S.M. v. J.M. | NJLJ Daily Decision Alert: May 5, 2020
Docket No. A-2190-18T1
Decided May 6, 2020
Submitted by New Jersey Domestic Violence Law Firm, Hark and Hark.
In a recent unpublished decision, the Appellate Division considered a Final Restraining Order (FRO) was entered properly against plaintiff and whether plaintiff’s Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) was properly dismissed against defendant.
In S.M., the parties were married in India. Defendant moved to the United States on a visa sponsored by plaintiff. The parties had two children. The plaintiff/husband called the police to inform them of a physical altercation. The defendant/wife was arrested. Plaintiff filed a TRO against defendant the next day. Defendant filed her own TRO against plaintiff for the allegations of assault. She also claimed plaintiff violated the initial TRO by following her when she was on a bus, a predicate act of domestic violence in New Jersey.
At the trial, the judge found plaintiff/husband’s story that defendant tried to stab him as not credible. Instead, the judge believed the defendant/wife’s story that plaintiff tried to force defendant to cut her wrists, resulting in a physical altercation. The judge granted an FRO in favor of defendant against plaintiff, while dismissing the TRO against defendant. Plaintiff appealed the decision.
The Appellate Division upheld dismissal of the TRO against Defendant. However, they reversed the FRO against plaintiff because the trial judge failed to adequately explain the record why the restraining order was necessary for defendant’s protection. The Appellate Division remanded for that explanation.
If you are a victim or have been accused of harassment, stalking, assault, or something similar, contact Hark & Hark immediately. Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO) and Final Restraining Orders (FRO) are serious matters and can have significant consequences. Hearings are also scheduled very quickly, as these matters are considered emergent. There is often little time to act. Call now!
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Michael J. Collis, Esquire