New Jersey courts recognize two kinds of restraining orders, which are granted to those who have reason to believe they’re in danger. Temporary restraining orders (TRO) are issued under urgent circumstances and last for about 10 days, until a judge has time to review the case and extend, cancel, or modify the arrangement. Final restraining orders (FRO), on the other hand, are essentially permanent injunctions.
Before they can get an FRO, alleged victims must obtain a TRO. That means if someone wants to secure a permanent restraining order against you, you’ll have sufficient notice—and you’ll get the opportunity to challenge it.
To get an FRO, the plaintiff must attend a hearing, which will likely be scheduled within 10 days of the TRO being ordered. At this hearing, they’ll have to make a case for why the FRO is necessary. That generally means demonstrating how the defendant committed a predicate act of domestic violence. They’re also going to have to convince the judge that further acts of harm are likely if they don’t get the order.
Based on the evidence that’s presented, the judge will decide whether to enact a permanent restraining order. It’s important to note that the judge may issue the injunction even if the defendant is not present. Should the defendant appear in court, however, they’ll get the opportunity to challenge the FRO.
How Can I Fight a Final Restraining Order?
If someone is seeking an FRO against you, the best way to fight it will depend on the circumstances. Generally speaking, though, your goal will be to discredit their testimony and the evidence they present.
A criminal defense attorney can help you determine how best to do that. You might be able to prove that the alleged incident never actually occurred. Or, if it did, it might be possible to demonstrate how you were merely acting in self-defense. There may also be ways to challenge the plaintiff’s assertion that they’re still in danger.
How Long Does a Final Restraining Order Last?
When a FRO is issued, there is no associated end date. Instead, it’s considered a permanent injunction. As such, it will technically last forever—unless one of the parties files a motion requesting that the judge modify or cancel it.
The arrangement does not automatically expire if the plaintiff and defendant reconcile. What’s more, the defendant can face criminal charges for violating it as long as it’s in place, even if both parties willingly make contact with each other (by attending therapy together, for example).
Discuss Your Case with a Restraining Order Attorney in Morristown
If someone has obtained a temporary restraining order against you, contact The Law Offices of Joseph S. Scura because an FRO could be next. For more than a decade, our firm has been helping clients assert their rights while fighting criminal charges and challenging injunctions. Call 973-832-0841 or fill out our Online Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a restraining order lawyer in Morristown.