Domestic Violence in New Jersey
We have over 24 years of experience handling domestic violence cases for both plaintiffs and defendants. Whether you are a plaintiff or defendant, a domestic violence case can have life changing consequences. Call us now for help in all aspects of your New Jersey Domestic Violence Case.
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What is a Domestic Violence Case in New Jersey?
All "domestic violence" cases in New Jersey start as a "civil" matter assigned an "FV" Docket Number, with an ex parte application by a complaining witness for a Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”). N.J.S.A. 2C:25-28; R. 5:7A. The TRO application/complaint is almost always based upon the sworn oral testimony of the complaining witness in connection with either (a) an application made to a Judge of the Family Part of the Chancery Division, Superior Court of New Jersey; or, (b) an application made to a Judge of the Municipal Court assigned to accept complaints and issue TROs, usually in connection with the filing of a related criminal charge. If you are a defendant, you can generally determine whether you face charges in two seperate courts by looking at box 4 of the uniform "New Jersey Domestic Violence Civil Complaint and Temporary Restraining Order." All Domestic Violence cases are heard in the County Courthouse.
What are the grounds for a Domestic Violence Case in New Jersey?To qualify for a domestic violence restraining order, generally, the victim must qualify as a "Victim of Domestic Violence" and the defendant must commit at least one (1) of the fourteen (14) specific "Acts" of domestic violence defined under New Jersey's Domestic Violence Statute.
What are the consequences of a Domestic Violence Restraining Order in New Jersey?
If found guilty of domestic violence in the family court, a final order will be entered permanently restraining a defendant from contacting the plaintiff (and certain other persons specified in the order). In addition to other relief which may be imposed under N.J.S.A. 2C: 25-29(b), the entry of a final order will result in:
- Registration of Defendant's Name in the New Jersey Central Registry for Domestic Violence - N.J.S.A. 2C:25-34
- Imposition of a Mandatory Civil Penalty between $50 and $500 - N.J.S.A. 2C:25-29.1
- Imposition of a $100 Mandatory Civil Surcharge - N.J.S.A. 2C:25-29.4
- Seizure of Weapons - N.J.S.A. 2C:25-29(b) (this usually results in a loss of employment for a law enforcement officer)
- Potential Future Criminal Charges for a Violation - N.J.S.A. 2C:25-30
- If the Parties Have Children - A mandatory presumption that the best interests of the child are served by an award of custody to the non-abusive parent.- N.J.S.A. 2C:25-29(b)(11)
Additional Domestic Violence Resources
The New Jersey Judiciary provides some general resource information about New Jersey Domestic Violence. Also, the Judiciary publishes the Domestic Violence Procedures Manual, used by Judges and which was jointly prepared by the New Jersey Supreme Court and the Attorney General through the Division of Criminal Justice.
The Division of Criminal Justice publishes: The Guidelines on Police Response Procedures in Domestic Violence Cases.
At the Newark Law Offices of Kevin Crawford Orr, we can help with your domestic violence defense. Contact us today to find out more about your options.