Can a minor file for a restraining order against an abuser who is 18 or over?
If a minor (under the age of 18) wants to file against an abuser who is 18 or older (or an emancipated minor), the abuser must be:
- a spouse or former spouse;
- a person with whom the minor has a child in common or with whom the minor is expecting a child; or
- a person who the minor is dating or has dated.1
A minor cannot be granted a restraining order against a current/former household member (unless the minor is considered to be emancipated under the law). A minor is considered to be “emancipated” if s/he has been married, has entered military service, has a child, is pregnant, or has been previously declared by a court or an administrative agency to be emancipated.2
Note: A minor who is being stalked by anyone (including a family/household member) can get a restraining order based on “stalking of a child” if the minor’s parent/guardian files a complaint with the Superior Court. A conviction for stalking is not required.3 You can read the law on “stalking of child” and the restraining order that is available on our Selected NJ Statutes page.
1 N.J. Stat. § 2C:25-19(d)
2 N.J. Stat. § 2C:25-19(e)
3 N.J. Stat. § 2C:12-10.2(c), (d)