Final Restraining Order (“FRO”) Upheld Based on the Predicate Act of Harassment

G.S. v. K.S.

Docket No. A-3390-20

Decided October 20, 2022

Submitted by New Jersey Family Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.

In a recent unpublished opinion, the Appellate Court of New Jersey decided defendant’s appeal of a final restraining order (“FRO”) entered against him and in favor of the plaintiff based on the predicate act of harassment.

Plaintiff filed a domestic violence complaint alleging that defendant’s electronic communications constituted the predicate act of harassment. After a hearing where both parties testified, the trial judge found in favor of the plaintiff, and issued a FRO. Defendant subsequently appealed.

On appeal, defendant contended that the text exchanges did not show a predicate act of harassment under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act and even if the judge had properly found a predicate act, there is insufficient evidence to sustain the judge’s conclusion under the second requirement of the Act that relief is necessary to prevent further abuse.

The Appellate Court disagreed with defendant’s argument, found no reason to the disturb the trial court’s ruling and affirmed, substantially for the reasons set forth by the trial judge. The Appellate Court noted that the trial judge’s determination that defendant committed the predicate act of harassment was based on consideration of the totality of the circumstances, relying upon the aggregate of defendant’s electronic communications directed towards plaintiff; the existence of financial control over the plaintiff; and defendant’s multiple violations of communicative restrictions prescribed in prior temporary restraining orders and consent orders to find that plaintiff established harassment “well beyond a preponderance of the evidence.”

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 hearings. 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.


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Criminal Civil Lawyer

Jeffrey Hark is a New Jersey Civil and Criminal Lawyer.

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