violation of an existing temporary restraining order.
Can I Have a Civil Restraints Order Canceled?
Yes, just as a civil restraints order occurs after an agreement by the petitioner and defendant, they can be the driving force behind canceling the orders. Both the petitioner and defendant can decide that their needs have changed, and a civil restraints order allows them to seek cancelation of existing orders through a request to the court.
A civil restraints order can be canceled only with the judge's approval and cannot be canceled solely by the parties agreeing to cancel. If the judge does not agree to the cancelation of a civil restraints order, then it will stay in effect until the judge is satisfied that cancelation is appropriate. 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 Hudson 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 necessary 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.