A restraining order, also known as a protection order, is issued by a court for the safety of someone victimized by acts such as domestic violence or sexual assault. These orders may prohibit a respondent from making contact with or being near the petitioner.
Filing a Complaint of Domestic Violence (2C:25-28)
New Jersey law does not specifically have a statutory offense of domestic violence. Charges are based on the actual alleged offense, which may include assault, kidnapping, burglary, harassment, etc. A filing for a restraining order may be made in a court within the jurisdiction where either of the parties lives or where the alleged incident occurred. Those who are in some way incapable of filing themselves may have another person do so on their behalf.
Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO)
Restraining orders are initially ordered temporarily as a hearing is scheduled. Sometimes a temporary ex parte restraining order is issued in circumstances involving an emergency. Counties will typically have a judge assigned for handling restraining orders after-hours. Filing for an order of protection is a process that runs independently from any arrest or criminal charges that may relate to these matters.
A hearing will be held roughly 10 days after a TRO is issued. A final (permanent) restraining order may be issued at the hearing once all parties are present when testimony and evidence may be presented. Final restraining orders do not have a specified termination date. If a party wishes to modify or terminate an order they must file a request with the judge for consideration.
A TRO may contain an order to search and seize any deadly weapon that a respondent has. Those who are subject to a restraining order are generally prohibited from purchasing or otherwise acquiring firearms and such.
Protection Orders Not Involving Domestic Violence (2C:14-14)
An order of protection may also be filed by those who are victims of actions or attempts to commit sexual contact, sexual penetration, lewdness, or other non-consensual acts. Other actions such as stalking and cyber-harassment are also applicable. Parents or guardians may act as petitioners on behalf of victims under the age of 18.
Domestic Violence Restraining Orders in Camden County
In Camden County, there is a Domestic Violence Unit that investigates potential incidents of domestic violence and disorderly person offenses that involve restraining order violations. They maintain staff 24 hours a day to support law enforcement countywide. Also, this department handles weapon forfeitures associated with restraining orders.
Contempt; Law Enforcement Procedures (2C:25-31)
Members of law enforcement may arrest individuals when probable cause exists that a restraining order was violated. Those who violate the conditions of an order of protection may be charged with a criminal offense of contempt of court. This is usually a fourth-degree offense, which in New Jersey is punishable by up to 18 months of imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine.
Defense Attorney for Criminal Cases in Camden County
Have you been arrested for allegedly committing acts such as domestic violence, sexual assault, or violating a restraining order? Joseph D. Lento is an experienced lawyer that provides aggressive legal representation for clients in the Camden County courts. You are encouraged to contact the office today for a case evaluation at (888) 535-3686.