Restraining Orders

Temporary and permanent restraining orders. Get one or Fight one.


Do I Really Need a Lawyer? While an individual can request a restraining order “ex parte” there is simply too much at stake given the urgency to have the restraining order granted as quickly as possible. Furthermore correcting any errors in filing will result in becoming entwined in bureaucratic for an unknown duration.

Therefore it’s best to use legal counsel to enact a restraining order as we will review your case and discuss every possible approach to obtaining the best result on your behalf in court.

What is a Restraining Order? A Restraining Order is a Civil Court Order intended to protect a victim of Domestic Violence. A Restraining Order is a civil order, not a criminal judgement, which means it does not result in a forfeiture of Civil Rights or a criminal record. Restraining Orders are handled in the Family Division in the county in which the domestic violence occurred or in which the parties reside.

Domestic Violence is an umbrella term that includes any of the following acts committed by an adult or an emancipated minor. (An emancipated minor is a person under 18 years of age but who has been married, has entered military service, has a child or is pregnant, or has been declared by a court or administrative agency as emancipated.)

  • Assault
  • Criminal Sexual Contact
  • Kidnapping
  • Burglary
  • Criminal Trespass
  • Lewdness
  • Criminal Mischief
  • False Imprisonment
  • Sexual Assault
  • Criminal Restraint
  • Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Terroristic Threats
  • Homicide

What Protections can a Restraining Order provide? A Restraining Order can demand the abuser keep a distance from you, or others who were involved in the domestic abuse, or from the scene of the violence – including text and email.

Are there different types of restraining orders in New Jersey? Yes. In NJ there are two types of restraining orders:

  • Temporary (TRO, Temporary Restraining Order)
  • Final (FRO, Final Restraining Order)

Temporary Restraining Orders are granted by a Judge until there is a hearing for a Final Restraining Order (FRO). An FRO hearing is normally scheduled within ten days of a TRO being issued.

One advantage of using legal counsel to file a Temporary Restraining Order is that you may not need to appear in court if the Judge determines your circumstances to be urgent. And in emergency or after business hours circumstances there will always be an “on-call” Municipal Judge who can grant a temporary restraining order.

Within ten days after a Temporary Restraining Order issued the Court will typically schedule a Final Restraining Order hearing. At the Final Restraining Order hearing you can detail your side of the story including supporting evidence and witnesses.

Can a Restraining Order be customized to accommodate the situation? Yes. Protective orders can include provisions regarding child custody, insuring safety of the defendant and prohibiting contact or communication – even a single email or text message – between the plaintiff and defendant as well as financial support.

Is a Final Restraining Order (FRO) permanent? A Final Restraining Order has no expiration date. However the defendant can petition the Court to lift or modify the Final Restraining Order.

Is it difficult to lift a Restraining Order? Once a Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) is issued, it’s not so easy to dismiss it. It requires going to court, meeting with a domestic violence counselor, filling out paperwork, and then putting the dismissal on the record in court in front of a judge.

What happens if the Defendant breaks a Restraining Order? A defendant breaking any Restraining Order can be criminally charged, face a fine and lose the right to legally own a firearm.

Must the defendant be preset in Court? When applying for a Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) the applicant is usually present. The defendant is typically not present.

At the Final Restraining Order both the applicant and defendant can present their side of the story. If the Defendant does not appear at the Final Restraining Order hearing, the Judge will either: (1) continue the temporary order until the defendant can be present or (2) will invoke a Final Restraining Order if there is proof that the defendant was served with the Temporary Restraining Order Notice to Appear. A Notice to Appear is served by the sheriff or police.