Vacating a Final Restraining Order in NJ
Middlesex County NJ Restraining Order Dismissal Attorneys
The effects of a Final Restraining Order are permanent, Once a FRO has been entered against you, it will stay in place for the rest of your life. A Final Restraining Order is an ugly reminder of your past and is looked down upon because it is usually the result of domestic violence such as simple assault, terroristic threats, or harassment. An FRO can show up on background checks which may hinder your ability to get the job of your choice. It will prevent you from owning or being able to purchase a firearm. Furthermore, if the victim claims that you have contacted them against the rules of the restraining order, you will be arrested and charged with a separate criminal offense for violation of the restraining order. Under the New Jersey Domestic Violence Act, either party may seek a dismissal of a Final Restraining Order. However, it is important to understand that dismissals are not automatic even if both parties agree to them. Torres v. Lancellotti, 257 N.J. Super. 126 (Ch. Div. 1992).
If the victim requests that the restraining order be removed they still must show true reconciliation and that there is no further need for protection. If the judge remains unconvinced by the evidence and testimony then the restraining order will remain in place. A defendant may also request a dismissal of the restraining order at any time after a one-year waiting period – the rule of thumb in such cases. The petition to vacate a Final Restraining Order must be filed with the Family Superior Court Judge who originally entered the restraining order. In most cases, the proceeding is brought years later and the judge is no longer available, so it is necessary to gather all the transcripts and paperwork from the original FRO proceedings in order to allow a new judge to review the case with a complete record and make an educated and informed decision to dissolve or modify the FRO for good cause.
How to Dismiss a Final Restraining Order in New Jersey
A defendant seeking to vacate a final restraining order in New Jersey must satisfy a three-part test established by the Appellate Division in order to gain dismissal of the FRO which includes:
1) Demonstrate there is “good cause” to dismiss the restraining order by meeting the 11 factors listed in Carfagno v. Carfagno, 288 N.J. Super. 424 (Ch. Div. 1995).
2) Show that there is a substantial change of circumstances, considering the history between the parties and provide the transcript for the court to understand the original basis for the restraining order
3) The eleven factors should be applied qualitatively not quantitatively. The factors that should be considered in whether an aggressor has demonstrated “good cause” for dismissing the FRO are (1) the victim’s consent; (2) Whether the victim fears the aggressor (subjective/reasonable person test); (3) Current relationship between the parties; (4) Number of contempt convictions; (5) Aggressor’s use of drugs or abuse of alcohol; (6) Whether the aggressor is violent with others; (7) Whether the aggressor has attended counseling; (8) Age and health of the aggressor; (9) Whether the defendant is acting in good faith in seeking dismissal; (10) Whether there are any other restraining orders against the aggressor; and (11) any other relevant consideration regarding the potential for dismissal.
Speak with a Perth Amboy NJ Restraining Order Lawyer about Your Case
As you can see from the steps listed above, vacating or dismissing a Final Restraining Order is a difficult and complicated process that often requires the assistance of an experienced litigation attorney to file motion, formal brief, and articulate a persuasive argument before hearing with a Superior Court Judge. At the Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver, our Middlesex County restraining order attorneys represent clients to vacate a final restraining order throughout New Jersey including in Edison, Perth Amboy, Woodbridge, New Brunswick, and Sayreville. Contact our office in Edison at (732) 659-9600 for a free consultation with an experienced restraining order lawyer.