In New Jersey, when there have been allegations of domestic violence, it is customary for the court to issue a restraining order/order of protection. That order will place limits on the actions of the named party, typically preventing him or her from making contact with or coming within a certain distance of another person (the purported victim of the domestic violence). The court will typically issue a temporary restraining order (TRO), in place until the court can hold a hearing. At that hearing, the judge will listen to testimony from both parties and will determine whether to terminate the TRO or to make it permanent as a final restraining order (FRO).
As a general rule, the restraining order will prevent or limit all types of contact, including by phone, e-mail, text message, letter or card, gift or physical presence. The order can also make it a violation to attempt to use an intermediary, such as a child or co-worker, to convey a message. In addition, the restraining order can require that the named party do certain things, such as pay mortgage or vehicle payments, maintain health insurance on the victim or file tax returns.
The Consequences of Violating a Restraining Order
A restraining order is a court order, with the full force and effect of the state. If you fail to comply with the terms of a restraining order, you can be found in contempt of court, a serious criminal offense. A first conviction for contempt can result in 18 months in jail and fines of up to $25,000. Additional penalties can be imposed for subsequent violations of the order.
Contact Attorney Gregg A. Wisotsky
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