In New Jersey state courts, alleged victims of certain types of assaultive crimes can seek protective orders from the court. There are a few different types of protective orders that are available depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. A commonly sought protective order in New Jersey is a restraining order, which is obtained after a contested court process. A different approach and protective order, known as a civil restraints order, is also available if the parties prefer a diplomatic approach.
When parties are considering a civil restraints order, they sit down and decide what kinds of protections should be put in place and included in the order. A restraining order is not decided this way; the judge has complete authority over restraining orders. The judge decides whether a restraining order should be granted and what its terms will be. It is important that any negotiations and document drafting should be completed by a licensed attorney. If you are facing the possibility of 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. This type of order is reached through an agreement between the parties involved. The main responsibilities of the judge in these situations are to make sure that any agreement made is reasonable and is not missing any material terms. Once the judge is satisfied with the proposed agreement, he or she will sign and enter the civil restraints order.
When a judge presides over a restraining order case, they have more responsibilities than when presiding over a civil restraints order situation. This includes deciding what happened between the parties and if the court should issue a restraining order for the petitioner. This is typically done by hearing testimony at a restraining order hearing and reviewing any evidence and legal arguments from both sides. If the parties agree to seek a civil restraints order, the judge will not have to hear any testimony or preside over a restraining order hearing. If the civil restraints order is successful, it will cancel any upcoming restraining order hearings.
Civil restraints orders and restraining orders 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 orders. If a defendant is accused of violating a restraining order, then he or she faces criminal charges and prosecution. If that same defendant is accused of violating a civil restraints order, then the typical punishment is civil in nature and can involve fines or other measures deemed appropriate by the court. The police are generally not involved in alleged civil restraints order violations unless a crime was alleged.
Provisions of a Warren County Civil Restraints Order
If a petitioner seeks a civil restraints order in Warren County, then the protections can mirror what is typically found in a restraining order, which includes:
- No-contact orders against the defendant
- Specific and limited contact orders allowing contact through text message or email
- Specific and limited contact orders that are related to child custody
- The defendant is prohibited from assaultive or abusive conduct against the petitioner
- The defendant is prohibited from harassing conduct against the petitioner
Several other provisions can be included. These provisions depend on the facts and circumstances of the case at hand. All civil restraints order negotiations and drafting should be handled by an experienced attorney to avoid any potential violations of existing no-contact orders or state law.
When Can A Civil Restraints Order Be Entered?
A civil restraints order can be entered by a court during specific times. This order is typically used during domestic court proceedings, such as during a divorce or during a restraining order case. If a temporary restraining order has been issued by a judge, then the parties involved may discuss the possibility of a civil restraints order.
If someone wants to get a restraining order, then he or she needs to file a petition with the court. This petition should have information about the relationship between the people involved and what has allegedly taken place. After the petition is filed, the court will hold a hearing to see if they need to issue a temporary restraining order. If the judge decides that it is needed, then they will give a temporary restraining order protecting the petitioner. There will also be another hearing set within ten days to decide if the temporary order should become a final restraining order which is permanent.
The ten-day period before a final restraining order hearing is the time that the parties usually have to negotiate a civil restraints order. If they can agree on protections in a civil restraints order, then the parties can avoid taking part in a final restraining order hearing as it will be canceled.
Advantages of a Civil Restraints Order Over a Restraining Order
When deciding to pursue a civil restraints order instead of continuing with a restraining order, the parties can learn of many potential advantages. Common advantages that a petitioner can find when choosing to negotiate a civil restraints order over a restraining order include:
- Guaranteed protective orders from the court
- Avoiding any final restraining order hearings
- The ability to have some control regarding final protection terms
These are some of the main advantages that are available to the petitioner in a civil restraints order case. Common advantages that a defendant can find when choosing to negotiate a civil restraints order over a restraining order include:
- Having more authority regarding protection terms
- Avoiding any final restraining order hearings and restraining orders
- Avoiding police involvement and arrest for any alleged violations
- Avoiding potential employment and professional licensing issues
If the people involved decide to explore whether they can agree on protection orders, then the court will stop any hearings about final restraining orders until terms are determined. If those involved can agree on material terms in a civil restraints order, then they will draft an agreement and give it to the court so the judge can approve it and sign the order.
What Happens if Someone Violates a Civil Restraints Order?
If someone who is restrained by a civil restraints order violates any part of the order, then he or she will probably be punished with a civil sanction. This is different from the punishment you might get if you break a rule while you are restrained by a criminal order. If someone who is restrained by a criminal order violates the restraining order in any way, then they might get punished with jail time and/or a fine after being charged with criminal contempt. A criminal contempt conviction carries up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 as punishment.
Where Can I File a Civil Restraints Order in Warren County?
A civil restraints order must be filed in the local county Superior Court. Civil restraints orders in Warren County must be filed with the Warren County Superior Court.
The Warren County Superior Court is located at:
413 Second St
P.O Box 900
Belvidere, NJ 07823
The Court is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Monday-Friday.
If you are being taken to court because someone wants a restraining order against you, it is very important to have an experienced lawyer on your side. Trying to handle things on your own can be dangerous because, among other things, you might accidentally violate any protective orders that have already been issued by the court.
Can I Have a Civil Restraints Order Canceled?
If both parties agree, a civil restraints order can be canceled in the same way it was put in place. People's positions change over time, so it's possible for the conditions of the order to change or be canceled. The parties don't have the final say on whether or not the order gets canceled, as that decision is made by a judge after reviewing the case. The judge will decide if it is safe for the person who filed for protection 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 Warren County, then make sure that you speak to an experienced attorney. It is critical to know what the Warren County Superior Court is seeking when determining assessing 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. To learn why the Lento Law Firm is the right choice, call us toll-free at 888-535-3686 or contact us online.