Challenging the Elements that Must Be Met to Finalize a Restraining Order in New Jersey

A restraining order can be filed against a person even if your criminal charges are filed. Often, it can be filed even if no violence occurred. The issuance of a temporary restraining order or TRO is based only on the petitioner’s words. And while a TRO does not appear on background checks for employment, it can affect your life in a lot of frustrating ways. That is why you need a restraining order defense attorney in New Jersey to help you fight the order issued against you. 

If you are facing a restraining order, there will be limits to where you can go including your child’s school, in-laws’ residence, your spouse’s workplace, and your home. Violating the order can lead to criminal charges such as contempt of court, which will appear on your record. These charges also include jail time and fines. 

Fighting a Restraining Order

Before a final order can be issued by a judge, a lot of things should exist. Because of this, there are different ways your attorney can fight your TRO. 

For a final order to be issued, the petitioner must prove an incident of abuse or harassment actually happened. To establish this, they have to show photos that possibly reveal cell phone or email correspondence and witness testimony. Your lawyer can challenge the witness’ credibility, discredit any admitted evidence, and cross-examine the alleged victim on discrepancies with their story. 

Also, the petitioner should prove you have a history of domestic violence to be granted a final restraining order. There has to be an established record of this incidence happening. Often, this may make it essential to pull up previous arrest records that show complaints have been filed against you or getting witness testimony. 

Lastly, the petitioner must show they are reasonable to fear for their future safety because of your actions. This element must exist for a final order to be entered. Even if the petitioner can show one abusive incident and a history of incidents, this doesn’t automatically mean a reasonable fear of their safety exists. For instance, if you consistently called the petitioner “ugly” and harassed them through phone calls calling their names, it is not reasonable for the petitioner to fear their safety.  Calling the other party names does not mean making threats and does not prove she must be afraid of you. Your attorney can cast doubt on this matter to fight the initial order issued against you. 

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