What Proof Is Required To Get A Restraining Order In New Jersey?

If someone wants to file a restraining order in NJ against someone else, they usually need to provide some form of evidence to the court. This burden of proof can be stressful for people when they require immediate protection from a certain individual. In order to help people be safe, the New Jersey law does not require immediate proof, and they issue restraining orders almost immediately after being asked. 

However, this does not mean the plaintiff is not supposed to bring evidence of their claims. The court first issues a temporary restraining order, which does not require evidence and lasts for ten days. However, after ten days, the plaintiff must provide additional proof. If you want to fight a restraining order, contact an attorney. 

The preponderance of the evidence 

The judge first issues a temporary restraining order to provide immediate protection and safety. However, they later review the situation by going through evidence suggesting that the defendant poses a serious danger to the plaintiff. They will need to show “preponderance of the evidence,” which is the “standard of proof” used in most civil cases in New Jersey. 

In simple words, the plaintiff must establish that a restraining order is needed “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This means it is easier to get a restraining order against someone for domestic violence rather than prove them guilty in a court of criminal law. 

Possible provisions of a restraining order 

When a final restraining order is issued, it does not have an expiration date. The terms of the order are to be followed by the defendant throughout their lifetime. Some of the common terms and conditions of a final restraining order include the following: 

  • The defendant must not meet with the plaintiff, whether at their home, school, or workplace. 
  • The defendant must not communicate or contact the plaintiff through text messages, voice recordings, or phone calls. 
  • Provisions related to visitation rights and custody of minor children may be mentioned. 
  • Restitution or financial reparations for losses caused to the plaintiff.
  • The defendant may or may not be prohibited from owning a firearm or weapon.
  • The defendant may be required to attend psychological sessions. 

How to win a restraining order case?

The only way to win a restraining order case is to prove that the plaintiff is not being truthful in their claims. Unfortunately, in such cases, the courts tend to side with the plaintiff, especially if other family members might be in danger, such as minor children. This is why it is recommended and worthwhile to work with an experienced attorney. 

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