Professionals holding state licenses, including New Jersey audiologists, face special concerns when someone files a restraining order request or obtains a restraining order against them. Audiology is a healthcare field in which the licensed professional deals daily with vulnerable patients. Healthcare licensing boards make extra efforts to ensure that their licensed professionals are safe and fit for coming into close contact with patients. An audiology license gives the professional special access to patients and their medical records in ways that an abusive professional could cause serious patient harm. That's why audiologists must be careful not to suffer a restraining order that licensing officials could construe as evidence that the audiologist is unfit for clinical practice. A restraining order can threaten an audiologist's license and career. Take any restraining order request seriously. Retain New Jersey professional license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento to defend you in your restraining order proceeding and help you defend your audiology license before professional licensing officials.
Restraining Order Procedure
New Jersey's Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:25-17 et seq., authorizes restraining orders for qualifying domestic relationships when the defendant more likely than not committed qualifying domestic violence or sexual assault, and the petitioner needs the court's protection. Qualifying relationships include marriage, separation, divorce, present or former cohabitation or dating relationship, or having or expecting a child together. Domestic violence includes such wrongs as assault or sexual assault, harassment, stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, and threats of that violence. New Jersey restraining orders are thus widely available in many circumstances.
Temporary Restraining Orders
The law authorizes both temporary and final restraining orders with different procedures for each. When a person claiming domestic abuse files a petition with the court, the court conducts an ex parte hearing at which only the petitioner appears, not the defendant. The court issues a temporary restraining order if finding the qualifying relationship, qualifying domestic violence, and need for protection. Authorities then serve the temporary restraining order on the defendant, who must comply, subject to arrest and sanctions.
Final Restraining Orders
Within ten days of the initial petition, the court must hold a hearing on whether to turn the temporary restraining order into a final restraining order. The defendant has the right to appear with a retained defense attorney at the hearing. The court considers witness testimony and other evidence before either dismissing the request or issuing a final restraining order. A defendant subject to a final restraining order must fully comply with the order's terms as long as the order remains in place, subject to contempt sanctions and other charges.
New Jersey Laws Governing Audiology Licenses
New Jersey statutes N.J.S.A. 45:3B-1 et seq. and regulations at N.J. Admin. Code 13:44Cauthorize the state's Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Committee to regulate the profession and practice of audiology in New Jersey. The New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association confirms, “All audiologists must hold a state audiology license through the Division of Consumer Affairs – Audiology and Speech Language Pathology Advisory Committee.” The Committee licenses audiologists to protect their health, safety, and welfare while ensuring that audiologists perform in compliance with New Jersey law. The Committee protects the public not only by ensuring that audiologists meet educational requirements for licensure and renew their licenses every two years but also by investigating and prosecuting audiologists whose conduct indicates potential unfitness for practice. N.J.S.A. 45:3B-7 specifically authorizes the Committee to establish standards of professional conduct for audiologists so that the state's Director of Consumer Affairs can hold licensed audiologists to those standards.
How a Restraining Order Can Affect an Audiology License
Because restraining orders are issued only on evidence of domestic violence, New Jersey's Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Committee and the state's Director of Consumer Affairs, acting on the Committee's authority, may investigate licensed audiologists whom orders restrain. Depending on the circumstances, the audiologist may have to report to licensing officials the matter involving the restraining order. Even if the audiologist has no affirmative obligation to report, procedures for renewing the audiology license within the next two years will likely require disclosure of the restraining order proceeding. Licensing officials may then investigate the facts and allegations giving rise to the order, to determine whether the state should suspend the audiologist's license for the risk the audiologist presents to patients and the public. The audiologist's employer may also learn of the restraining order and take protective action, including suspending or terminating the audiologist's clinical practice or employment. Restraining orders can severely impact an audiologist's license, employment, and practice. Don't underestimate the risks of a restraining order petition and request.
The Role of Attorney Representation
Fortunately, the above restraining order procedures for notice and hearing enable a wrongly accused audiologist to contest false or exaggerated domestic violence allegations. Your first action when receiving notice of a temporary restraining order should be to retain skilled and experienced attorney representation to aggressively fight and defeat false, exaggerated, unsupported, or otherwise unfair petitions. Your retained attorney can help you identify, prepare, and call witnesses for the hearing, identify and organize documentary and video or other physical evidence, and make the compelling arguments necessary to turn back the request. Your retained attorney can also ensure the appropriate treatment and resolution of any lingering claims or allegations so that unresolved issues do not affect your audiology license or employment.
Premier Defense Attorney Available
Don't risk your audiology license with a weak or ineffective defense to a restraining order request. Instead, get the premier defense attorney representation that preserving your license and career deserve. Retain New Jersey professional license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm for your aggressive and effective defense of restraining orders and related professional license proceedings. Call 888-535-3686 for a consultation now or use the online service.