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Legal Statutes: New Jersey

UPDATED February 3, 2016

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Chapter 14. Sexual Offenses

back to top2C:14-15. Emergency ex parte temporary protective order; grounds for issuance; appeal; notice

Temporary Protective Order.

a. An applicant may seek emergency, ex parte relief in the nature of a temporary protective order. A judge of the Superior Court may enter an emergency ex parte order when necessary to protect the safety and well-being of an alleged victim on whose behalf the relief is sought. The court may grant any relief necessary to protect the safety and well-being of an alleged victim.

b. The court shall, upon consideration of the application, order emergency ex parte relief in the nature of a temporary protective order if the court determines that the applicant is a victim of nonconsensual sexual contact, sexual penetration, or lewdness, or any attempt at such conduct, and qualifies for such relief pursuant to section 2 of P.L.2015, c. 147 (C.2C:14-14). The court shall render a decision on the application and issue a temporary protective order, where appropriate, in an expedited manner.

c. The court may issue a temporary protective order, pursuant to court rules, upon sworn testimony or an application of an alleged victim who is not physically present, pursuant to court rules, or by a person who represents an alleged victim who is physically or mentally incapable of filing personally. A temporary restraining order may be issued if the judge is satisfied that exigent circumstances exist sufficient to excuse the failure of the applicant to appear personally and that sufficient grounds for granting the application have been shown.

d. An order for emergency, ex parte relief shall be granted upon good cause shown and shall remain in effect until a judge of the Superior Court issues a further order. Any temporary protective order issued pursuant to this section is immediately appealable for a plenary hearing de novo not on the record before any judge of the Superior Court of the county in which the alleged victim resides or is sheltered if that judge issued the temporary protective order or has access to the reasons for the issuance of the temporary protective order and sets forth in the record the reasons for the modification or dismissal.

e. A temporary protective order issued pursuant to this section may include, but is not limited to, the following emergency relief:

(1) an order prohibiting the respondent from committing or attempting to commit any future act of nonconsensual sexual contact, sexual penetration, or lewdness, or any attempt at such conduct, against the alleged victim;

(2) an order prohibiting the respondent from entering the residence, property, school, or place of employment of the victim or the victim's family or household members, and requiring the respondent to stay away from any specified place that is named in the order and is frequented regularly by the alleged victim or the alleged victim's family or household members;

(3) an order prohibiting the respondent from having any contact with the alleged victim or others, including an order forbidding the respondent from personally or through an agent initiating any communication likely to cause annoyance or alarm including, but not limited to, personal, written, or telephone contact, or contact via electronic device, with the alleged victim or the alleged victim's family members, or their employers, employees, or fellow workers, an employee or volunteer of a sexual assault response entity that is providing services to an alleged victim, or others with whom communication would be likely to cause annoyance or alarm to the alleged victim;

(4) an order prohibiting the respondent from stalking or following, or threatening to harm, stalk, or follow, the alleged victim;

(5) an order prohibiting the respondent from committing or attempting to commit an act of harassment, including an act of cyber-harassment, against the alleged victim; and

(6) any other relief that the court deems appropriate.

f. A copy of the temporary protective order issued pursuant to this section shall be immediately forwarded to the police of the municipality in which the alleged victim resides or is sheltered. A copy of the temporary protective order shall also be forwarded to the sheriff of the county in which the respondent resides for immediate service upon the respondent in accordance with the Rules of Court. The court or the sheriff may coordinate service of the temporary protective order upon the respondent through the police in appropriate circumstances. If personal service cannot be effected upon the respondent, the court may order other appropriate substituted service. At no time shall the alleged victim be asked or required to serve any order on the respondent.

g. Notice of temporary protective orders issued pursuant to this section shall be sent by the clerk of the court or other person designated by the court to the appropriate chiefs of police, members of the State Police and any other appropriate law enforcement agency or court.

L.2015, c. 147, § 3, eff. May 7, 2016.