How Long Does A Final Restraining Order Last In NJ?

final restraining orders never expire in new jersey

Final Restraining Orders (FRO) are no joke.

Clients make the mistake of not taking things seriously.

Unfortunately, they try to retain us when it is too late.

Once they get a Temporary Restraining Order, they go to court alone for their Final Restraining Order hearing.

Sadly, when they learn that they cannot see their children, they call us.

By then, the only choice they have is to appeal their case.

Appeals are very expensive and very difficult to win.

The best chance to win is always at your Final Restraining Order hearing.

What are the consequences of a
final restraining order in NJ?

Not sure where they get it, but clients get bad information.

Temporary & Final Restraining Orders can seriously complicate family relationships.

Not being able to own a gun is the least of your worries.

Some of the consequences of a Final Restraining Order include:

  • A fine between $50.00 – $500.00.
  • You will have to make new living arrangements.
  • Finger-prints and a photo will be taken.
  • If you ever violate a Final Restraining Order, you will be charged criminally

Unfortunately, many clients are shocked to learn that they no longer have the freedom they once enjoyed.

Parent/child relationships suffer tremendously from Restraining Orders.

is there a NJ restraining order procedure?

Inevitably, many ex-partners abuse the legal system. 

In New Jersey, Temporary Restraining Orders and Final Restraining Orders exist to protect real victims of Domestic Violence in New Jersey.

Click here for a Simple Guide to NJ Domestic Violence Law

Do People Abuse The System? 

Ask someone who’s had a restraining order filed against them.

They’ll tell you.

Problems often arise when a client announces an intention to break up or to get divorced. The soon-to-be ex-partner or ex-spouse usually get very upset. 

Ending a relationship is very painful for both sides. 

We’ve all been there, but did we all file criminal charges against our ex?

People become bitter and let their anger make choices for them.

Couples that shared a happy life are now enemies.

The person that you once trusted with your innermost secrets has betrayed you. 

Breaking up is the only option.

After you break up or initiate divorce proceedings, the unexpected occurs. 

Instead of starting a new life, you find yourself trapped in a nightmare.

how To get a
final restraining order in nJ

Here’s an example.

One night you have a common disagreement with your spouse.

Nothing out of the ordinary. You must’ve had thousands of these arguments during your time together.

Next thing you know, the police arrive at your residence. 

Within minutes, they enter, handcuff you and throw you into a police car. 

Your arrest is a mystery. 

In 25 years of marriage, there was never any violence. 

Now, all of a sudden, you must leave the house you built with only a handful of belongings.

At the police station, you learn that your soon to be ex-wife is claiming to be a victim of domestic violence. The arresting police officer presents you with a criminal complaint. 

You almost suffer a heart attack as you learn that you are accused of Harassment and Simple Assault.

After reading the limited information on the criminal complaint you become more confused. Your ex accuses you of sending threatening texts. You cannot recall ever sending text messages to your wife. What’s more, you don’t even know how to text!

To make matters worse, you are handed another document.

Your wife filed a Temporary Restraining Order against you. It’s sad but true. 

You cannot go near your kids & cannot return to your home. If you need to gather some of your belongings, you’ll need a police escort.

But the problems get worse. 

Not only do you have to defend against criminal charges, now you have to defend against a Final Restraining Order.

what happens if you lose at your
NJ final restraining order hearing?

As we explained before, if you lose at your final hearing, the consequences are much worse than people expect.

Clients may not care about lawfully possessing a firearm BUT they must know that their name enters a Domestic Violence Central Registry.

Don’t let this happen to you. It’s an ugly and terrible experience.

Our firm represented a client who went to her hearing all alone.

No surprise, she lost, and had an FRO entered against her.

Years passed and during one Holiday season, she decided to send her ex-husband a Christmas greeting.

Within 20 minutes she was in handcuffs & sitting in a police car. 

Turns out she never learned that FROs never expire in New Jersey.

6 years after the FRO was entered against her, she was now facing contempt charges.

Contempt charges carry heavy penalties including incarceration.

You must do everything in your power to fight the FRO at the hearing.

How To remove a
Final Restraining Order in NJ

If you have a Final Restraining Order (FRO) issued against you, it will never expire unless:

  1. The person whom once feared you (Domestic Violence victim) changes his/her mind and asks the court to remove or lift the Final Restraining Order; or
  2. You appeal the decision of the court that issued the FRO and win; or
  3. After plenty of time has passed, you file a motion asking the court to “vacate” or “undo” the original order.
NJ Restraining Order Lawyers

vacating a final restraining order in NJ

In order to vacate the FRO, we need to persuade the court that “Good Cause” exists to “undo” the FRO.

In order to establish that “Good Cause” exists.

Every Superior Court in New Jersey uses the factors from this case to determine if “Good Cause” exists: 

Carfagno v. Carfagno, 288 N.J.Super. 424 (Ch. Div. 1995)

What is the NJ standard for final restraining order?

In Carfagno, the court used the following factors to decide whether or not to vacate the defendant’s FRO.

Factors related to Victim

  1. Whether the victim consented to dismiss the restraining order;
  2. If the victim fears the defendant;
  3. The nature of the relationship between the parties today;

Factors related to Defendant

  1. The number of times that the defendant has been convicted of contempt for violating the order;
  2. Whether the defendant has a continuing involvement with drug or alcohol abuse;
  3. If the defendant has been involved in other violent acts with other persons;
  4. Whether the defendant has engaged in counseling;
  5. The age and health of the defendant;

Totality of Circumstances Factors

  1. Whether the victim is acting in good faith when opposing the defendant’s request;
  2. If another jurisdiction has entered a restraining order protecting the victim from the defendant; and,
  3. Any other factors deemed relevant by the court.

In New Jersey, Final Restraining Orders never expire. 

Once you have an FRO entered against you, it is super difficult to vacate.

If you are scheduled for a Final Restraining Order hearing, call us now so we can properly prepare. 

The prevention is always better than the cure.

We have extensive experience representing and defending clients accused of Domestic Violence in New Jersey.

 A properly prepared defense is the best defense against a Final Restraining Order.


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This Post Has 3 Comments

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