How to Remove a Restraining Order in New Jersey

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In the state of New Jersey, restraining orders are usually permanent. There are some special circumstances, however, that the court will consider to possibly dismiss a restraining order. The victim or the aggressor may petition the court to remove a restraining order. Each petition is judged on an individual basis and usually a court will remove the restraining order only when the special circumstances are met and the court feels that the aggressor is no longer a threat to the victim.

At the Request of the Aggressor

Contact the Family Division of Superior Court at 609-984-4228.

Request an appointment to fill out a petition to ask for a dismissal of a restraining order. You can only make this request after the final restraining order has been entered.

Meet the requirements for an aggressor to dismiss a restraining order. The three requirements are that you must show a good cause for the order to be dismissed; you must demonstrate that the circumstances between you and the victim have changed significantly so that a restraining order is no longer necessary; and finally you must provide the court with a transcript of your original court appearance when the restraining order was granted.

Appear in court on the designated date with all of the required information. Do not make contact with the victim during that time, as any contact could violate the restraining order in place, which could result in you facing criminal prosecution.

At the Request of the Victim

Contact the Family Division of Superior Court at 609-984-4228.

Speak to a court official about dismissing a restraining order. You will most likely need to make an appointment with the court to visit a court official because that official needs to make sure that you want to make the dismissal voluntarily, that you understand the dismissal is permanent and that you understand the cycle of domestic violence. The court official will also make you aware of domestic violence services in your area, and the process that you would need to go through if you want to apply for another restraining order in the future.

Fill out and sign Certification to Dissolve a Restraining Order.

Appear in front of a judge on the court date given to you by the Superior Court. You will most likely need to explain to the judge why you want to remove the restraining order on the aggressor, and certify that you understand the consequences of removing the restraining order.

Tips

  • Whether you are the victim or the aggressor, you may want to speak to a court advocate or lawyer before asking for a restraining order to be lifted. An advocate or lawyer can help you understand your rights and help you fill out the required paperwork.

Warnings

  • If you are a victim of domestic violence, know that abuse is often cyclical, and many times victims remove restraining orders only to ask for a restraining order again in the future. For advice or counseling, contact the New Jersey Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-572-7233.

References

About the Author

Jessica Jewell is a writer, photographer and communications consultant who began writing professionally in 2005. Her chapbook, "Slap Leather," is forthcoming from dancing girl press. Her recent work has appeared in "Nimrod," "Harpur Palate," "Copper Nickel," "Rhino," "wicked alice," "Poetry Midwest" and "Barn Owl Review." Jewell was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She earned her Master of Fine Arts from Kent State University.

Photo Credits

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