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In a recent unpublished opinion, the Appellate Court of New Jersey decided defendant’s appeal of a final restraining order (“FRO”) entered against him and in favor of the plaintiff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