Mount Laurel, NJ asked in Criminal Law, Family Law and Domestic Violence for New Jersey

Q: Plaintiff threatening criminal charges for defendant violating a TRO -if defendant does not sign civil restraint

Is this considered coercion? How to vacate civil restraints without plaintiff agreement?

2 Lawyer Answers
Leonard R. Boyer
Leonard R. Boyer pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Clifton, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: You cannot easily vacate civil restraints. You would need to retain an experienced matrimonial attorney, with extensive domestic violence trial experienced and that attorney would have to show you meet the critieria of The seminal case setting forth the “good cause” standard in New Jersey is Carfagno v. Carfagno. See 288 N.J. Super. 424, 672 A.2d 751 (Ch.Div. 1995). In Carfagno, the Superior Court of New Jersey set forth the standard that New Jersey courts still use today. In the Carfagno case discussion, the Family Part court listed many factors relevant to determining whether the defendant meets the “good cause” With modern technology, you can be represented by any high-quality attorney in New Jersey irrespective of geography. Pick the best attorney you can find and remember one rule: a good attorney is generally never cheap, and a cheap attorney is generally never good so don't choose based on price.

Richard Diamond
Richard Diamond
  • Domestic Violence Lawyer
  • Short Hills, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: 1. Plaintiff has obtained a domestic violence temporary restraining order against defendant

2. Defendant violated the domestic violence temporary restraining order by contacting plaintiff

3. Plaintiff now says to defendant that if he does not agree to the imposition of a civil restraining order, plaintiff will report defendant to the police for the violation of the temporary restraining order


If plaintiff reports defendant for the "knowing" violation of the domestic violence temporary restraining order, that violation constitutes a separate basis under the statute for the court to grant a final restraining order and it also amounts to criminal contempt of the temporary restraining order - and additional consequences - so the real question is whether you did violate the domestic violence temporary restraining order - regardless of the reasoning for it.

If you did, you have serious issues ahead and you may want to see if you can resolve the matter through a civil restraining order or presume that the plaintiff will notify the police of your actions and then you will be arrested and charged with contempt.

1 user found this answer helpful

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.