Remove a Final Restraining Order in Essex County NJ

How do I remove a Final Restraining Order in Newark?

Need to Get Rid of an Old Restraining Order in Essex County? Call Us

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Remove Old FRO

Unlike some other states, a restraining order in New Jersey is permanent and never expires. So, if you have had a final restraining order (FRO) issued against you, you must take action or you will be dealing with it forever. This includes fingerprints, being placed in a statewide database for domestic violence offenders, the inability to own or possess firearms, and the fact that this restraining order could affect your job, employment, professional licenses, traveling in and out of the country, and more. As a result, if it is possible to remove this permanent restraining order from your background, it is imperative that you take action to do this today. Our Essex County restraining order lawyers are very familiar with the restraining order laws in NJ and how to file a motion to potentially remove this restraining order from your record. With offices conveniently located in Newark, NJ, we appear in the Essex County Superior Court on restraining order cases every week and are more than capable of handling this matter for you from beginning to end. We represent clients with domestic violence cases in Bloomfield, Verona, Little Falls, West Orange, East Orange, South Orange, Montclair, and Cedar Grove. Contact our offices now for immediate assistance at 201-654-3464. The initial consultation is always provided free of charge.

Who Can Request a Restraining Order be Removed in New Jersey?

Both parties involved in a restraining order case may request that the order be removed. The victim can request that a restraining order be lifted for several reasons. For example, if the victim has forgiven the defendant or reconciled, they may want the order removed. If the victim has children with the defendant and wants their children to have a good relationship with them, it could motivate the removal of a restraining order. Of course, the defendant may want to lift the order as well.

The defendant’s potential motivations for vacating the FRO are vast and varied. For one, when young children are involved, the order could prevent the defendant from visiting them or having little to no contact with them, creating confusion and affecting the children’s mental health. Another example is when many years have passed and both parties have remarried or continued their lives with their new families.  Perhaps the circumstances surrounding where the parties live make the FRO unnecessary. If one party lives several states away or in another country, they would no longer be a threat.  If the parties have no children in common or those that they have are grown up, visitation and custody are no longer an issue, and that tie between the parties has dissipated. Should the defendant want to leave the country for work or leisure, obtaining a visa to certain countries could prove problematic if the FRO is still in place.

Process to Remove an Old Restraining Order in Essex County NJ

Although the plaintiff is often seen as the one in the driver’s seat when a final restraining order is placed into effect, he or she cannot simply decide it is unnecessary and should be lifted without first going to court. Essentially, the plaintiff can formally place on the record in court that he or she wants to have the restraining order removed. Once the judge reviews the case and confirms the voluntary, informed request of the victim, they can move forward with removing the old restraining order. If you placed a restraining order and want to remove it, our experienced attorneys are at the ready to guide you through the process. We will accompany you to the hearing, where a judge will ask about your motivation for removing the order and have you sign a document indicating you are not being coerced or threatened.  This process can seem daunting, but we have provided legal support to thousands of clients in this situation empathetically and successfully.

But it’s not just the victim who can successfully request that a restraining order be removed. The defendant can submit a motion to vacate the restraining order as well. A motion to vacate a FRO (final restraining order) is a way to get a restraining order removed by petitioning the court. The motion argues that the FRO is no longer necessary due to changed circumstances and provides reasons to support how things have changed since the order was put into place. Our talented attorneys will prepare a detailed dossier that includes evidence regarding your growth and success in interpersonal relationships at home, at work, and in your community. A final restraining order can often be removed with the proper representation, and we will pull together a comprehensive and compelling argument to position you to successfully get the order dismissed.

What Goes into Judicial Decision-Making to Vacate a Restraining Order in NJ

The judge considers various factors when a motion to dissolve a restraining order is filed. The first consideration is whether the victim consents to the removal of the order. The current relationship between the parties and if the victim fears the defendant is considered.  The defendant’s present use of alcohol or illicit substances, participation in counseling or anger management classes, and violent behaviors with others are also examined. The defendant’s health, age, and whether they have other restraining orders against them also make up the judge’s considerations.

The case that laid out these factors is Carfagno v. Carfagno, so the factors considered to decide whether the court should approve a motion to vacate a restraining order are often known as the “Carfagno factors.” The basic situation in this case was as follows. Mr. and Ms. Carfagno were embroiled in a domestic violence case, and Ms. Carfagno filed a complaint against her husband for harassment.  She alleged that there were frequent angry phone calls from Mr. Carfagno, that he stalked her, and that used her car without her permission.  On May 21, 1992, the court issued a FRO against Mr. Carfagno, and he was forbidden to contact her under any circumstances, barring those regarding the children they shared.

Mr. Carfagno violated the restraining order several times, pleading guilty to contempt in September of 1992 after he was caught following Ms. Carfagno on the road and yelling at her from his car. Two years later, in March 1994, he was found guilty again after incidents of following her and harassing her with phone calls. In 1995, Mr. Carfagno submitted a motion to remove the restraining order, arguing that there hadn’t been any recent incidents and his children shouldn’t be subjected to all of the messiness and hostility the relationship he and Ms. Carfagno had endured.  He also admitted to inadvertently violating the order because Ms. Carfagno no longer required protection and insisted on maintaining the order in bad faith to prevent him from finding a better job.

Ms. Carfagno vehemently opposed the dissolution of the order, citing continued arguments, threats, harassment, and stalking on the part of Mr. Carfagno, and maintained that she lived in constant fear he would harm her or their children. The court determined that Mr. Carfagno provoked arguments and attempted to control Ms. Carfagno.  They found her fears credible, and based on Mr. Carfagno’s past actions and ongoing behavior, they denied his request to remove the restraining order.

If the Plaintiff Disputes a Motion to Vacate an FRO, You can Still Prove Your Case

Just because the plaintiff disputes the removal of the restraining order, it doesn’t mean it is impossible.  It requires careful preparation on the part of you and your attorney.  If you can show that you have received counseling or substance abuse treatment if necessary, have no other protection orders against you, and haven’t demonstrated violent behavior in any other instance, you can potentially show you are not a threat to the plaintiff.  Additionally, if you can prove that the plaintiff has violated the order several times and no longer sees you as a threat, or they aren’t acting in good faith by opposing your motion, your request could be granted. Lastly, the courts place family stability high on the list of priorities, and if, by dissolving the order, you and your children will have better interaction, that is a point in your favor.

If you have a restraining order against you and want to have it removed, whether or not the plaintiff is in agreement, our lawyers can present the details of your case that show you in the best light, giving due consideration to all of the elements of your life and your relationship with the plaintiff that we can use to your advantage.

Vacating a Restraining Order vs. Expunging Your Criminal Record in NJ

If a temporary or final restraining order was issued against you and then dismissed, there is nothing to expunge or remove from your record because a restraining order is civil in NJ, not criminal. However, if you were arrested for a violation of that restraining order, then there is an arrest record that should be expunged. This is a different process than motioning the court to vacate a restraining order. Our lawyers handle both of these processes, as we are well-versed in the ways to remove a restraining order and the ways to get an old domestic violence arrest or conviction off your record.

Need Attorney, Dissolve a Restraining Order Newark NJ

For more information regarding removal of a restraining order in New Jersey, contact our experienced Essex County NJ restraining order attorneys now for immediate assistance at 201-654-3464. The initial consultation is always provided at absolutely no cost to you.

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