The state of New Jersey offers a few different types of protective orders that are available for assault victims in various situations. The protective orders are granted and enforced by the court to ensure an individual's safety. A common type of protective order is a restraining order, which is typically granted after a contested process in court. Another related type of protective order is a civil restraints order, which offers similar protection but is reached by agreement.
When a civil restraints order is explored, the parties are given the opportunity to sit down and determine the contents of an agreed-upon protection order. Restraining orders are not issued in this fashion, as the judge maintains complete authority over restraining order cases. In restraining order cases, the judge determines whether a protective order should be granted and what its terms will be. Make sure that any negotiations are handled by experienced professionals on your behalf. If you are facing a restraining order against you, then make sure that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.
What Is a Civil Restraints Order?
A civil restraints order is a protective order that the court will enforce like a restraining order, but a civil restraints order is reached through the agreement of the parties involved. Just as parties negotiate contract terms, the parties in a civil restraints case negotiate provisions of protection. The main responsibilities of the judge in these situations are to ensure that any agreement made is reasonable and complete. Once the judge is satisfied that the agreement presented is sufficient, then he or she will sign and enter the order.
The responsibilities of a judge are expanded when he or she presides over a restraining order case. In restraining order cases, the judge is tasked with determining what happened between the parties and if the court should authorize protection for the petitioner. This requires the judge to hear testimony at a restraining hearing and review any evidence and legal arguments presented by each side. When the parties agree to seek a civil restraints order, the judge is relieved of these duties and will not hear testimony or preside over a restraining order hearing. A successful civil restraints order will result in the cancelation of any restraining order hearings.
Civil restraints orders and restraining orders both offer court protection for a petitioner, but the type of protection differs. The main area where the protection differs is in the enforcement of the agreement. If a defendant is accused of a restraining order violation, then he or she faces likely criminal charges and prosecution. If that same defendant is accused of a civil restraints order violation, then the typical punishment is civil in nature and can involve fines or other measures deemed appropriate by the court. If a civil restraints order violation is alleged, then the police are generally not involved unless a crime was alleged.
Provisions of a Union County Civil Restraints Order
If a petitioner seeks a civil restraints order in Union County, then it can offer many protections typically found in a restraining order, which include:
- No-contact orders against the defendant
- Limited contact orders that are allowed through text message or email
- Limited contact orders that are related to child custody
- A ban against assaultive or abusive conduct by the defendant
- A ban against harassing conduct by the defendant
There are many other provisions that can be included that depend on the facts and circumstances of the situation at hand. All civil restraints order negotiations should be handled by an experienced attorney to avoid any potential violations of existing no-contact orders.
When Can A Civil Restraints Order Be Entered?
A civil restraints order can only be entered at specific times by a court. Typically, civil restraints orders are entered during a domestic court proceeding like a divorce or during a restraining order case. If a temporary restraining order has been issued by a judge, then a civil restraints order becomes an option for the parties to discuss.
To get a restraining order, an individual must file a petition with the court. This petition should include information about the relationship between the parties and what has allegedly happened between them. After the petition is filed, the court will hold a hearing to see if immediate protection is needed. If the judge decides that it is, then they will issue a temporary restraining order. There will also be a hearing set within ten days to decide if the temporary order should become permanent.
The ten-day period before a final restraining order hearing is the typical window the parties will have to negotiate a civil restraints order. If an agreement can be made on protections in a civil restraints order, then the parties can avoid participating in a final restraining order hearing as it will be canceled.
Advantages of a Civil Restraints Order Over a Restraining Order
Both a petitioner and defendant can find several advantages when seeking to secure a civil restraints order instead of a restraining order. Some of the most common advantages that a petitioner can find when choosing to negotiate a civil restraints order over a restraining order include:
- Guaranteed court protection
- The cancelation of any final restraining order hearings
- The ability to have a direct say in final protection terms
This is a partial list of advantages as the petitioner can find many more advantages depending on the facts and circumstances of the situation. Some of the most common advantages that a defendant can find when choosing to negotiate a civil restraints order over a restraining order include:
- The ability to have more authority deciding protection terms
- The cancelation of any final restraining order hearings
- Avoiding the consequences of a restraining order
- Avoiding law enforcement involvement for any alleged violations
- Avoiding criminal charges for any alleged violations
- Avoiding potential employment issues
If the parties decide to explore the possibility of a civil restraints order, then the court will put any final restraining order hearings on hold until the parties decide whether an agreement on protections can be made. If the parties are successful in coming to an agreement, then they will put the agreement to paper and submit it to the court for the judge's approval and entry.
What Happens if Someone Violates a Civil Restraints Order?
If a defendant in a civil restraints order is accused of violating a provision of the order, then he or she will most likely face a civil sanction as opposed to a criminal sanction that typically accompanies a restraining order violation. If a defendant in a restraining order is accused of violating a provision of the order, then he or she can face a criminal contempt charge. A conviction for this crime carries up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Where Can I File a Civil Restraints Order in Union County?
A civil restraints order is filed in the local county Superior Court. If an individual wants a civil restraints order in Union County, then it must be filed with the Union County Superior Court.
The Union County Superior Court is located at:
2 Broad St
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
The Court is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Monday-Friday.
If you are being brought to court over a potential restraining order or civil restraints order against you, then make sure you have an experienced attorney's help. Trying to handle things on your own can be dangerous as you could violate any existing protective orders that have been issued by the court.
Can I Have a Civil Restraints Order Canceled?
Yes, a civil restraints order can be canceled by agreement in the same way that it was reached in the first place. It is common for the positions of the parties to change over time, which can open the door to canceling previously agreed-upon restrictions. The parties don't have the final say whether a civil restraints order will be canceled as that authority resides with the judge. The judge will review the case and determine if it is safe for the petitioner if the court protections are lifted. If you have legal questions, then call us at the Lento Law Firm today!
Contact the Lento Law Firm Today
If you have questions about civil restraints orders in Union County, then make sure that you speak to an experienced attorney immediately. It is essential to know what the Union County Superior Court is seeking when determining whether to grant a civil restraints order. The attorneys at the Lento Law Firm have the experience and ability to put you in the best position for success regardless of your situation. To learn why the Lento Law Firm is the right choice, call us toll-free at 888-535-3686 or contact us online.