How Long Will It Take to Drop a Restraining Order in NJ?

image of restraining order paperwork

Has someone filed a restraining order against you in New Jersey? If so, you might feel overwhelmed, isolated, and like you have no control over the situation. Luckily, you don’t have to face this difficult time alone. An attorney with William Proetta Criminal Law can help you take steps to get the restraining order dropped, but the amount of time it takes will vary depending on the situation. We are ready to evaluate your situation and assess your legal options.

What Steps Take Place When a Restraining Order Is Filed?

When someone files a restraining order against you, they are asking the court to prohibit you from contacting or approaching them.

Here are the steps that usually take place after a person files a restraining order:

  • The court decides whether to grant a temporary restraining order (TRO). If the court decides immediate action is necessary, it may grant a temporary restraining order (TRO), which stays in effect for up to 10 days.
  • The court schedules a final hearing. Next, the court will schedule a final hearing to review the restraining order, usually no more than 10 days after it issues the TRO.
  • The court decides whether to grant a final restraining order (FRO). During the final hearing, the court will review the available evidence and decide whether to grant a final restraining order (FRO), which is permanent unless one or more involved parties successfully petition to have it dissolved. 
  • The terms of the TRO or FRO go into effect. Once a TRO or FRO goes into effect, you must comply with the terms, which may include surrendering firearms and avoiding contact with the person who filed for the restraining order. The TRO or FRO will likely be forwarded to the local police department. Violating the terms of a TRO or FRO could have serious legal consequences, including fines and imprisonment, and a violation will appear on your criminal record.

In What Ways Can a Restraining Order Be Dropped?

The four ways to drop a restraining order in New Jersey include:

  • The person who filed the restraining order voluntarily files a new request asking the court to dismiss the order.
  • The subject of the restraining order files a motion with the court and presents evidence to modify or dissolve the order.
  • The person who files the order and the subject of the order mutually agree that the restraining order is no longer necessary and file a joint request with the court to dismiss it.
  • The TRO automatically expires after 10 days if the court doesn’t grant a FRO, but a FRO will not expire in New Jersey.

Can a Restraining Order Be Lifted in New Jersey?

A restraining order can be lifted in New Jersey, but the process isn’t easy. The court will consider various factors before lifting a FRO. The subject of the order must show “good cause” as required under N.J.S.A. 2C:25-29(d) to dissolve the FRO. Although a FRO is a civil matter, it becomes a public record, so it could appear on background checks even if the court lifts it. That is why it is crucial to consult an attorney if someone has sought a restraining order against you in New Jersey.

You Need an Experienced Lawyer to Deal with a Restraining Order

The experienced attorneys at William Proetta Criminal Law are ready to explain your legal options, help you understand how a restraining order could affect your life, and take steps to have the order dropped. Contact our firm to discuss the details of your case during a free, confidential consultation session.


With more than a decade of experience defending clients against criminal charges, founding partner William A. Proetta has successfully handled and tried thousands of cases, from DWI to murder. As a New Jersey native, he has focused his career on helping people in the area where he grew up, serving Middlesex, Ocean, Hudson, and Union counties.