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Legal Information: New Jersey

Restraining Orders

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January 8, 2024

What protections can I get in a temporary ex parte restraining order (TRO)?

A temporary ex parte order can:

  • forbid the defendant from returning to the scene of the domestic violence (except with a police officer to pick up personal belongings at a specific time/date);
  • forbid the defendant from possessing any firearm or certain other weapons (unless s/he is a law enforcement officer or in the military - then s/he can possess firearms while on duty);
  • order the police to search for and take any weapon (and firearms permit) at any location where the judge has reasonable cause to believe the weapon is located;
  • give you possession of any animal owned or kept by you, the defendant, or a child who lives in either household; and/or
  • order anything else the judge believes is appropriate, which often includes:
    • giving you temporary custody of your children; and
    • giving you exclusive possession of the home that you share with the abuser regardless of whose name is on the lease or whether or not the home is jointly owned.1

If the judge orders that the abuser cannot have firearms, then the judge must require that a law enforcement officer accompany the abuser (or go without the abuser if necessary) to any place where any firearm or other weapon is located and take possession of them. If the restraining order prohibits the abuser from going to the place where firearms or other weapons belonging to the abuser are located, the law enforcement officer will go without the abuser and seize (take) them.2

1 N.J. Stat. § 2C:25-28(j), (k)
2 N.J. Stat. § 2C:25-28(j)