Civil Restraints vs. Final Restraining Order in New JerseyWhen a temporary restraining order is issued under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act in New Jersey, the courts will schedule a final restraining order hearing usually within 10 days.  At that hearing, a family court judge will hear both sides and determine if a final restraining order is an appropriate remedy. A final restraining order in New Jersey is a very serious thing, but often necessary to protect a victim’s safety.

However, sometimes the perpetrator may hire an attorney who attempts to negotiate civil restraints.  This is particularly true in cases where the perpetrator has a job that might be negatively impacted by having a final restraining order entered against them, such as military, police, certain union workers, teachers or other jobs where background checks are required. Civil restraints are an agreement between the parties that does not have the same effect or remedies for violation that a final restraining order has. For example, if someone violates a civil restraint, the remedy is to pursue it civilly for damages.  If someone violates a final restraining order, the police can be called and the person will be arrested for contempt of an order, with criminal penalties imposed.

It is not always in the best interests of the alleged victim of domestic violence to accept a civil restraint deal, although it can be at times depending on the perception they have of future threat from the perpetrator.  Having an attorney assist you in understanding and negotiating any deal for civil restraints is imperative for your protection.

If you have already negotiated a deal for civil restraints and another incident or threat has occurred, you can file for another restraining order by calling the police or going to the county court house during regular business hours. You should include on the history portion of the form that you will fill out all of the prior acts and that a civil restraint was in place.   Although the court cannot enforce the civil restraint in a domestic violence hearing, it provides additional evidence of a history of abuse that provides the foundation for a final restraining order.

If you have questions or concerns about civil restraints or a final restraining order, call our compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys today for a free consult at 856-227-7888 or email hinklelaw@lyndahinkle.com. We have locations in Camden, Burlington, and Gloucester counties, and are happy to discuss your legal options.