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Can I Have a Restraining Order Removed?

In New Jersey, restraining orders are often permanent. However, there are certain circumstances which the court will consider to possibly dismiss a restraining order.

Either the aggressor or the victim may petition the court to remove a restraining order. Each petition is reviewed on an individual basis and typically a court will remove the restraining order only when the specific circumstances are fulfilled and the judge feels that the aggressor is no longer a threat to the victim.

At the Aggressor’s Request

An aggressor can contact the Family Division of Superior Court and request an appointment to complete a petition to ask for a dismissal of a restraining order. Only after a final restraining order has been entered can a person request a petition.

The following are the three main requirements an aggressor must meet to have their restraining order dismissed:

  • The aggressor must show a good cause for the order to be dismissed
  • The aggressor must demonstrate that the situation between him or her and the victim have changed substantially, so that the restraining order is no longer necessary
  • The aggressor must provide the court with a transcript of his or her original court appearance when the restraining order was granted

The aggressor must appear in court on the designated date with all of the listed information mentioned above. It is imperative not to have contact with the victim during that time, since any contact could violate the terms of a current restraining order, resulting in criminal penalties.

At the Victim’s Request

A victim can contact the Family Division of Superior Court and speak with a court official about dismissing a restraining order. He or she will most likely be required to make an appointment with the court to visit a court official since that official must ensure that the victim wants to make the dismissal voluntarily, that the victim understands the dismissal is permanent, and that the victim is fully aware of the cycle of domestic violence.

If everything checks out, the victim can fill out and sign a Certification to Dissolve a Restraining Order. He or she will appear in front of a judge on the designated court date. The victim will need to explain to the judge the reason(s) to remove a restraining order on the aggressor, as well as to understand the consequences of restraining order removal.

If you are interested in seeking a restraining order removal in New Jersey, contact our Bergen County family law attorney at Moskowitz Law Group, LLC and schedule a free case evaluation today.