Can I Remove a Restraining Order?
Removing a Restraining Order in Sussex and Warren County, NJ
When you want to remove a restraining order in New Jersey, it is important to understand the process required to accomplish this goal. Getting a restraining order removed in New Jersey is also known as vacating or dissolving the order. While it is possible to get a permanent or final restraining order (FRO) lifted once it has been issued, this requires a new motion, resulting in a court order, which must be effectively handled in court. If you are seeking to vacate a restraining order in Sussex County, Warren County, Hunterdon County, Somerset County, or elsewhere in New Jersey, contact our firm today at 973-755-1695 to speak with an experienced attorney who can help. We have successfully had countless FRO’s lifted for clients throughout the region and we can ensure that you are in the best position to have your FRO vacated.
How do I get a Restraining Order Removed in New Jersey?
First, it is important to make a key distinction between the main forms that an restraining order can take. Basically, there are two types of restraining orders in New Jersey, temporary and final. When seeking to remove a final restraining order, this is a different process than the act of dismissing a temporary restraining order at a final hearing. If a final restraining order (FRO) is entered against you, you must petition the court to have it removed.
When the Victim Requests to Dissolve a Restraining Order
In New Jersey, the parties cannot even agree to have the restraining order removed without an order from the court. In the case of a voluntary dismissal, the plaintiff (victim) must come to court and request that the restraining order be removed. This person must put their request on the record and sign documents attesting to this fact as well. The victim must also acknowledge, after speaking with a domestic violence counsel, that their request is entirely voluntary and is not the result of being coerced.
Removing a Restraining Order with a Motion to Vacate
The court can also remove the restraining order for “good cause” under New Jersey law. To determine whether good cause exists, the court will consider the relationship between the individuals, the number of times (if any) the defendant has been convicted of violating the restraining order, and the age and the health of the defendant. Things like whether there is alcohol or drug abuse, whether there are other instances of violent acts with other people, and whether the defendant has gone through counseling will all be considered.
Your request must also be submitted in good faith, for no improper motive. The court will consider whether the victim consents to lift the restraining order, but it is just one factor of an extensive analysis to determine if good cause exists. The court will also specifically note whether the victim is still afraid of you when making its decision.
In addition to the above analysis, the court will also consider whether there has been a substantial change of circumstances between the two parties. A reconciliation, for example, is a good start to showing this factor. Other changes in circumstances that may justify removing an old restraining order include the two parties moving on in new marriages or established relationships, the fact their their shared children are grown up, and/or the desire of both parties to move on with their lives.
Get Help Vacating a Restraining Order in NJ
To learn more about removing a restraining order, contact our skilled New Jersey restraining order lawyers serving Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon, Somerset, and Morris County. We can help you present your case and ensure that the process is handled right to increase the chances that your order will be removed. Call us today at 973-755-1695 for a free consultation.