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Restraining Orders

If you are a victim or have been accused of harassment, stalking, assault, or something similar, the team of skilled restraining order lawyers at Epstein Ostrove are here to assist you.  Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO) and Final Restraining Orders (FRO) are serious matters and can have a significant impact on your future. Because of the very nature of restraining orders, the time period between filing and the hearing is very short. It is important to move as quickly as possible.

Factors that Lead to a Restraining Order

Walking stop sign lit up

● Every 9 seconds in the U.S., a woman is assaulted or beaten.

● On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.

● 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.

● 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. 

● 1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime to the point in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed. 

● On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide. 

● The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.

Source: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

The restraining order lawyers at Epstein Ostrove can assist in:

● Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence

● Obtaining Temporary and Final Restraining Orders

● Defending Against False Accusations of Domestic Violence

In New Jersey, there are two types of restraining orders: a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), which is issued immediately upon showing that a person is the victim of domestic violence and there is a reasonable basis to believe they may be in danger of future acts of violence. A Final Restraining Order (FRO), is the result of a more involved hearing before a Superior Court judge and is scheduled within ten days of the TRO. At the hearing, both sides appear in court. The FRO has no end date and can last indefinitely unless a party asks for in a legal motion to rescind it and the judge agrees.

Who Can Get a Restraining Order in New Jersey?

You must have a qualified domestic relationship. In general, that means

● a current or former marriage,

● a dating relationship,

● members of the same household,

● or the parties have one or more children together.

N.J.S.A. § 2C:25-29

What is an Act of Domestic Violence?

The victim must prove that an act of domestic violence occurred. The definition of what qualifies as an act of domestic violence is very broad. It specifically includes the occurrence of one or more of the following acts:

(1) Homicide N.J.S. 2C:11-1 et seq.
(2) Assault N.J.S. 2C:12-1
(3) Terroristic threats N.J.S. 2C:12-3
(4) Kidnapping N.J.S. 2C:13-1
(5) Criminal restraint N.J.S. 2C:13-2
(6) False imprisonment N.J.S. 2C:13-3
(7) Sexual assault N.J.S. 2C:14-2
(8) Criminal sexual contact N.J.S. 2C:14-3
(9) Lewdness N.J.S. 2C:14-4
(10) Criminal mischief N.J.S. 2C:17-3
(11) Burglary N.J.S. 2C:18-2
(12) Criminal trespass N.J.S. 2C:18-3
(13) Harassment N.J.S. 2C:33-4
(14) Stalking PL. 1992, c.209 (C. 2C:12-10)
(15) Criminal coercion N.J.S. 2C:13-5
(16) Robbery N.J.S. 2C:15-1
(17) Contempt of a domestic violence order pursuant to subsection b. of N.J.S. 2C:29-9 that constitutes a crime or disorderly persons offense
(18) Any other crime involving risk of death or serious bodily injury to a person protected under the "Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991," P.L. 1991, c.261 (C. 2C:25-17 et al.)

(19) Cyber-harassment P.L 2013, c 272 (C. 2C:33-4.1)

The Cyber Harassment is of particular concern. According to a Pew Research study this year, 1 in 3 American women under 35 say they have been sexually harassed online.

What Needs to Be Proven Next?

It must be must proven that the person asking for the assistance is in fear for their safety and the fear is rational and reasonable under the circumstances. The court will not issue a restraining order that appears to be opportunistic and or if there is no clear demonstration of fear. For example, if a couple is divorcing and it appears that the only reason that the husband filed for a restraining order was to get back at his wife, retain marital property, or obtain full custody of the children, the court will likely not issue a final restraining order.

It is important to establish the "pattern" of domestic violence in order to show that future domestic violence against you or your family is likely. When the existence of immediate danger to person or property can be demonstrated the judge is far more likely to grant your request.

How Epstein Ostrove Can Help You to Obtain a Restraining Order

Epstein Ostrove can help you obtain a restraining order from a judge in New Jersey. If you are experiencing or have experienced harassment, stalking, domestic violence, sexual assault, or abuse of any kind, the restraining order lawyers at Epstein Ostrove can help. Contact us today and we can assist in any questions you may have at this time.

How Epstein Ostrove Can Help You Defend Yourself If You Have Been Falsely Accused

Lawyer parting documents with his hands

If you have been served a temporary restraining order, it is highly advisable to seek legal counsel. There are serious and lasting consequences and an experienced restraining order lawyers at Epstein Ostrove can be a critical asset to your defense. If you are the person against whom the order is sought, our lawyers will thoroughly evaluate the complainant’s case and all of the evidence to develop the best defense strategy. We challenge the evidence presented as well as cross-examine them and any witnesses they present during the final hearing. We also present witnesses and evidence on your behalf to undermine their side of the story and defend your innocence.

Unlike most other matters heard in court, a hearing to obtain a Final Restraining Order frequently takes place with little or no discovery of the facts which the other side intends to introduce. This often can lead to a “trial by ambush”. The restraining order lawyers at Epstein Ostrove know that courts do have the authority to compel discovery before the hearing. Showing “good cause” we can argue that the court should permit us to obtain all of the information the other party intends to rely on at the time of the hearing. Even a deposition of the other party can be ordered. This pre-hearing discovery can often lead to a successful outcome.

Depos v. Depos, 307 N.J. Super. 396 (Super. Ct. 1997)

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