Family and intimate partner violence is a nationwide problem, and New Jersey is no exception. As a result, our legislature took action decades ago to protect the victims of domestic violence. The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991 helps protect victims and their families by applying for restraining orders through the New Jersey courts. See N.J. Stat. §§ 2C:25-17 - 25-35 (1991).
Under New Jersey law, the court can issue temporary (TRO) and final restraining orders (FRO). Final restraining orders are permanent in New Jersey. But if a court issues a restraining order against you or you face a criminal charge for domestic violence, it can affect your ability to hold many professional licenses in our state. That's why you should consult an experienced restraining order attorney as soon as you receive notice of a restraining order application pending against you.
New Jersey Temporary Restraining Orders
An applicant must first request a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the court. A TRO may prevent you from contacting or approaching the applicant but will typically only remain in place until the court holds a formal hearing or about ten business days. But a TRO may also order you to leave a shared home and order the police to confiscate any weapons you have. Despite this, you won't receive notice of a hearing for a TRO, and you don't have the right to attend. The applicant will speak with the judge in an ex parte hearing.
New Jersey Final Restraining Orders
Before issuing a final restraining order (FRO), the court will notify all parties. You will have the right to attend an FRO hearing and to present witnesses and evidence. You will also have the right to cross-examine the applicant's witnesses. For your best chance of success, you need an experienced New Jersey restraining order attorney by your side during the hearing. If the judge issues a FRO, it will remain in place until one of the parties asks the court to lift or modify the order.
Under New Jersey law, a judge will only issue a final order if they find:
- You have a qualifying domestic relationship with the applicant. These relationships include current or former spouses, current or former intimate partners, those who have a child together, or those people living in the same household
- You committed an act of domestic violence. Domestic violence in New Jersey includes crimes such as assault, kidnapping, stalking, or criminal threats
- There is an urgent need for a restraining order to prevent more acts of domestic violence
In deciding whether to issue a FRO, the court must look at the following:
- The previous history of domestic violence between the plaintiff and defendant, including threats, harassment, and physical abuse
- The existence of immediate danger to person or property
- The financial circumstances of the plaintiff and defendant
- The best interests of the victim and any child
- In determining custody and parenting time, the protection of the victim's safety
- The existence of a verifiable order of protection from another jurisdiction
N.J. Stat. § 2C:25-29a (2013). If the court decides to issue an FRO against you, the police will include your fingerprints, photograph, name, and information in the New Jersey domestic violence registry.
Becoming an Esthetician in New Jersey
The New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling governs licensing for skin care specialists in the state. To become an esthetician, you must:
- Be at least 17 years of age
- Provide proof of successful completion of high school or its equivalent
- Provide proof of successful completion of a 600-hour course of instruction at an approved school in New Jersey, another state, or a foreign country. Training completed at a school in another state or foreign country must be substantially similar to that offered at licensed schools within New Jersey, in the opinion of the Board.
- Take and pass an exam administered by the Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling
If you hold a license in another state already, you may be able to get a license in New Jersey through endorsement by the Board.
As part of the licensing process, you must undergo a background check. According to the Board,
For those applicants who are required to undergo a Criminal History Background Check: schedule an appointment to have your fingerprints digitally recorded as soon as you receive the fingerprinting instruction sheet and the preprinted form from the Board.
If you have a conviction or arrest for a crime, the Board advises that:
[Y]ou must submit a detailed letter of explanation, all of the relevant police reports, reference letters and, if applicable, judgments of conviction, sentencing orders, termination of probation orders and evidence of rehabilitation. Contact the court clerk and any attorneys involved to request the file regarding your arrest or conviction.
How a Restraining Order Can Affect your Esthetician's License
Under the Board's regulations, they can suspend or revoke your license for any conduct described in N.J.S.A. § 45:1-21, including being:
[C]onvicted of, or engaged in acts constituting, any crime or offense involving moral turpitude or relating adversely to the activity regulated by the board. For the purpose of this subsection a judgment of conviction or a plea of guilty, non vult, nolo contendere or any other such disposition of alleged criminal activity shall be deemed a conviction.
While the New Jersey statutes and regulations governing estheticians do not mention domestic violence restraining orders, the order may appear in your background check. Moreover, if your employer performs its own background check, it may go well beyond your criminal history, revealing a domestic violence protection order against you. Your best chance of ensuring that a restraining order won't affect your career and your license is with a skilled criminal defense attorney by your side.
Hire an Experienced New Jersey Restraining Order Attorney
If you have a restraining order pending against you or a court has already issued one, it can be a serious matter affecting your personal and professional life. Skilled New Jersey criminal defense attorney, well-versed in handling restraining orders and domestic violence matters, Joseph D. Lento, can help. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at (888) 535-3686 to set up a consultation.