Legal Information: New Jersey

Restraining Orders

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November 27, 2017

What is the legal definition of domestic violence in New Jersey?

This section defines domestic violence for the purposes of getting a restraining order.  Domestic violence is when an adult (or an emancipated minor) who has the relationship to you that is described here commits one of the following crimes against you, listed below.   If you are a victim of sexual assault and do not have a relationship with the abuser, you may be eligible for a sexual assault restraining order.  (Note: An adult or a minor cannot file for domestic violence protection order against an abuser who is a minor and unemancipated). 

  1. homicide;
  2. assault;
  3. terroristic threats;
  4. kidnapping;
  5. criminal restraint;
  6. false imprisonment;
  7. sexual assault;
  8. criminal sexual contact;
  9. lewdness;
  10. criminal mischief;
  11. burglary;
  12. criminal trespass;
  13. harassment;
  14. cyberharassment;
  15. stalking;
  16. criminal coercion;
  17. robbery;
  18. contempt of a domestic violence order, which constitutes a crime or disorderly persons offense (see section "b" of the statute); or
  19. any other crime involving risk of death or serious bodily injury.1

Note: An emancipated minor is someone who is under 18 but who has been married, has entered military service, has a child, is pregnant or has been emancipated by a court.2  If an unemancipated minor commits one of the above acts, it can be the basis for civil restraints as part of a delinquency petition1 (which is different than a petition for a restraining order).  You can read more about delinquency petitions on our NJ Statutes page.  In addition, if you (the victim of domestic violence) are a minor, you may be able to file for a restraining order based on "stalking of a child" by filing a complaint with the Superior Court.3  See Can a minor file for a restraining order against an abuser who is under age 18? for more information.

1 NJSA § 2C:25-19(a)
2 NJSA § 2C:25-19(e)
3 NJSA § 2C:12-10.2(c)