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Legal Information: New Jersey

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
July 14, 2020

Can I change or dismiss the final order? Can the abuser get the order dismissed?

If you want to modify (change) your order, go back to the court where you were granted the restraining order it and file a modification petition to with the clerk.1

If you are granted a final restraining order, it does not have an expiration date and can last forever – it will only end if you or the abuser files in court to dissolve the order. If you file to dismiss the order, the judge would hold a hearing where you are both present and the judge may question you to make sure that you are not being coerced or threatened into requesting the dismissal. If the abuser files to dismiss the order (often referred to as a “Carfagno motion”), the judge typically will consider the following factors to determine if there is “good cause” to vacate the restraining order:

  1. whether or not you consent to vacate the order;
  2. whether or not you are still in fear of the defendant;
  3. the current nature of the relationship between you and the abuser;
  4. the number of times that the abuser has been convicted of contempt for violating the order;
  5. whether or not the abuser has a continuing involvement with drug or alcohol use;
  6. whether or not the defendant has been involved in other violent acts with other people;
  7. if the abuser has attended counseling;
  8. the age and health of the abuser;
  9. whether or not you are “acting in good faith” if you oppose the abuser’s request to vacate the order;
  10. whether or not another court has entered a restraining order protecting you from the abuser; and
  11. any other factor that the judge believes is relevant.2

1 N.J. Stat. § 2C:25-29(d)
2Carfagno v. Carfagno, 288 N.J. Super. 424, 434 (Ch. Div. 1995)