How to Request a Restraining Order in New Jersey

How to Request a Restraining Order in New Jersey

When dealing with situations of domestic violence and assault, the talk about restraining orders usually comes up. If you feel you are in danger, restraining orders are a way to protect you. However, what most people do not realize is that there are two types of restraining orders: a temporary restraining order (TRO) and a final restraining order (FRO). And the ramifications of these two restraining order types are quite different.

A temporary restraining order is filed, usually before a court hearing, it prevents the other party from contacting you or going near you until a court hearing is scheduled. This type of restraining order is, as its name suggests, temporary. To make a temporary restraining order become more permanent, a court hearing is necessary. Once a temporary restraining order becomes permanent, it becomes a final restraining order.

A final restraining order is permanent and has the ability to truly affect the person’s life, depending on the circumstances. In order for this to occur, both you and the other party (the one you have the restraining order with) will be ordered to appear at the court hearing. These hearings roughly happen around 10 days after the temporary restraining order has been filed. Both sides will be required to testify under oath and depending on what is said as well as what evidence is given, the judge will decide if a final restraining order is warranted. Once this occurs, the restraining order will become permanent and the only way to dismiss it is if the person holding the restraining order files a dismissal or if the final restraining order is vacated by motion.

However, not everyone is eligible to file for a restraining order, temporary or otherwise. In order to request a temporary restraining order, you must be:

  • In a relationship with the abuser and/or have been in a relationship in the past
  • A person whom you have a child or expecting a child with
  • Someone you are married to or used to be married to
  • Anyone who lives in your household currently or has lived at your home

Where do I go to file a restraining order?

To start the restraining order process, you need to fill out a form at a police station or at a Municipal court or Superior court. Take your time and answer all the questions truthfully and correctly to the best of your ability. Sadly, the staff or the police officer cannot provide legal advice to you during this process. But if you have hired a restraining order lawyer or a domestic violence attorney to be your legal counsel, they can walk you through the form to make sure everything is answered to your benefit. At the Law Office of Jennifer Marshall, Esq., we help you not only with the filling out of the form and working to get a temporary restraining order filed, but we also work with our clients to help turn their temporary order into a final restraining order. If you are a victim of assault or a domestic violence crime and are looking for protection from your aggressor, contact us at for a consultation.