Domestic violence – cyber harassment. Risk of future conduct

Submitted by New Jersey Domestic Violence Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.

C.B. v. R.A.-X.     Superior Court Of New Jersey Appellate Division

July 30, 2019

(Not For Publication)

The Family Part judge denied plaintiffs application for a final restraining order against his ex-wife.  The judge determined the defendant had committed several acts of harassment but did not pose a threat to the plaintiff.  The plaintiff contended the judge errored in a matter of law in denying his request for an FRO.

On appeal, the appellate court considered Silver v. Silver. Under the first Silver prong, “the judge must determine whether the plaintiff has proven, by a preponderance of the credible evidence, that one or more of the predicate acts set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:25-19(a) has occurred.” The court found Plaintiff and his current wife to be more credible than the defendant. The judge had no doubt defendant did purposely harass the plaintiff through emails, internet postings and phone calls. The second prong of Silver focuses primarily on protecting the plaintiff of future acts or threats of violence. There must be a finding that “relief is necessary to prevent further abuse.”

The appellate court found the judge properly considered all the principles in Silver with his ruling. The judge reviewed the information of the case and noted since the parties had no kids or joint possessions there was no likelihood of them having any contact in the future. The appellate court found no reason to disturb the judge’s finding for no FRO since there was no future threat to the plaintiff. The appellate court addressed the plaintiff’s remand is required because the judge failed to determine whether defendant violated the cyber harassment law since she posted explicit pictures of him on the internet. The appellate court did not remand since the record provided them with enough evidence to determine if the defendant’s conduct was in line with the cyber-harassment law. The appellate court ruled the same as the judge and found, there was prior harassment but no showing defendant would continue to do so and no showing there was any threat for plaintiff.

Criminal Civil Lawyer

Jeffrey Hark is a New Jersey Civil and Criminal Lawyer.

Leave a Comment