Denied: Request to Vacate a Final Restraining Order After a Hearing
L.A.C. v. S.H.
Decided May 23, 2022
Submitted by New Jersey Family Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.
Today the Appellate Division affirmed a Trial Court decision denying a defendant’s request to vacate a Final Restraining Order after a hearing (FRO). The Defendant argued the evidence presented at trial did not support entry of final restraining order.
S.H., defendant, contends the trial court erred in finding he had tampered with L.A.C., plaintiff. This would keep her from testifying in a related criminal proceeding. Defendant also argues that FRO should not have been issued because there is no threat to plaintiff in the future. He alleged their relationship had ended and there had been no contact between the parties since the temporary restraining order (TRO) had been entered.
The trial court found plaintiff testified credibly, clearly, and direct with their responses to the questions given. She had evidence to support her story, and her story was logical and cogent. The trial court did not find the defendant credible because of how aggressive he was throughout his testimony. In addition, the court took specific note of the defendants communication at the conclusion of his testimony, “… he was going to keep going after the plaintiff…”
The defendant reiterated many of the statements he sent to the plaintiff by text over a period of a couple months and felt the need to threaten and warn the plaintiff of the consequences about not acknowledging and complying with the demands that were texted.
This proves that and FRO was necessary to prevent any further abuse that may occur.
The case is important to understand Courts must inform both parties as to the consequences of an FRO and their right to an attorney. The consequences of an FRO include:
- Any contact with Plaintiff is a criminal charge of contempt. Two or more contempt
convictions results in a mandatory minimum of 30 days in jail;
- Defendant is fingerprinted and put on a domestic violence registry with other abusers;
- There is no expiration to the FRO, it is permanent;
- Defendant is prohibited from owning or possessing any weapons including firearms.
Firearms currently in possession of Defendant are forfeited including Firearms ID Card (FID
- Because of the firearm prohibition, employment in law enforcement and military may
- If Defendant was residing with Plaintiff, the Defendant could be permanently removed from
- Employment in certain jobs like daycares in NJ are forbidden;
- Custody may be affected; 9. International travel could be restricted. TSA will frisk Defendant for each flight;
- Professional licensures (nursing, law, accounting licenses etc.) could be affected; and
- Requests for housing could be denied solely on the basis of the FRO with no other criminal history;
If you have a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against someone else or against yourself, contact the experienced attorneys at Hark & Hark today. Furthermore, if you have recently had an FRO put against you or have been denied entry of an FRO and you believe you may have grounds to appeal, contact Hark & Hark, we help clients with prenups, divorce, custody, domestic violence, child support, alimony, adoptions and more.
In recognition of these trying financial times, we are reducing fees and working with clients to come up with manageable payment plans. Initial consultation is always free and we are available remotely.
We offer payment plan options to clients financially incapable of providing full payment upfront. If you are facing domestic violence charges similar to this circumstance, please call us to discuss the matter. At Hark & Hark, we represent clients for any case in any county in New Jersey including Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Mercer, Ocean, and Salem counties. We
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