In New Jersey there are two types of restraining orders: temporary and final. A temporary restraining order may be put in place immediately after filing the Petition to prohibit contact between the parties until a full hearing can be held. A final hearing should be held within ten (10) days, if not sooner. The petitioner must ensure the Defendant is served with the Petition, Notice of Hearing and temporary order, if applicable, prior to the hearing. The local sheriff can be contacted to effectuate the service. A final restraining order can be awarded after the hearing. There is no expiration date on a final restraining order.
At the hearing, the party pursuing a restraining order has the burden to proof that abuse occurred. As a Defendant, it is important to put on testimony and evidence to dispute or disprove the allegations to avoid a final restraining order on false claims. A final restraining order can result in the Defendant being removed from a residence that was previously shared, restrictions on contact either directly or indirectly, relinquishment of firearms or other weapons, reimbursement for related expenses or out of pocket costs suffered, temporary support, and in some cases, a custody schedule. Violations of a restraining order may be criminal in nature depending on the nature of the violation. Criminal charges may also be pending simultaneously with a restraining order.