Domestic Violence – What is a TRO?

When an act of Domestic Violence (DV) occurs, a Judge can issue a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against you. When the Order is issued, it will list the conditions imposed by the Judge. It is critical that you understand the limitations you are under once you are served with the TRO. If you violate any of the conditions, you can be arrested and charged with Contempt of Court. A TRO is a civil matter, and will be heard by a NJ Superior Court Judge assigned to the Family Part, Chancery Division.

Many of the conditions imposed by the Order are intended to keep you and the ‘victim’ of the domestic violence separate from each other. This means that even if you and the other party want to be together, you are prohibited by the Order from being together. You and the victim cannot decide on your own that you will live or be together. Only the Judge can vacate the Order and that requires a Court appearance by both you and the victim – and the Judge does not have to allow the dismissal of the Order.

The conditions of the Order can require that you stay away from your home, that you pay the bills even if you cannot lived there, can award temporary custody of the children to the other party, and can require that you have no access to any type of weapons. A hearing will be held within a short period of time to determine whether the temporary order will be changed into a Final Restraining Order (FRO). It is critical that you understand how an FRO can impact your life before you get into Court for the hearing.

If you are served with a TRO, make certain that you abide by all of the conditions and restrictions, and consult immediately with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to determine what your options are to avoid the issuance of a Final Restraining Order.

Contact Howard Bailey at 973-982-1200 for a free consultation before you decide what you want to do.