Domestic Violence in New Jersey is encompassed by the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act. It is a very comprehensive statute. It sets forth the procedures for the issuance of Temporary Restraining Orders, hearings for Final Restraining Orders, and Violations of either Temporary Restraining Orders or Final Restraining Orders.
It is a well-written and well-intentioned statute however, it is not written in a chronological fashion. Family Part judges, attorneys, and parties who are subject to the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act have all struggled with understanding the many complexities of the statute. It can best be described as dense.
In essence, Domestic Violence is one or more of fourteen enumerated criminal acts committed by an individual against another person who has standing to allege an act of Domestic Violence.
A victim of Domestic Violence is a person who is eighteen years of age or older or who is an emancipated minor and has been subjected to Domestic Violence by a spouse, former spouse, present or former household member, has a child in common with or with whom the victim anticipated having a child in common or has had a dating relationship.
If the victim can demonstrate such standing, and one or more of fourteen enumerated criminal acts has occurred, they can apply to either a Superior Court judge or Municipal Court judge for a Temporary Restraining Order. Within 10 days of the issuance of the Temporary Restraining Order, a Final Restraining Order will be scheduled in the Superior Court-Family Part.
Once the Temporary Restraining Order is entered, the individual against whom the restraints have been entered can have no contact with the alleged victim.
If the Family Part judge finds that an act of Domestic Violence has been proven by a preponderance of the evidence and a Final Restraining Order is entered, the restraints are permanent in New Jersey. To repeat, a Final Restraining Order in New Jersey is a permanent Order.
If You or a family member are dealing with domestic violence, call us call us at 732-625-9661.