Step 1: Go to the courthouse to get the necessary forms.
You can file a complaint for a restraining order with the Family Part of the Chancery Division of the Superior Court in the county where you live, the county where the abuser lives, or the county where the violence occurred.1 (To find courthouse contact information, see our NJ Courthouse Locations page.) Remember to bring some form of identification (a driver’s license or a picture I.D.) with you to court. It is also helpful if you can bring information about the abuser (such as addresses of residence and employment; phone numbers; a description and plate number of the abuser’s car, any history of drugs or gun ownership).
Note: If you need an order outside of regular courthouse hours, you can file at the municipal court (if it is open) or you can call the police who will contact an on call judge who can issue a TRO.2 See What types of restraining orders are there? How long do they last? for more information.
At the courthouse, the clerk of court will be able to provide you with the forms that you need to file for a restraining order. The clerk may assist you with filing the papers but will not be able to give you legal advice.3 The necessary forms are also available at municipal and state police stations, and you will find links to online versions at our NJ Download Court Forms page.
Note: If there are emergency circumstances that make it impossible for you to appear in court to file for a temporary order, a judge can still issue a temporary restraining order based upon your sworn complaint or based on the testimony of someone who represents you (if you are physically or mentally incapable of filing personally).4
1 N.J. Stat. § 2C:25-28(a),(f)
2 N.J. Stat. § 2C:25-28(f)
3 N.J. Stat. § 2C:25-28(c),(d)
4 N.J. Stat. § 2C:25-28(h)