1. WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR A RESTRAINING ORDER? If you are 18 years or older, an emancipated minor, and have been harassed, stalked, threatened, assaulted, etc. by a spouse, former spouse, are expecting or have a child in common with abusive party, are currently living with the abuser or have in the past, are related by blood, or regardless of your age have had a dating relationship with a person 18 years or older or who is emancipated, and you are concerned for your safety, you may request a restraining order. You will be listed as plaintiff, and your abuser will be listed as the defendant.
2. HOW DO I GET ONE? You may file a domestic violence complaint and request a temporary restraining order 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the county in which you reside, the county in which the abuse occurred, or the county in which you are currently sheltered. In Ocean County, Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. go to the Justice Complex, 120 Hooper Avenue, Toms River, Room 175. After hours, or on weekends and holidays go to your local police department. The police will process your request for a restraining order in an emergency situation only.
3. WHAT DOES A RESTRAINING ORDER DO? A restraining order forbids the defendant from further acts of domestic violence. It restrains the defendant from having any contact with the plaintiff, or plaintiff’s relatives, friends, or co- workers. A restraining order can also grant one party temporary custody and arrange a visitation schedule. The defendant can be ordered to pay plaintiff for care and maintenance of the minor children. A plaintiff may request temporary possession of the residence, order defendant to receive counseling, and/or monetary compensation to victim.
4. WHAT IS A VIOLATION OF A RESTRAINING ORDER, WHAT SHOULD I DO? Any person who is named as a defendant may violate the order by harassing, stalking, or assaulting you, or by causing another to do the same. Assess your immediate safety first, call the police if necessary. You may file a violation at the Police Department in the town where the abuse took place or in Room 175 of the Justice Complex, 120 Hooper Avenue, Toms River. If the defendant refuses to comply with the Judge’s Order for Support, Visitation or Counseling, you or your attorney may file a Motion of Enforcement. Motion Kits to assist you with this are available at the Justice Complex.
5. WHO CAN VIOLATE THE RESTRAINING ORDER? Any person who is named as a defendant may violate the order. Remember this is a no contact order. If your abuser calls you, sends flowers, cards, letters, etc., the abuser is in violation unless otherwise worded in the order. The (victim) plaintiff cannot violate the order, but remember you requested this no contact order for your safety.
6. CAN I SEE OR SPEAK WITH THE DEFENDANT? Although as the victim you are not ordered to stay away from the defendant and cannot be arrested, we urge you to limit contact. When restraints were ordered, you feared for your safety. If circumstances have changed, do not assume the order is not in effect. The abuser may be arrested if with you, even with your permission.
Please contact Providence House or the Domestic Violence Crisis Intervention Unit 732-929-2019 for direction in dismissing the restraining order.