Harassment can be a serious problem. It can range from name calling to stalking or death threats. Harassment can escalate to the point of physical violence. Filing a restraining order is one way to deal with harassment. A restraining order forces the person harassing you to stop contacting you, so you no longer need to deal with the harassment. New Jersey has implemented a simple process that allows victims of harassment to get a restraining order for their protection.
Call the Superior Court in your county Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Tell them you would like to file a restraining order for harassment and ask them what the best time for you to come and do that would be. You can file for an emergency temporary restraining order at the police station if the court is not open.
Go to the Superior Court at the time suggested to you or the police station and fill out the New Jersey Domestic Violence Civil Complaint and Temporary Restraining Order form. Write a detailed summary of how the person harassed you and make sure you have the correct times and dates for each time you were harassed. You will also need to have information about the person you are filing against ready, including appearance and contact information.
Turn in the form to the court officer. Make sure you have a government-issued form of identification with you to prove identity.
Be prepared to speak in detail about what happened. A domestic violence staff member will conduct an interview with you. You will need to tell her a more detailed version of what you wrote down on the form. Spend additional time explaining why you feel threatened and need a restraining order. If the judge agrees with your viewpoint, he will grant you a temporary restraining order.
Prepare for the hearing. The judge will have given you a date for the final restraining order hearing. Collect evidence such as witnesses who saw you getting harassed, recorded phone calls or threatening emails. The more evidence you have, the more likely it is you will be granted a final restraining order.
Always call 911 if you feel like you are in immediate danger.
- WomensLaw.org: New Jersey: Restraining Orders
- FindLaw: Temporary Restraining Orders in New Jersey Domestic Violence Cases
- New Jersey State Police: Field Operations Unit - Victim Services Unit
- New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice: Completing the Domestic Violence Complaint and Application for A Temporary Restraining Order
- New Jersey Courts: The Prevention Of Domestic Violence Act
- Darrin Klimek/Digital Vision/Getty Images