Nearly all temporary restraining orders (TROs) under the New Jersey Prevention Against Domestic Violence Act are ex parte orders. So long as one or more required acts are sworn to, it’s highly likely that a judge will enter that order. No notice to the defendant of a plaintiff’s intention to obtain a domestic violence TRO is required, and that defendant need not be in court for the TRO hearing. A judge will set the matter for hearing on a final restraining order (FRO) for a date about 10 days out.
As opposed to a hearing on a TRO when notice is rarely given to a defendant, and legal protocol is relaxed, that individual is entitled to the full protection of due process of law in an FRO hearing. It’s likely that an attorney will represent him or her. The rules of civil procedure apply, and they can be confusing. The rules of evidence also apply in an FRO hearing, and those are highly complex. Then the burden of proof must be met, and that involves proving the underlying allegations and need for continued protection with an FRO by a preponderance of the evidence. The same judge who granted your TRO can be your worst opponent if an experienced and respected attorney does not represent you in your FRO hearing.
Whether you’re seeking a TRO or an FRO, it’s crucial for you to be represented by knowledgeable, compassionate and respected counsel. Michele Finizio is a New Jersey restraining order attorney with extensive experience and demonstrated success in domestic violence courtrooms. Along with the need for proof of the legally required elements of a reason for a final restraining order, the need for continuing protection must also be shown. That’s unlikely to happen if it’s merely your word against the defendant’s.
I represent domestic violence victims throughout south Jersey. Let me build your restraining order case for you from the beginning anywhere in New Jersey. You can contact me online, or phone me at 609-230-0374 for a free consultation.