Family violence is a serious problem in New Jersey, and the state rightfully works hard to protect victims. An example is the passage of the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991. This law allows victims of domestic violence to apply for a restraining order from the court to prevent their abusers from contacting or approaching them. See N.J.S.A. §§ 2C:25-17 - 25-35 (1991).
A court can issue a temporary (TRO) and then a final restraining order (FRO) after a hearing. However, if a court issues a restraining order against you, it can affect your ability to hold many professional licenses in New Jersey. That's why it's important to contact an attorney well-versed in restraining order matters as soon as possible.
New Jersey Temporary Restraining Orders
The first step of the restraining order process in New Jersey involves the applicant seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the court. If granted, this order can prevent you from approaching or contacting the applicant while in place. However, a TRO will typically only remain in place until the court holds a final hearing, about ten business days.
New Jersey Final Restraining Orders
After issuing a TRO, the court will set a date for the final hearing. You will receive notice of this hearing and have the right to attend with an attorney. At the hearing, you and your attorney can introduce evidence and witnesses. You will also be able to cross-examine the applicant's witnesses and the applicant. If issued, the final restraining order (FRO) will remain in place permanently until one of the parties asks the court to revise or revoke the order.
During the final hearing, the judge will examine the evidence and issue the order if the applicant shows that:
- You have a qualifying relationship, including a married or dating relationship, share a child, or live in the same household
- An act of domestic violence occurred, which can include assault, harassment, stalking, kidnapping, and more
- A restraining order is urgently necessary to prevent further domestic violence
Before issuing the order, the judge must also look at the factors detailed in New Jersey law, including:
- 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.S.A. § 2C:25-29a (2013). If the court enters a restraining order against you, the police will put your information, fingerprints, and photo in New Jersey's domestic violence registry.
Becoming a Licensed Commercial Plumber in New Jersey
New Jersey's state licensing law and regulations set forth who can legally perform plumbing work on residential and commercial structures under the Uniform Construction Code. See N.J.S.A. § 52:27D-119, et seq. (State Uniform Construction Code Act). To work as a plumber in New Jersey, you must hold a master plumber license or be a registered journeyman or apprentice training under the direct supervision of a licensed plumber.
The State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers in New Jersey licenses and regulates plumbers under the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.
To obtain your initial plumber license in New Jersey, you must:
- Be at least 18 and have a high school diploma or GED equivalent
- Enroll in an approved formal apprenticeship program or employer-sponsored program
- You must register as an apprentice for the four years you train under a master and pay the application fee
Alternatively, you can attend a four-year degree program in mechanical, plumbing, or sanitary engineering at an accredited U.S. college. After completing four years as an apprentice or your degree, you must register as a journeyman, train for a year under the direct supervision of a master plumber, and pay the application fee.
Master Plumber License
To sit for the test to become a master plumber, you must meet additional requirements, including:
- You must be at least 21 and a citizen or legal resident of the United States
- You must have been in the plumbing trade for at least five years
- You must have been a journeyman plumber for at least one of your five years as a plumber
- You must have spent four of the five years in a plumbing apprenticeship program approved by the United States Department of Labor that includes education in propane services
Alternatively, if you have a bachelor's degree in mechanical, plumbing, or sanitary engineering from an accredited U.S. college or university that the board accepts. The program must include education in propane services. You must also have been an apprentice or journeyman plumber for at least one year.
How a Restraining Order Can Affect Your Commercial Plumbing License
As part of the licensing process to become a plumber, you must undergo a criminal background check. While a restraining order in New Jersey is a civil rather than a criminal matter, if you are in New Jersey's domestic violence registry, this may appear on your background check. Even if it does not, a future employer may conduct its own background check, including New Jersey's domestic violence registry. That's why it's a good idea to consult a skilled criminal defense attorney well-versed in handling New Jersey restraining orders and domestic violence matters.
Hire an Experienced New Jersey Restraining Order Attorney
If you're facing a final restraining order hearing, it's essential that you consult an experienced criminal defense and restraining order attorney as soon as possible. A restraining order could affect your career as a licensed plumber, and you need skilled help to protect your professional and personal reputation. Attorney Joseph D. Lento can help. Contact the Lento Law Firm online or call them today at (888) 535-3686 for a consultation.