Temporary Restraining Orders

Newark Temporary Restraining Order Lawyers

Domestic Abuse Attorneys in Essex County, New Jersey

Temporary Restraining Order Lawyer Essex County NJ
Domestic Violence

Domestic violence accusations in New Jersey are often followed by restraining orders, usually in the form of a temporary restraining order (TRO) which will then be turned into a permanent restraining order or dismissed at a final restraining order hearing in the Superior Court, Family Division. Whether you have been accused of terroristic threats, stalking, harassment, or some other criminal offense considered a predicate act of domestic violence, the consequences can be severe. A restraining order is a separate matter that is dealt with independently of any criminal charges. In fact, even if there is no pending criminal charge, you will still have to answer the restraining order and if it is placed into effect, a violation of the restraining order is a criminal offense as well. Additionally, the process for obtaining a restraining order is remarkably easy. This means that you could have a temporary restraining order imposed on you even if you did absolutely nothing wrong. That’s why it is crucial for you to take immediate action and speak with an experienced NJ restraining order lawyer as soon as you can.

The attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm understand the nuances of domestic violence law in New Jersey and we represent clients in criminal cases and restraining order hearings throughout Essex County, including Verona, Irvington, East Orange, Livingston, Bloomfield, and Maplewood. Travis J. Tormey, our firm’s founding partner, previously worked at the United States Attorney’s Office, as well as two of the largest law firms in the State of New Jersey. Moreover, the firm’s criminal defense team includes a former county and municipal prosecutor, which means that we know how to anticipate the other side’s arguments at your restraining order hearing and we use this unique insight to achieve the best possible results for our clients. Call us today to speak with a knowledgeable restraining order attorney about your domestic violence case. You can reach us day or night at 201-654-3464 for a free consultation or to schedule an appointment at our Newark offices.

Temporary Restraining Orders in New Jersey

A TRO provides temporary protection in advance of a Final Restraining Order (FRO) hearing. The TRO is issued by a superior court judge or a municipal court judge, depending upon where and when the alleged offense took place.

It is extremely easy for an alleged victim to get a temporary restraining order issued because TROs require a different standard of proof than criminal complaints. In fact, a temporary restraining order can be issued based solely on the word of the complaining party.

TROs generally require a showing of just three factors:

  1. The individual seeking the TRO must have standing as a “victim,” as defined by the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act. This means that the parties had a dating relationship, previously lived together, or have a child together.
  2. An act of domestic violence occurred. There are 14 predicates of domestic violence, including: homicide; assault; terroristic threats; stalking; harassment; kidnapping; criminal restraint; false imprisonment; sexual assault; criminal sexual contact; lewdness; criminal mischief; burglary; and criminal trespass. If reasonable evidence exists that at least one of these offenses has occurred, a judge may issue a TRO.
  3. A restraining order is necessary to protect the well-being of the victim and prevent further domestic violence.

If a temporary restraining order is issued, you will be barred from having any contact with the alleged victim and their family. You will be unable to go to the victim’s home, place of employment, or anywhere else they frequent. Your case will then be scheduled for a Final Restraining Order hearing, which must occur within 10 days of the issuance of the TRO.

A TRO has been issued against me, can I appeal?

Yes, if a temporary restraining order (TRO) has been issued against you, you have the right to appeal. You must file your appeal in writing with the court and then the TRO appeal will be scheduled right away for a court hearing. If the appeal is successful, the TRO is dismissed. If the appeal is denied, then the case will proceed normally and will be scheduled for a final restraining order hearing.

In addition, you can file a motion to modify the TRO in order to request custody of children, parenting time, visitation, child support, etc.

Where will my Essex County Restraining Order be held? At the Essex County Court, Family Division

If you have filed a temporary restraining order (TRO) or you have been served with a temporary restraining order (TRO), your case will be scheduled at the following location:

Essex County Family Court

212 Washington Street

Newark, NJ 07102

(973) 776-9300

What happens when I appear in court for my restraining order?

The hearing is usually scheduled within 10 days. At the hearing, which is held before an Essex County Superior Court Judge in the Family Court, the Plaintiff has several options:

  1. Dismiss the restraining order – If they want to dismiss, they have to speak to domestic violence counselors, sign some paperwork, and then place the dismissal on the record so the Judge can confirm they are doing so freely and voluntarily, they understand their rights, and no one is forcing or threatening them to dismiss the case.
  2. Ask for a postponement to get an attorney or to gather evidence for trial
  3. Discuss a potential settlement with the defendant – negotiate a settlement agreement called civil restraints and enter into this agreement in lieu of the restraining order, which is dismissed
  4. Proceed to trial

What happens at a restraining order trial?

The trial is held before a Judge in Family Court. The Plaintiff has the burden of proof and goes first. They will testify and admit any evidence they have and want the Court to consider which includes the following:

  • Text messages
  • Emails
  • Voicemails
  • Videos
  • Witness testimony
  • Pictures of injuries or damage to property
  • Police reports
  • Hospital records

The Plaintiff must show by a preponderance of evidence that an act of domestic violence occurred, there is a prior history of violence between the parties, and that a reasonable person in their situation would be in fear and need the protection that a restraining order provides. If the Plaintiff can establish all of these elements, a final restraining order (FRO) will be issued which is permanent in NJ and never expires. The defendant will be fingerprinted and placed into a database for domestic violence offenders. They will be prohibited from owning or possessing firearms. If the Plaintiff fails to establish all of the necessary elements, the case is dismissed and all of the restraints are lifted.

Contact a Bloomfield Restraining Order Lawyer about Your Case

In addition to facing a restraining order, you could also be subject to serious criminal charges for the underlying domestic violence incident. That’s because the restraining order hearing is considered a civil proceeding; the accompany charges are considered criminal proceedings. As a result, you are going to need the assistance of a domestic violence attorney who can defend you in both areas. The Tormey Law Firm is prepared to represent you in all proceedings associated with these accusations. If you are dealing with a restraining order or criminal domestic abuse matter in Essex County, contact us anytime at 201-654-3464 to discuss your case with one of our experienced domestic violence attorneys. You can also email us to schedule a free consultation at our offices in Newark, NJ.

Client Reviews
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  • "Travis Tormey is the only lawyer I seek out to handle my legal affairs. Over the last four years, I have used Mr. Tormey’s services on numerous occasions to my great benefit. He promptly returns my messages, takes the time..."

  • "Travis Tormey is a superb attorney. He is skilled and knowledgeable. He handled my case with respect, kindness and quiet assurance. I would trust him with all future legal needs. He has many contacts in the legal profession..."

  • "Mr. Tormey is a consummate professional. Our case was sensitive and complicated and unusually lengthy for a juvenile case. For 8 months Mr. Tormey faithfully worked our case and never failed to show for court once. Punctual, disciplined..."

  • "Travis Tormey is an outstanding attorney. He helped me tremendously, more so than I ever could have imagined. He handled all aspects of my case with compassion, respect, and immense competence. He is a skilled and knowledge..."

  • "I was extremely nervous and anticipating the worst situation possible for my cases. Travis was a very reliable lawyer and everyone at his firm was extremely helpful. Travis went above and beyond inside and outside of the court room for me! ..."

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