NJ Restraining Order Lawyers with offices in Morristown, NJ
The Morris County restraining order defense lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm recently prevailed at trial, resulting in the dismissal of a restraining order. Our client was accused of harassment by his wife, who alleged that our client was abusing a controlled dangerous substance and that the substance use created a dangerous environment that could only be stopped by a final restraining order. This allegation, however, did not fit within the statutory definition of harassment and, fortunately for our client, the family court judge was convinced by our persuasive legal argument. The end result after the final restraining order trial was that the court dismissed the restraining order and all of the restrictions put in place by the initial temporary restraining order were lifted.
Under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991, harassment is considered one of nineteen predicate acts of domestic violence that can justify the entry of a restraining order. N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4 sets forth that a person commits harassment if, with purpose to harass another, he: a) makes, or causes to be made, a communication or communications anonymously or at extremely inconvenient hours, or in offensively coarse language, or any other manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm; b) subjects another to striking, kicking, shoving, or other offensive touching, or threatens to do so; or c) engages in any other course of alarming conduct or of repeatedly committed acts with purpose to alarm or seriously annoy such other person. Because of the specific statutory language, the family court judge agreed that our client’s alleged drug use could not be used as a basis for a restraining order because, in this case, one person’s drug use does not indicate an intent to harass another person. Accordingly, the court dismissed the restraining order after conclusion of the trial.
Final restraining order trials are typically scheduled within ten days of the entry of a temporary restraining order. During a final restraining order trial, the plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that a predicate act of domestic violence occurred and that a final restraining order is needed for protection from the defendant. At trial, both parties are permitted to present their own testimony, witnesses, documents, photographs, and other physical evidence; however, the questions asked and the evidence presented must comply with the court rules and the rules of evidence. Thus, it is important to have an experienced restraining order attorney on your side during a final restraining order hearing. The domestic violence lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm have successfully handled countless restraining order cases and now they’re ready to help you.