By Maynard & Sumner, LLC of Maynard & Sumner, LLC posted in Domestic Violence on Tuesday, August 14, 2012.
Restraining orders were designed to be a civil remedy, and not a criminal punishment. A temporary restraining order (TRO) or a final restraining order (FRO) is issued or granted to protect the safety of the victim, not to penalize the alleged perpetrator. However, the effects can frequently feel punitive because incidents of domestic violence go onto a person’s record, which can be seen by potential employers. In addition, a person may lose his or her right to possess a firearm. As a result, defendants in TRO or FRO matters wish to have the order dismissed, which can be particularly hard in cases of a FRO.
To dismiss a FRO, the defendant must present the court with “good cause,” pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:25-29(d). Carfagno v. Carfagno, 288 N.J. Super. 424 (1995) defines “good cause,” which is broken down into 11 factors:
- Consent of the victim to lift the order
- Victim’s fear of the defendant
- Nature of the relationship today
- Contempt convictions
- Alcohol and drug involvement
- Other violent crimes
- Whether the defendant has engaged in domestic violence counseling
- Age and/or health of the defendant
- Good faith of the victim
- Orders entered in other jurisdictions
- Any other considerations
If you seek to dismiss a FRO, regardless of the reason, contact an experienced restraining order lawyer to discuss your matter. It is advisable to obtain professional legal representation. A knowledgeable attorney who knows the law inside-and-out will be able to save you the hassle and difficulty in navigating the court system and interpreting the law. Do not hesitate to retain the quality representation you need to effectively advocate for your case.