The New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (N.J.S.A.2C:25-17 et seq. NJPDVA) is a law that offers protection against domestic violence and domestic abuse. It applies to anyone over the age of 18 who is experiencing
domestic abuse by any of the following:
• Spouse or former spouse
• Current or former household member (i.e., an adult child)
• Current or former dating partner
• Biological or adoptive co-parent, including a prospective co-parent if either party is pregnant.
In order to obtain protection under the Act, a victim of domestic violence must file a Complaint with either the Superior Court of New Jersey, Family Part or, alternatively, the appropriate municipal court.
If it appears to the Court that the complainant is in danger of domestic violence, they will be granted a Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) which is issued on an “ex parte” basis (without notice to the opposing party). The TRO will remain in effect until the Court entertains a hearing (which is supposed to occur within 10 days) on the matter and determines whether or not permanent restraints are necessary.
The Statute further provides classifications of offenses which will be considered “domestic violence.” This encompasses many acts that are recognized in our criminal code, however, when the incident qualifies as domestic violence, there are added legal considerations.
These acts include:
• Terroristic threats
• Criminal restraint
• False imprisonment
• Sexual assault
• Criminal sexual contact
• Criminal mischief
• Criminal trespass
• Harassment N
• Criminal coercion
If you or someone you love is the victim of domestic violence, you have the right to seek and obtain a restraining order as protection. Restraining orders are free to obtain and many can be granted the same day they are requested. While anyone can request a restraining order on their own, having a knowledgeable New Jersey by your side throughout the process can make matters easier and less overwhelming. We can ensure that all paperwork is completed appropriately and that you receive the protection you need.
If you are in need of a restraining order, don’t wait to call our office at (973) 542-0200.