Temporary Restraining Orders in NJ during COVID-19

TROs in New Jersey

Temporary restraining orders, or TROs, are court-ordered to temporarily protect a victim of domestic violence from their abuser. A plaintiff can file a domestic violence complaint and ask for a TRO with the Domestic Violence Unit of the Family Division, located at the County Courthouse, or with a local police department. If filed locally, the complaint must be taken at a police department local to where the plaintiff lives or is sheltered, where the defendant lives, or where the act of domestic violence took place.

If the complaint is made locally, the police will contact a municipal court judge, who will hear the request and may issue a TRO in person or over the phone. If the complaint is made with the Family Division, court staff will meet with the victim to determine eligibility for the TRO. Afterwards, a judge or domestic violence hearing officer will hear the case as soon as possible and may order the TRO.

TROs last until a judge issues a further court order that either extends the length of the original TRO, removes it, or replaces it with a final restraining order.

Where to File a TRO During COVID-19?

As of March 26, 2020, with the Courts being physically closed, all applications for a Temporary Restraining Order should be made through your local police department.  See the notice HERE.

Issuance of a Final Restraining Order

In the normal course, Final Restraining Order hearings are scheduled within thirty (30) days of the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order.  However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this scheduling requirement appears to have been relaxed.

As of this week, the Courts in Burlington County have adjourned all Final Restraining Order Hearings in order to allow for time to transition critical court functions online.  As such, most restraining order hearings have been briefly adjourned.

Most Restraining Order hearings will be heard by the courts using video conferencing software for the foreseeable future.

Contact a NJ Restraining Order Lawyer

Temporary Restraining Orders are now especially important as the COVID-19 Pandemic is forcing more people to remain at home with their abusers. If you or a loved one is in need of a protective order, please contact us to speak with experienced and compassionate lawyers at Rosenberg | Perry & Associates.  We are here to help.