Restraining Orders and Your New Jersey Chiropractic License

The practice of chiropractic is certainly a rewarding medical career, not only in its economic returns but also in the satisfaction of healing therapies, restored patient function, and encouraging patient relationships. You didn't earn your chiropractic degree and obtain your professional license as a chiropractor simply to lose it all due to a domestic violence matter and restraining order. Restraining orders can threaten your New Jersey chiropractic license. But a restraining order petition doesn't have to work that way. With aggressive and effective defense from New Jersey professional license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento, you may be able to defend and defeat the restraining order petition. And if state professional licensing officials commence an investigation based on domestic violence allegations and restraining orders, attorney Lento is available to help you defend your chiropractic license before the state's licensing board. Your chiropractic practice is worth defending. Get the premier help you need for a winning defense.

Restraining Order Qualifying Conditions

New Jersey residents who suffer or claim domestic violence, abuse, and threats have the legal right to petition the courts for a restraining order. New Jersey's Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:25-17 et seq., enacted in 1991, empowers the courts to issue restraining orders when the petitioner seeking the order can meet three conditions. The petitioner must first show a qualifying domestic relationship such as marriage, separation, divorce, present or former cohabitation or dating relationship, or having or expecting a child together. The petitioner must next prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant committed assault, sexual assault, harassment, stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or threats of violence. And finally, the petitioner must prove that the petitioner needs the court's protection. Unless the petitioner meets all three conditions, the court should not issue a restraining order. An aggressive defense can often prove the absence of one or more of the required conditions.

Restraining Order Procedures

New Jersey's Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:25-17 et seq., further authorizes due process procedures to ensure that the defendant has a fair chance to disprove false, exaggerated, or unsupported restraining order claims. Those protective procedures differ depending on whether the court is issuing its initial temporary restraining order or the parties are contesting whether the court should issue a final restraining order.

Temporary Restraining Orders Procedures

A court can generally issue a temporary restraining order only when a person files a valid petition claiming domestic violence. When a person files a petition with the court, the court typically promptly holds a hearing to determine whether the petitioner has the required evidence of a qualifying relationship and abuse and needs temporary protection. The defendant generally does not know of or appear at the hearing on a temporary restraining order. If, after hearing the petitioner, the court finds the petitioner has met the conditions for a temporary restraining order, police will serve the temporary restraining order on the defendant. Service of the temporary restraining order subjects the defendant to arrest and sanctions for its violation.

Final Restraining Orders Procedures

Because the court issues a temporary restraining order without having heard the defendant's side, the court must schedule a full hearing within ten days at which the defendant can and should be present. At the hearing, the court decides whether to convert the temporary restraining order into a final restraining order or to simply terminate the temporary restraining order and dismiss the case based on the defendant's evidence contesting the petition. Because the court will hear witness testimony and consider other evidence, the defendant should have skilled and experienced defense attorney representation at the hearing. If the court issues a final restraining order, the defendant must fully comply, subject to contempt sanctions and other criminal charges. Procedures give the defendant a substantial opportunity to defend and defeat restraining order requests with the aggressive and effective representation of a skilled defense attorney.

New Jersey Law Governing Chiropractic Licenses

The New Jersey State Board of Chiropractic Examiners licenses and regulates the practice of chiropractic in New Jersey under state regulations at N.J. Admin. Code 13:44E-1A.1 et seq. Those state regulations expressly require licensed chiropractors to be of good moral character. The Board's statutory and regulatory purpose is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of New Jersey residents, regulate the practice of chiropractic, and ensure that chiropractors perform in compliance with state law. The Board requires licensed chiropractors to meet educational requirements and renew their licenses every two years. The applicable state regulations hold that falsification of any information on the renewal application can result in license suspension and other penalties. The Board also has the authority to investigate chiropractors who violate state laws and to restrict, suspend, or revoke their chiropractic license.

How a Restraining Order Affects a Chiropractic License

Licensing officials associated with the New Jersey State Board of Chiropractic Examiners know full well that restraining orders are issued on evidence of domestic violence. They also know that domestic violence can indicate other violent propensities. The person who commits domestic violence can, in some cases, represent a threat to commit violence against others outside the domestic relationship. Those concerns and inferences are why licensing officials may review and investigate a chiropractor's safety and fitness, when the chiropractor's license application or renewal application reflects a domestic violence and restraining order matter, the chiropractor otherwise discloses the matter to the state licensing board, or the board discovers the matter on its own investigation or from the report of the complainant or others. There is no hiding a disqualifying order or conviction, especially when concealing or misrepresenting material information is itself grounds for license discipline. If licensing officials who examine your restraining order matter determine that you pose a safety or fitness risk to patients or the public as a chiropractor, those officials may restrict, suspend, or revoke your chiropractic license. Licensing officials wouldn't knowingly let a chiropractor who committed murder, robbery, or other violent crimes continue to practice. They may also not let the chiropractor against whom a court has issued a restraining order based on violent crimes practice.

Retain Skilled and Experienced Defense Representation

Because restraining orders present such substantial risks to the licensed chiropractor's practice, a chiropractor facing a restraining order petition or temporary order already issued should immediately retain skilled and experienced defense attorney representation. Aggressive and effective restraining order defense can prove to the court that no order should issue. If the court does issue an order, defense before the licensing board may prove that the chiropractor is no risk to the public or patients despite the order. New Jersey professional license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm are available 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.

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