A New Jersey restraining order is a civil order that mandates one individual modify his or her behavior in relation to another person. Often this order prohibits a person from interacting with, contacting, or coming within a certain distance of, another person.
A restraining order can seriously curtail your freedoms: you may lose the right to bear arms, you may be prohibited from seeing your children. If you have a temporary restraining order out against you, having an experienced restraining order attorney in your corner is non-negotiable. If you're facing a restraining order in Newton or anywhere in Sussex County, contact the Lento Law Firm today.
Sussex County Restraining Orders
The following types of restraining orders can be put into place in Sussex County.
Domestic Violence Restraining Order
A domestic violence restraining order is a civil order that applies to those who are current or former members of a household or family. This includes intimate partners, which are current or former spouses or those who have a child in common.
Sexual Assault Restraining Order
Restraining orders also may be issued when an allegation of sexual assault has been made. The restraining order will prevent the person accused from contacting the person who made the allegation.
Temporary vs. Final Restraining Orders
A temporary restraining order is issued by a judge, often in emergencies. They apply during the interim period, which typically is no more than 10 days, where a hearing is conducted to evaluate the allegations. The subject of the allegations will be served notice of a temporary restraining order, which will contain provisions (conditions). A temporary restraining order can be brought against you even if you are not present. One consequence of a temporary restraining order may be removal from the home.
Sussex County Restraining Order Hearings
The Family Division of the Sussex County Superior Court is located at:
43-47 High Street
Newton, NJ, 07860
Restraining orders may be issued regardless of whether there are criminal charges filed. During a restraining order hearing, the parties may present evidence, and witness testimony may be heard. The petitioner must prove their allegations by a preponderance of the evidence. When proven, the court may issue a final (permanent) restraining order.
A judge will only issue the FRO if the plaintiff shows by a preponderance of the evidence that:
- You both have a qualifying domestic relationship. A qualifying domestic relationship includes current or former intimate partners, household members, spouses, or those who have a child together.
- You committed an act of domestic violence. In New Jersey, many crimes occurring within domestic relationships qualify as domestic violence. Some of these crimes include assault, sexual assault, harassment, kidnapping, stalking, cyber harassment, or burglary.
- A restraining order is needed urgently to prevent further domestic violence.
If a Sussex County judge denies a restraining order, the most common reason is that the court doesn't believe the defendant is a danger to the plaintiff. However, if the court grants a FRO, you will face a $500 fine. The court will also order the police to place your photo, information, and fingerprints in the New Jersey Domestic Violence Registry. This database is public and searchable.
The courts may use their discretion when creating the conditions within a restraining order. They typically prohibit the defendant from contacting or communicating with the petitioner—even through a third party.
Provisions of a Sussex County Restraining Order
Each restraining order is different but might include provisions such as:
- Modifying custody, visitation, and/or financial support of minor children
- A prohibition from owning or possessing firearms or other weapons
Will Other States Enforce New Jersey Restraining Orders?
Yes, other state courts will enforce New Jersey restraining orders. Under federal law, every other state's courts will grant full faith and credit to the court orders of New Jersey. As long as the New Jersey court had jurisdiction over both parties to the restraining order and the defendant had reasonable notice of the hearing and the opportunity to be heard, out-of-state courts will recognize the New Jersey restraining order as valid. Other states may have procedures for recognizing a New Jersey restraining order, but it is not necessary.
Can Employers Find New Jersey Restraining Orders?
A general background check usually won't reveal a temporary or final restraining order. However, once a judge puts a FRO in place, your photograph, fingerprints, and information will be entered into the Domestic Violence Central Registry. The database is for law enforcement and courts issuing restraining orders to protect victims of domestic violence and issuing restraining orders. This database is public, and if an employer does a more thorough background check that searches the domestic violence registry, they will find a restraining order. If you have a security clearance or serve in the military, your employer will almost certainly find out about a restraining order. Even if a temporary restraining order expired and the court never entered a final order, the TRO will still appear in the domestic violence registry.
Can a New Jersey Restraining Order Affect my Immigration Status?
A restraining order can affect your immigration or green card status. Generally, the government can deport you if a court convicts you of a crime of moral turpitude, a drug-related offense, an aggravated felony, a firearms violation, or a crime involving domestic violence. If you are also facing charges for domestic violence, a conviction can result in deportation. You may also face deportation if you violate a protective order.
While a restraining order is a civil violation in New Jersey, violating the terms of a temporary or final restraining order is a criminal violation. Even an allegation that you have violated a TRO or FRO requires the police to arrest you. If you violate a restraining order, even innocently, you could face deportation.
Sussex County Restraining Order Representation
Have you been served with a temporary restraining order in Sussex County? It is critical to promptly seek assistance from an experienced lawyer. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm will effectively represent you in a restraining order hearing and defend any related criminal charges. Contact the office at (888) 535-3686 for a case evaluation.