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Final Restraining Order
An individual has a right to challenge the terms of a temporary restraining order at a proceeding referred to as a Final Restraining Order Hearing. These hearings are held at the Family Division of the Superior Court on New Street in New Brunswick, for all restraining orders issued in Middlesex County. At a final restraining order hearing, a judge will hear testimony from the parties and witnesses, review any evidence presented, and then decide whether the temporary restraining order should be made permanent. This relief is termed a final restraining order. It is important to keep in mind that this hearing is your only chance to challenge the allegations of domestic violence against you. It is therefore extremely important that every effort is undertaken to win the hearing and this is where an experienced restraining order defense attorney can prove invaluable. The lawyers at our New Brunswick law office have exceptional experience in this regard and include several former prosecutors, including Jason Seidman, an ex-supervisor in the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. An attorney that is a member of our 100 plus year experienced defense team is ready to speak to you by contacting our New Brunswick Office at 732-246-7126.
Consequences of a Final Restraining Order
Final restraining order hearings are to take place within ten (10) days of issuance of the related temporary restraining order. As stated, this is the opportunity for the defendant to fight the restraints and tell their side of the story. For example, it may be that there was no act of domestic violence to support issuance of the temporary order. There is also the possibility that required domestic relationship was lacking. The point is that this is the time for the accused to present his or her case because there are no do overs once a ruling is made. If you lose the hearing, the consequences of a final restraining order shall be felt permanently absent a voluntary dismissal by the plaintiff. You will be unable to return to the residence/dwelling you had with the victim, communicating with the victim, prevented from maintain the same place of employment with the victim, and may be ordered to pay support and undergo counseling. Other ancillary consequences also include exclusive custody of the children and the home. Because the stakes are so high and permanent, you must take a final restraining order hearing seriously and recognize that you need to present your best case at the hearing. If you don’t and lose, you may suffer all of the aforesaid consequences and, on top of it, all the plaintiff basically has to do in the future is pick up a telephone and tell the police you drove by, contacted them, or did anything that might otherwise violate the final restraining order and you get arrested.
What Needs To Happen For The Restraints to Become Final?
After all evidence is presented at the Final Restraining Order hearing, the judge must decide whether the restraints should be vacated and the temporary restraining order dismissed, or whether they become final. In order to grant a final restraining order, the judge must find that an act of domestic violence took place. The most common forms of domestic violence are simple assault, aggravated assault, harassment, stalking, criminal mischief, and terroristic threats. In determining whether domestic violence occurred, the judge will be applying the relevant facts to a preponderance of the evidence standard as opposed to beyond reasonable doubt. In this regard, the judge may several factors, including previous history of domestic violence between the parties, the existence of immediate danger to person or property, the financial circumstances of the parties, the interests of the victim, and anything else the court views as relevant. If the court concludes that there is a better chance than not that an act of domestic violence took place and that the victim is in fear of it occurring again, then the final restraining order is to be granted. For more information regarding the NJ Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, click here.
Highly Experienced Final Restraining Order Lawyers in New Brunswick
The highly skilled attorneys at our firm, which is located next to the Courthouse, are experienced in representing individuals at restraining order hearings at the Middlesex County Superior Court. We know the ins and outs of the NJ domestic violence and restraining order laws.