How do I remove a final restraining order (FRO) in NJ?
NJ Restraining Order Lawyers with offices in Hackensack, New Jersey
Do you need help removing an old restraining order from your record? We can help.
A final restraining order (FRO) in New Jersey, unlike some other states, is permanent and never expires. That’s why it is imperative that you hire an experienced restraining order lawyer to represent you in court at the final restraining order hearing. Now, if it is too late and the final restraining order has been issued against you, don’t panic. There are ways to have the restraining order vacated and removed from your record at some point. However, if you don’t take any action the restraining order is permanent, never expires, and will be with you forever. For more information, contact our experienced restraining order attorneys now for immediate assistance at 201-556-1570. The initial consultation is always provided free of charge. Mr. Tormey has been given the clients choice award from AVVO.com for four straight years (2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016) and is the highest rated 10.0 rating on their site.
Here is a review from one of the many satisfied restraining order clients of the Tormey Law Firm:
Posted by Maria
“My brother had actually consulted and hired Mr Travis Tormey in regards to a TRO against him. Things got a bit more complicated whereas I needed to contact the law office several times and spoke with Joanne, who was extremely helpful, patient and totally understanding. When I had to speak to Travis I would text him and he would communicate with me in a timely fashion considering he was busy in court or had to wait to hear from his partners, who were also involved in the case. Overall the professionalism and expertise in their field was exceptional. In court they defended my brother with such compassion and dedication to their client. At the conclusion, case was dismissed thanks to both Travis and Tom. They demonstrated their strong capabilities and passion that I feel merit them a five star review. I would definitely recommend this law firm to anyone in need of legal advice or defense.”
Removing a Final Restraining Order from my record in New Jersey
Appeal a Restraining Order
So, if you have a final restraining order issued against you, there are essentially three ways to have it removed. The first way is to appeal the issuance of the order by the judge, but you only have 45 days to do that from the issuance of the order. If that time has expired, then this is no longer an option for you. If you are still within the 45 day appeal period, contact our offices immediately for a free initial consultation at 201-556-1570.
Victim Voluntarily Dismisses It
The second option to have a permanent restraining order removed is if the victim voluntarily dismisses it. However, you can not contact them to see if they are willing to do that because that would be a violation of the restraining order and you would be arrested. If the victim does voluntarily wish to dismiss the order, he or she must appear in court and place this on the record. A plaintiff seeking to dismiss the FRO must be counseled of their rights and consequences of dismissing the FRO. The judge will confirm that they are doing so freely and voluntarily and that they are not being forced to do so. Specifically, the judge requires a written Certificate of Dismissal to satisfy the requirement that the protected party understands their rights and consequences and voluntarily seeks the dismissal. Once the judge confirms this, the restraining order will be vacated and dismissed. Seeking help from an attorney when you wish to dismiss a restraining order is highly advisable, as the judge can rest-assured that you have knowledgeable legal counsel walking you through the process and fully understand the implications of your decision.
Motion to Vacate the Restraining Order in Court
The third option is to file a motion to have the restraining order removed. You must show the court that there has been a change in circumstances since the issuance of the order such as time passing, parties moving out of state, that there have been no violations of the initial order, and that the restraining order is no longer necessary to protect the plaintiff. If the motion is successful, the final restraining order will be vacated by the judge and dismissed.
There are a few steps in this process. First, according to court rule, we must attach a transcript of the original hearing (if it exists). On some of the older cases, there will not be a transcript but we still need a letter from the court saying there isn’t one. If there is, we need to order that and attach it to our motion papers. Then, we draft the paperwork and submit a certification and brief detailing all of the factors to the Judge as to why the restraining order should be lifted. We must serve a copy of our motion papers on the Plaintiff because she has an opportunity to object if she wishes. This objection can be a written submission or she can show up in court at the hearing and tell the Judge on the record why she doesn’t want the restraining order removed.
NOTE: Even if the plaintiff objects, the Judge can still dismiss the restraining order. We have had this happen several times on our cases.
After filing a Motion to Vacate the FRO with court and giving notice to the other party, it will be scheduled for a hearing in court where the Judge will hear oral arguments from both sides (if there is an objection) and then make a ruling. Sometimes the Plaintiff consents to the restraining order being removed and then the Judge doesn’t have a hearing but just signs the Order granting the motion on the papers. The court considers both sides, and the entirety of the circumstances based on criteria set out in in Carfagno v. Carfagno, 288 N.J.Super. 424 (Ch. Div. 1995) to decide whether to dismiss the FRO. Specifically, the judge considers if the victim consents to the dismissal, the current relationship of the parties, the age and health of the defendant, and whether the defendant has violated the order previously, has a substance abuse problem, other violent offenses on record, attends counseling, or has other restraining orders.
Assembling and arguing the most compelling case in your favor requires knowledge and skill, which our attorneys have accumulated in the numerous successful motions to remove restraining orders that we have handled in virtually every county in the state.
For more information regarding removal of a restraining order in New Jersey, contact our experienced NJ restraining order attorneys now for immediate assistance at 201-556-1570. The initial consultation is always provided at absolutely no cost to you.