Restraining Order (RO) law in New Jersey is pretty specific as to who can seek and obtain a restraining order. In many cases, those who are interested in seeking an RO are not able to as they don't qualify under state law. If you are a neighbor of someone seeking an RO, then you have legal options; make sure you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
The Law on Neighbors and Restraining Orders
In New Jersey, there are three types of victims that can seek an RO: victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. If someone wants to get an RO against their neighbor, then they must have had a prior intimate relationship, been sexually assaulted, or been stalked by that person. If you have been served with an RO, then it is important to act quickly. The first RO that is granted is a temporary one that allows ten days before a hearing takes place to determine if a final RO should be granted.
Among many factors, a judge will consider whether the defendant in the case is a proper defendant for a restraining order. If the petitioner is simply a neighbor without a valid claim for domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, then the petitioner should not be granted a final RO. In this case, the petitioner's main legal avenue is to seek criminal charges for any alleged criminal conduct by the defendant. The following is an example of where a criminal case can be sought but not an RO.
An Example Case in New Jersey
A man in New Jersey has been arrested for allegedly breaking into his elderly neighbors' home, assaulting them, and stealing their car. He initially evaded police but was taken into custody in Millville, NJ. While the man's mother has an active restraining order against her son, the neighbors were not under that protection. Criminal charges are pending against the man.
Even if all of these allegations are true, the elderly neighbors' main option to prevent contact with this man is through criminal charges. They are not eligible to get an RO as victims of domestic violence or sexual assault unless that was alleged. If they have prior issues with the man stalking them, then they may be able to obtain an RO under that circumstance. If you have legal questions about an RO, then call us so we can help!
Why Hiring the Lento Law is the Right Choice
If you have been served with an RO, then it is important to speak to an experienced attorney immediately. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped countless people across New Jersey fight their restraining order cases. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to learn why hiring Lento Law is the right choice to help you.