How to Get a Restraining Order in Morris County, New Jersey

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Morris County NJ Restraining Order Help

If you need to obtain a restraining order against someone in Morris County, New Jersey, you may have many questions about how to move forward. First and foremost, it is essential to know that help is available. Every year, thousands of people are the victims of domestic violence in New Jersey, whether it involves harassment, stalking, assault, or another crime of domestic abuse. New Jersey law protects these victims and a restraining order can put the law on your side if you need protection. In order to get a restraining order, you will need to file a complaint for a Temporary Restraining Order. Then, you will have a hearing in the Morris County Superior Court, Family Division, after which a judge will determine if a Final Restraining Order should be placed into effect. At The Tormey Law Firm, our attorneys regularly assist clients with filing and securing restraining orders in Morris County. From our offices in Morristown, we serve residents in Chatham, Madison, Mendham, Florham Park, Roxbury, Randolph, and throughout the area. Please read on to learn more about how to get a restraining order in New Jersey and contact us at (908) 336-5008 for a free consultation. One of our experienced domestic violence lawyers is available to assist you immediately.

File a Temporary Restraining Order in New Jersey

When you initially seek a restraining order, you need to file a complaint requesting a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in either the county where you live, the county where the other party lives, the county where the act of domestic violence occurred, or the county where you are currently being sheltered.

If you need to obtain a restraining order in Morris County, there are several locations where a TRO can be filed. Specifically, you can go to the Morris County Courthouse Family Division, located at Washington and Court Streets in Morristown, NJ. The court is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.. You can also file the necessary paperwork for a restraining order at the local municipal court between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. If you need to file for a TRO on a weekend or after regular business hours, you can go to your local police station.

When you are filling out the restraining order paperwork, you will need to provide information regarding your relationship with the abuser, the instances of abuse that have occurred recently and in the past, the person’s address, and other personal information. It is important to be as comprehensive as possible when completing these documents, as they will be essential to establishing the prior history of domestic violence necessary to obtain a permanent restraining order in New Jersey. If you have questions about filling out a TRO form, please contact our attorneys anytime for help.

What is Necessary for a TRO in New Jersey?

After you complete the restraining order forms, you will see a judge who will determine whether or not a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) should be issued. If for some reason you cannot appear in court, you will be required to sign a sworn statement explaining your domestic violence situation which will be reviewed by the judge. When deciding if a TRO should be placed in effect, the judge will need to find that:

  • The abuser committed a predicate act of domestic violence (threatening you, assaulting you, harassing you, etc.)
  • There is a history of domestic violence in your relationship (the abuser did something in the past that would constitute abuse under NJ law); and
  • You need a temporary restraining order to protect you because you are reasonably afraid for your safety

What Does a TRO Do?

If the judge grants a Temporary Restraining Order in your case, it will serve a variety of purposes before the final hearing occurs. A TRO in New Jersey is meant to protect you prior to the court hearing that may result in a Final Restraining Order (FRO). Thus, it serves as a protective court order much in the same way that a permanent restraining order does. Specifically, your Temporary Restraining Order may require any of the following:

  • The other party cannot have any contact with you. This means they cannot communicate with you by phone, email, text, social media, etc. They are also prohibited from coming to your home, place of work, school, or any other location you frequent. If they need to retrieve belongings from your home, they must be accompanied by a police escort at a scheduled date and time.
  • The person named in the TRO cannot contact your family, loved ones, boss, or any other protected persons included in the order.
  • If you have children, the judge may impose a temporary visitation schedule or grant you temporary child custody
  • The police may search your home or the other party’s home and confiscate any weapons

What Happens after a Temporary Restraining Order is Issued?

If a Temporary Restraining Order is issued in a domestic violence case, the State must schedule a hearing for a Final Restraining Order (FRO) within approximately 10 days. At these proceedings, a Family Court judge will hear testimony from both you and the defendant about the alleged domestic violence. An FRO trial is a complex and highly emotional event, which is why it is essential to have an experienced restraining order attorney representing your interests and aggressively arguing your case.

The Judge will hear testimony and examine all of the evidence presented to determine if a final restraining order (FRO) should issue. Some of the evidence presented may include:

  • Text Messages
  • Emails
  • Videos
  • Pictures of Injuries
  • Eye Witness Testimony
  • Hospital records
  • Police reports
  • Voicemails

If the Plaintiff establishes that an act of domestic violence occurred, there is a prior history of DV, and that they are in fear for their safety and need the protection of a restraining order, the Judge will issue a final restraining order (FRO) which is permanent in NJ and never expires. The Plaintiff must establish all of those elements under a civil standard of proof which is a preponderance of evidence. This is “more likely than not” or a 51% burden of proof.

NOTE: Remember, the burden of proof always remains with the plaintiff and never shifts to the defendant. The defendant does not need to testify or produce any evidence but they can if they wish.

If the Plaintiff fails to meet their burden of proof, then the restraining order will be denied and dismissed.

Violation of a Morris County Restraining Order

Once the TRO or FRO is issued, if the defendant violates the order by contacting the plaintiff or going to their home or place of employment, the defendant will be arrested and charged criminally with contempt. The defendant will be taken to the Morris County Jail on a warrant complaint and a Judge will review their bail within 24-48 hours to determine whether or not they should be released from jail and with what conditions. If a defendant is convicted for 2 violations of a restraining order, they must serve time in the Morris County Jail (30 days minimum).

Contact Our Morristown Office Now for Immediate Assistance Filing a Restraining Order in Morris County NJ

The domestic violence attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm have extensive experience handling every aspect of restraining order cases for clients throughout Morris County and New Jersey. We will help you in assembling and constructing a comprehensive and compelling case and work tirelessly to ensure you get the Final Restraining Order you need. Call us anytime at (908) 336-5008 or contact us online and find the help you need.

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With unmatched knowledge and experience in the practice of law, the seasoned attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm are committed to serving their clients and tenaciously confronting the allegations against them.

We will examine every facet of your case in order to defend your constitutional rights and reputation.

With a dedicated legal advocate to assist you, our attorneys will ensure that you are never forced to navigate the complex legal process on your own.

The Tormey Law Firm

Morristown Location

55 Madison Avenue, Suite 400, Morristown, NJ 07960

(908) 336-5008 Directions

Areas we serve

All of Morris County including Boonton, Boonton Township, Butler, Chatham Borough, Chatham Township, Chester Borough, Chester Township, Denville Township, Dover, East Hanover Township, Florham Park, Hanover Township, Harding Township, Jefferson Township, Kinnelon, Lincoln Park, Long Hill Township, Madison, Mendham Borough, Mendham Township, Mine Hill Township, Mount Arlington, Montville, Morris Plains, Morris Township, Morristown, Mount Olive Township, Mountain Lakes, Netcong, Parsippany-Troy Hills Township, Pequannock Township, Randolph, Riverdale, Rockaway Borough, Rockaway Township, Roxbury Township, Victory Gardens, Washington Township, and Wharton.