Remove an Old Restraining Order in New Jersey
Morristown NJ Domestic Violence Family Lawyers
The Morris County restraining order lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm just helped another client with removing a final restraining order in New Jersey. Believe it or not, the restraining order in this case was almost 30 years old and even though our client had not had any contact with the plaintiff, the restraining order remained in effect. In fact, all final restraining orders entered in the New Jersey Superior Court are permanent and never expire. Thus, in our client’s case, even though the restraining order against him was almost thirty years old, every time he traveled abroad and returned to the United States, his name showed up in the domestic violence database and he was held at customs and interrogated as to the nature of his travels. Eventually it got to the point where our client did not want the deal with the hassle anymore and he wanted to remove the final restraining order. Fortunately for our client, he contacted the Tormey Law Firm and we were able to make the moves needed to vacate the final restraining order.
Generally, the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act at N.J.S.A. 2C:25-19(d) states that a final restraining order may be dissolved or modified upon the showing of good cause. However, the statute does not expressly define what constitutes “good cause” and there is case law that sets forth eleven factors to be considered by the court when deciding whether or not to vacate a final restraining order. According to Carfagno v. Carfagno, 288 N.J. Super. 424 (Ch. Div. 1995), courts should consider the following factors when determining whether good cause has been shown that a final restraining order should be removed: (1) whether the victim consented to lift the order; (2) whether the victim fears the defendant; (3) the nature of the relationship between parties today; (4) the number of times the defendant has been convicted of contempt for violating the order; (5) whether the defendant has continuing involvement with drug or alcohol abuse; (6) whether the defendant has been involved in other violent acts with other persons; (7) whether the defendant has engaged in counseling; (8) the age and health of the defendant; (9) whether the victim is acting in good faith when opposing the defendant’s request; (10) whether another jurisdiction has entered an order protecting the victim from the defendant; and (11) any others factors deemed relevant by court.
If you are named as a defendant on a final restraining order in New Jersey, the bottom line is that the restraining order will be in place permanently unless the plaintiff voluntarily dismisses the restraining order or if you succeed with a motion to vacate the restraining order. In order to file a motion to vacate a restraining order, the motion papers must be filed and served in accordance with the New Jersey Court Rules and then must be argued in court before a family court judge. As with all legal proceedings, an experienced attorney can help with navigating the system and with putting your best case forward. If you are interested in removing a final restraining order entered against you in New Jersey, you should contact the Tormey Law Firm – our experienced restraining order defense attorneys have helped clients across New Jersey with vacating restraining orders and we are ready to help you today.