New Jersey Cross Temporary Restraining Order Made Final with One Incident Of “Escalating” Harassment

S.G., II v. K.G.

Docket No. A-3398-22

Decided May 28, 2024

Submitted by New Jersey Domestic Violence Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.

In a recent unpublished decision the Appellate Division of New Jersey affirmed the entry of a Final Restraining Order (FRO) after Defendant made disparaging comments towards Plaintiff, his girlfriend, and pushed his mother.

In S.G., II  v. K.G., Plaintiff testified that after the parties attended their daughter’s June 9 graduation, defendant spent approximately twenty to twenty-five minutes taking pictures of the child with defendant’s family members. Plaintiff then asked defendant if she was finished because he and his family had plans to celebrate the child’s graduation elsewhere. According to plaintiff, defendant responded, “[g]et the fuck out of here, you bald fat fuck, you’re not going to tell me when you’re going to get my child back.” This interaction occurred in front of the parties’ child.

Plaintiff stated he “got mad” when defendant cursed at him, and told her she was encroaching on his “parenting time.” He also told her she had “five more minutes” with their daughter. Several minutes later, defendant carried the child back inside the church and left her with plaintiff and his family members. According to plaintiff, as defendant dropped the child off, she told plaintiff’s girlfriend that she did not “want [the parties’] children sleeping on the floor” when they stayed overnight at the girlfriend’s house, and defendant would “be calling . . . [the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP)] if they continued to sleep on the floor.”

Plaintiff testified that after defendant let go of their daughter, the child jumped into his girlfriend’s arms, and his girlfriend hugged and congratulated the child. Plaintiff stated defendant then “whipped around,” came “from behind [his] mother” to try to get back to the parties’ child, and in doing so, “shouldered [his] mom in the back,” with defendant’s “arms . . . flailing.” Additionally, plaintiff stated defendant called plaintiff’s mother a “fat fucking bitch.”

Defendant testified that she did not remember making those comments when asked directly by the Court.

The Trial Court found the Defendant committed the predicate act of harassment by making the disparaging comments towards Plaintiff, threatening the call DCPP for inappropriate reasons, and for the comments made to Plaintiff’s mother as well as the push.  The Court also found the need for the restraining order due to Defendant’s escalating conduct.

Defendant appealed and the Appellate Division found no basis to disturb the Trial Court’s opinion, as it was supported by the credible evidence.

Final restraining orders have severe consequences in New Jersey.  In order to have a Temporary Restraining Order converted to a Final Restraining Order, the plaintiff must show the parties have a requisite relationship under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, the defendant perpetuated a predicate act of domestic violence, and the restraining order is necessary to the plaintiff to prevent future predicate acts of domestic violence by defendant.  If any one of these three things is not proven by plaintiff by a preponderance of the evidence, the restraining order will be dismissed. However, if a predicate act is proven and the Trial Court finds there is a need for the restraining order to prevent future acts of domestic violence, it will be made a final restraining order.

If you have questions about final restraining orders, temporary restraining orders, parenting time, alimony, child support, divorce, custody, or appeals, contact the experienced domestic violence attorneys at Hark & Hark today.

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 represent clients in all towns in New Jersey, 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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