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Legal help

 
 

How To Get A Restraining Order

If you are afraid and fear for your safety, you can apply for a restraining order to keep the batterer away from you. Getting a restraining order is a two-part process. First you obtain a temporary restraining order which is good for a maximum of ten days, unless the court extends the time. In order for the temporary restraining order to be made final, a hearing must be held before a judge of the Superior Court within the ten-day period. The judge will decide if the evidence is sufficient to make the temporary restraining order final or permanent. In New Jersey, final restraining orders last until the court, upon application of one of the parties, vacates the order. The order cannot be vacated without going to court.

IF YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER, CALL THE POLICE

During the Week Between 8:30 AM & 3:30 PM

Go to the Family Part of the Superior Court in your county and tell the person at the information desk that you want to file a complaint to get a restraining order,

OR

Go to your local municipal court and tell them that you want a restraining order,

OR

Go to the police station and they will tell you how to proceed.

Weekends, Nights and Holidays

Call the police. A municipal court judge is assigned to issue temporary restraining orders on an emergency basis when the Superior Court is closed.

NOTE: If a municipal court judge denies your application for a temporary restraining order, you may refile your complaint in the Superior Court, Chancery Division, Family Part and that court may issue a temporary restraining order.

IF YOU REQUIRE AN INTERPRETER, YOU CAN ASK FOR ONE

If you would like to talk over your options, contact your local domestic violence program.

Who qualifies as a "victim" under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act [PDVA]?

  • Any person who is 18 years of age or older or who is an emancipated minor (see below) and who has been subjected to domestic violence by a spouse, former spouse, or any other person who is a present or former household member;

OR

  • Any person, regardless of age, who has been subjected to domestic violence by a person with whom the victim has a child, or with whom the victim anticipates having a child in common (i.e. is pregnant);

OR

  • Any person, regardless of age, who has been subjected to domestic violence by a person with whom the victim has had a dating relationship.

"Emancipated minor" means a person who is under 18 years of age but who has been married, has entered military service, has a child or is pregnant, or has been previously declared by a court or an administrative agency to be emancipated.

Please be aware that under the PDVA, although a victim of domestic violence does not have to be 18 years of age or older, a defendant must be 18 years of age or older. If the abuser is a minor, juvenile laws apply.

If you do get a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and/or a Final Restraining Order (FRO) be sure to carry it with you at all times!!!!

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