If you are licensed as a marriage and family therapist, then you already understand the time, energy, and costs necessary to earn your license. Your license is not infinite; it is temporary is subject to oversight and review by the state. If you are a licensed marriage and family therapist, then you are expected to adhere to several personal and professional requirements. If you do not follow the expected requirements, then your license to practice can be suspended, revoked, or subject to other forms of discipline. If you are a marriage and family therapist who is facing a restraining order, then make sure that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
What Is a Restraining Order?
A restraining order is a type of court order that can be granted to protect an individual from another person. When this happens, many restrictions will be put on the person who was accused. For example, the accused might not be able to contact the other person or come near their workplace, school, or home. If you live with someone else and they are applying for a restraining order against you, then you may have to move out of your home if it is granted by the court.
What Are the Legal Reasons to Grant a Restraining Order?
An alleged victim can get a restraining order under several specific situations. Generally, there must be an allegation of domestic violence or sexual assault for a restraining order to be a possibility.
The person seeking the restraining order is known as the petitioner; this is because they must file a petition for a restraining order with their local court. In this petition, the alleged victim is expected to detail what happened, the relationship the parties have, and a litany of other questions for the court to get a full picture of the relationship. A judge can grant a restraining order for the following accusations:
- Sexual assault
- False imprisonment
There are Two Types of Restraining Orders in New Jersey:
- Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs)
- Final Restraining Orders (FROs)
Temporary Restraining Orders
Temporary restraining orders (TROs) are the first type of court-issued protective orders. This means that if someone feels unsafe or threatened, they can go to court and ask for a TRO. The person who is asking for protection (the petitioner) will be expected to attend a hearing and tell the judge why they need a TRO. The defendant will not be at this hearing and won't know about it until after the TRO is granted.
If the court grants a TRO to the petitioner, then it will be served on the defendant by the local police. A TRO gives immediate protection to the petitioner and sets a court date for a final hearing to determine if a permanent restraining order is appropriate.
Final Restraining Orders (FROs)
Permanent restraining orders in New Jersey are known as final restraining orders (FROs). A FRO can be put in place only after a full hearing occurs in front of a judge that includes both sides. New Jersey court rules and the rules of evidence apply to these hearings. Both the petitioner and defendant may be represented by an attorney and can call witnesses to testify and admit relevant evidence.
For a FRO to be granted by the court, the petitioner must prove three things:
- The petitioner and defendant are in a qualified domestic relationship, or there is an accusation of sexual assault or stalking
- The defendant more likely than not committed the acts alleged
- The petitioner needs the continued protection of the court
FROs are powerful court orders that can affect an individual's life in many ways. If one is granted against you, then you might have to move from your home, lose custody of your children in common, and can even suffer issues with your job or professional license. If someone has filed for a restraining order against you, then get in touch with an experienced attorney immediately.
What Are the New Jersey Laws that Govern Therapist Licenses?
The New Jersey State Board of Marriage and Family Therapy Examiners operates under appropriate state law regarding licensing or discipline. The rules and regulations that the Board follows can be found within the New Jersey Statutes at 45:8B. If you are a prospective or licensed therapist in New Jersey, these are the rules you must follow to obtain and keep your license to practice.
How a Restraining Order Can Affect Your Therapist License
If the court grants a final restraining order against you, then your therapist license can be affected in several ways. The first step that can be taken against you is an investigation to determine if you have violated the requirements of your license. You can be required to submit a statement that details your version of events, which can lead to misconduct charges against you and your professional license.
Does a Restraining Order Appear on a Criminal Background Check?
No, restraining orders do not appear on criminal background checks because they are not criminal in nature. The violation of a restraining order is a criminal matter, so any evidence of violations can appear on criminal background checks. Despite a restraining order not appearing on a criminal record unless there is a violation of a restraining order criminal charge, a restraining order will appear in civil court records, and in New Jersey's Domestic Violence Central Registry when a FRO is issued, which can cause issues with employment and other aspects of a therapist's professional and personal life. Each situation is unique, so call us if you have legal questions!
Contact the Lento Law Firm Today
If you have questions about restraining orders, then make sure you speak to an experienced attorney. A restraining order can affect your state-issued marriage and therapist license in many ways. The attorneys at the Lento Law Firm have the experience and knowledge to help. To learn why attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm are the right choice, call us at 888-535-3686 or contact us online.