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How to Obtain a Restraining Order

How does someone obtain a Restraining Order?

Heidi Ann Lepp’s Answer:

In order to file a Complaint pursuant to the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, a victim can call the police or go to the police station, Superior Court, or Municipal Court in the county where the act of domestic violence occurred, where the defendant resides, or where the victim resides. This Complaint will require the victim to specify the predicate act that occurred and any prior acts of domestic violence, whether they have been reported or not. The delineation of prior acts can be especially important in establishing a history of domestic violence at trial. After the Complaint is completed, the victim will appear before a hearing officer or a judge who will determine if the allegations rise to the level of domestic violence and whether a Temporary Restraining Order should be issued.

In the event a TRO is granted, the police will serve the defendant with the document. The Final Restraining Order Hearing will be held at the Superior Court, Family Part, generally within 10 days after the victim obtains the TRO. At the hearing, testimony will be taken from the parties and any witnesses. At the conclusion of the presentation of the parties’ evidence and testimony, the Judge will decide whether a Final Restraining Order should be issued.

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