Defendant’s Uncontrolled Anger and Threats Also Posed a Risk to Plaintiff and FRO Is Necessary to Prevent Further Abuse

D.M.L v. K.A.C. 

Docket No. A-1805-21

Decided March 2, 2023

Submitted by New Jersey Domestic Violence Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.

In a recent unpublished opinion, the Appellate Court of New Jersey decided defendant’s appeal from a final restraining order (“FRO”) entered against her pursuant to the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (“PDVA”).

In February 2021, defendant began living together with plaintiff and plaintiff’s adult daughter. Plaintiff is defendant’s aunt. Since plaintiff has health issues, she requires a caregiver to assist her with daily activities.

In July 2021, plaintiff’s niece dropped off her two dogs at the home, and defendant became extremely angry because she did not want the dogs there. In a fit of rage, defendant struck a broomstick on a table several times while yelling at plaintiff and her daughter. Plaintiff’s caregiver was also present in the room. The incident continued outside the apartment where defendant again confronted plaintiff, plaintiff’s daughter, and plaintiff’s caregiver and pushed plaintiff in the face. All three individual’s testimony were consistent with these events and plaintiff testified that she feared the defendant.

The trial court determined that defendant committed the predicate act of harassment and an FRO was necessary to prevent further abuse. The trial court found that plaintiff, plaintiff’s daughter, and plaintiff’s niece were credible and that defendant was not credible.

On appeal, defendant contended that the trial court erred in finding an FRO was necessary to prevent immediate danger to the victim or further abuse pursuant to the second prong of the test adopted in Silver v. Silver. Defendant argued that since there is no prior history of domestic violence between the parties and the incidents described during the testimony amount to mere domestic contretemps, the trial court should not have found that an FRO was necessary to prevent further abuse.

Ultimately, the Appellate Court ruled that the court was satisfied that there was sufficient evidence in the record to support the trial court’s finding that an FRO is necessary to prevent further abuse. The court opined that defendant’s uncontrolled anger and threats also posed a risk to plaintiff due to her health issues. The trial court’s decision was affirmed.

At Hark & Hark, we are experienced attorneys who represent clients for appeals in Superior Court for issues like the previously discussed case pertaining to FRO trials. We work hard to ensure that our clients receive exceptional representation in order for them to receive the most favorable outcome in their case as a result.

We offer payment plan options to clients financially incapable of providing full payment upfront. If you are facing a similar situation to that of either party in this case, please call us to discuss the matter. At Hark & Hark, we represent clients for any case in any county in New Jersey including Atlantic County, Bergen County, Burlington County, Camden County, Cape May County, Cumberland County, Essex County, Gloucester County, Hudson County, Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Ocean County, Passaic County, Salem County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Union County, and Warren County and any town including Audubon, Gloucester City, Oaklyn, Audubon Park, Gloucester Township, Pennsauken, Barrington, Haddon Heights, Pine Hill, Bellmawr, Haddon Township, Pine Valley, Berlin Borough, Haddonfield, Runnemede, Berlin Township, Hi-Nella, Somerdale, Brooklawn, Laurel Springs, Stratford, Camden, Lawnside, Voorhees, Cherry Hill, Lindenwold, Waterford, Chesilhurst, Magnolia, Winslow, Clementon, Merchantville, Woodlynne, Collingswood, Mt. Ephraim, and Gibbsboro.


Criminal Civil Lawyer

Jeffrey Hark is a New Jersey Civil and Criminal Lawyer.

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