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What is a no Contact Order in a New Jersey Family Court?

By Sarah Jacobs, Esq.

No Contact Orders, Restraining Orders, and Domestic Violence Attorneys Morristown NJ

The New Jersey Judiciary Domestic Violence Program provides several options for abuse victims to secure legal protection from further acts of abuse. The New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (PDVA), recognizes “domestic violence is a serious crime against society” and as a cycle of violence that can be difficult to break. The law contains both civil and criminal remedies. Both complaints should be filed for your protection and have serious consequences for violators. Victims may file a civil complaint to obtain a restraining order through municipal or Family courts. Because all domestic violence restraining order petitions are placed on an expedited legal track, a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and later a Final Restraining Order (FRO), can provide immediate protection for the victim of domestic violence or abuse victims, from angry, jealous, or unstable partners. When a criminal complaint is filed, remedies such as mandatory arrests involve the criminal justice system.

After a victim of domestic violence has obtained a TRO, if the defendant contacts the plaintiff, they will be arrested and charged with contempt of court. A final restraining order (FRO) hearing will be held to determine if the restraining order should be permanent or should be dismissed.

While the civil complaint is designed to protect the victim, the criminal complaint is designed to punish the abuser. The criminal charges against the abuser can result in jail, fines and other penalties.

Filing a Criminal Domestic Violence Complaint in Morris County, NJ

A “no contact” order prohibits a person from being in contact with another person, either verbally or in person. This includes but is not limited to letters, emails, social media, text messages or messages delivered through a third party. A person can also be arrested for a violation even if the victim initiates the contact with the defendant. A person can be charged with a violation even if invited by their spouse or partner to come back to the marital home.

Filing a restraining order is part of a civil proceeding and has nothing to do with any criminal charges which may or may not have been filed. Filing a criminal complaint does not necessarily mean that a “no contact” order has been issued.

In New Jersey, a “no contact” order is issued by a judge in a criminal proceeding often as a condition of bail on a criminal charge or during contentious divorce proceedings, and is designed to ensure the safety of an alleged victim after the release of a defendant pending the resolution of their case.

The order will specify a certain period of time the order will be in place and details, like the distance away the individuals must stay from one another. The defendant cannot see the petitioner at work, school, and home and must cease all communication. At the end of the period, the petitioner may ask the courts to extend the order.

If the court does not believe the defendant will comply with a no-contact order or that this particular person is unwilling or unlikely to comply with a no-contact order, especially in the case possible harassment or stalking cases, they are considered a risk to the alleged victim and public safety, they will probably not be released from detention.

Violation of “No Contact”  & Other Protective Orders in Madison, NJ

The violation of a “no contact” and other domestic violence protective orders is a crime and if alleged, requires a mandatory arrest under New Jersey law. Under Contempt of a Court Order, NJ Rev Stat § 2C:29-9 (2015), a person can be found guilty of criminal contempt if he or she: “purposefully or knowingly disobeys a judicial order or hinders, obstructs or impedes the effectuation of a judicial order or the exercise of jurisdiction over any person, thing or controversy by a Court, administrative body or investigative entity.”

Depending on the allegations, the violator can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony.

When Will My “No Contact” Order Expire?

Contact Our Morristown “No Contact” and Restraining Order Domestic Violence Attorneys Today

A “no contact” order expires:

  • when the sentence period is finished
  • if the case is dismissed or
  • the defendant is found not guilty

A “no contact” order can be dropped at the request of the alleged victim.

If you or someone you know has had a “no contact” ordered issued against them, you should valid proof before initiating contact again. Even if the victim tells you that the “no contact” order has been dropped, it is in your best interest to see valid proof (i.e., signed judicial dismissal) before any contact or communication is initiated.

NOTE: If a person who has had a “no contact” order issued against them, and it has expired, they should still be careful because there may also be another restraining order issued as a result of a divorce, domestic violence or other Family Court related matter

Contact Our Morristown Restraining Order Domestic Violence Attorneys Today

At The Law Offices of Jacobs Berger, our experienced domestic violence and child custody lawyers take pride in offering dynamic and individualized legal services to our clients in New Jersey communities such as Morristown, Randolph, Madison, Denville, Florham Park, Dover, Morris Plains, and the greater Morris County area to secure legal protection from domestic violence.

For a strategic planning session, please contact us online or through our Morristown offices by dialing (973) 710-4366 today regarding your divorce, child custody, child supportalimony, or any other family law matter.

Contact Our Morristown Attorneys Today

At Jacobs Berger, our attorneys are experienced in protecting our clients across Madison, Randolph, Tewksbury, Morristown, and the greater Morris County area in all family law-related issues.

To schedule a strategic planning session with one of our experienced team members regarding your particular case, please contact us online or through our Morristown, NJ office at (973) 354-4506.