A restraining order can be an effective tool to protect yourself from domestic violence in New Jersey. Contrary to what many people believe, you cannot get a restraining order in every circumstance where you fear for your safety. Under New Jersey law, you can only file a restraining order if you qualify as a victim of domestic violence. If you believe you have been a victim of domestic violence, continue reading to learn how to file a restraining order in Hudson County, NJ. You can also contact experienced Jersey City restraining order attorney William Proetta at (201) 793-8018 for a free consultation about your unique situation.
Who Can File for a Restraining Order in Hudson County, NJ?
New Jersey’s Domestic Violence Act defines under what circumstances a person is considered a victim of domestic violence and eligible to obtain a restraining order. If you are over 18 years old or an emancipated minor, you can seek a restraining order against a spouse, former spouse, member of your household, or former member of your household. If you are under 18 years old, you can seek a restraining order against someone you have had a dating relationship with, have a child with, or are expecting a child with.
How Do I File a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)?
The first step you need to take to protect yourself is file for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). A TRO will provide the same degree of protection as a Final Restraining Order (FRO), while you wait for your final hearing. Keep in mind that a TRO will only be in effect until the time of your FRO hearing. If, for some reason, the judge does not issue a final order in your case, the TRO will no longer be effective and you will not be protected by any restraining order.
In Hudson County, NJ, there are several different ways to obtain a TRO: (1) by calling the police in an emergency situation (2) going to your local police station or municipal court; or (3) filing for a TRO at Hudson County Superior Court. The Superior Court is located at 595 Newark Avenue Jersey City, NJ 07306 and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can contact the court at 201-795-6600.
In an emergency situation, the police will take a report and contact the on-call judge to issue a TRO. The judge will review your request without speaking to the accused individual and will issue a TRO if they believe it is necessary to protect your health, well-being, or life. If a TRO is issued and you live with the accused individual, the police will escort them off the property. They will only be allowed to return to pick up their belongings with a police escort.
How Do I Get a Final Restraining Order?
After you are issued a TRO, a hearing will be scheduled for an FRO hearing at the Hudson County Superior Court. The hearing will typically be scheduled within 10 days after a TRO is issued in order to protect the safety of victims and the rights of the accused. A judge from the Family Part of the Chancery Division of the Hudson County Superior Court will hear your case. During this hearing, the accused individual will have an opportunity to defend themselves. If the judge determines that the alleged victim requires the protection of a FRO, the order will be issued.
What Happens if the Restraining Order Is Violated?
If a restraining order is violated, the individual who made unauthorized contact or otherwise violated the terms of the order may be charged with a disorderly persons offense, or a more serious crime if the violation involved another crime like assault or sexual assault.
Need to Get a Restraining Order in Hudson County?
Domestic violence attorney William Proetta and the team at our firm are ready and available to assist you in the process of obtaining a restraining order in Hudson County, New Jersey. Simply call our Jersey City office at (201) 793-8018 or send us a message to arrange a free consultation. We serve clients throughout New Jersey, including in Hoboken, Bayonne, Kearny, Weehawken, Union City, Jersey City, and across Hudson County. If you need legal help with a restraining order case, we are here for you. If you are in immediate danger, seek assistance from law enforcement right away.