Judge Dismisses Restraining Order After Trial in Newark NJ
Newark NJ Final Restraining Order Lawyers
The domestic violence and restraining order defense attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm in Essex County recently prevailed at trial in the New Jersey Superior Court, Family Part in Newark. Our client had recently filed an annulment from his wife but then she filed a temporary restraining order alleging that she was being harassed – she alleged that our client just would not leave her alone. But, the allegation could not have been farther from the truth. In preparation for trial, our defense team compiled evidence including e-mails and text messages that disproved the plaintiff’s case. Then, at trial the plaintiff presented her case but the judge was not convinced and agreed with our argument that there simply was not enough evidence to justify a final restraining order, resulting in a dismissal of the case.
The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act establishes nineteen predicate acts of domestic violence under N.J.S.A. 2C:25-19 (1) through (19), one of which is harassment. According to the analytical framework in Silver v. Silver, 387 N.J. Super. 112 (App. Div. 2006), a trial court must find by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not, that at least one enumerated act of domestic violence occurred before the entry of a final restraining order. The New Jersey Criminal Code, N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4, sets forth that a person commits harassment if with purpose to harass another, he 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; subjects another to striking, kicking, shoving, or other offensive touching, or threatens to do so; or engages in any other course of alarming conduct or of repeatedly committed acts with purpose to alarm or seriously annoy such other person.
At trial, it is the plaintiff’s burden to prove that the defendant committed and act of domestic violence. In other words, it is not enough for the plaintiff to say, “I’m being harassed.” Rather, the plaintiff must show specific facts that satisfy the legal requirements of one of the legal definitions of harassment. In our recent victory, we effectively and successfully pinpointed and underscored the weaknesses in the plaintiff’s case as they related to whether or not harassment actually occurred and whether or not a final restraining order was truly necessary for protection from our client. Accordingly, the court dismissed the case and vacated the temporary restraining order. If you have been accused of domestic violence and served with a temporary restraining order in New Jersey, you should contact the experienced restraining order defense lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm who have successfully defended countless clients against allegations of domestic violence in family courts across New Jersey.