WomensLaw serves and supports all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Legal Information: New Jersey

Restraining Orders

View all
Laws current as of
January 8, 2024

What if I don't qualify for a restraining order?

In order to get a domestic violence restraining order, there needs to be a specific relationship between you and the abuser. See Am I eligible to get a restraining order? for more information. 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.

If you don’t qualify for a restraining order, remember that the abuser may still be committing a crime for which you can get a criminal court restraining order if s/he is arrested. For example, stalking is illegal in New Jersey and the law does not require that you know your stalker to receive protection. If the stalker is charged in criminal court, you will likely get a criminal court restraining order, which can order the stalker not to make any contact with you, including electronically, that is likely to annoy or alarm you, and prohibit him/her from visiting your home, property, place of work or any other place named in the restraining order that you frequently visit. In addition, a conviction for stalking acts as an automatic application for a permanent restraining order protecting you against the abuser, and a hearing will be held at the time of the verdict or guilty plea unless you request otherwise.1 For the legal definition of stalking and other common crimes, please see our Crimes page.

Although restraining orders do not cover many types of emotional or mental abuse, you can contact a domestic violence organization in your area for help and support. Please see our NJ Advocates and Shelters page to find an organization near you.

1 N.J. Stat. § 2C:12-10.1(a), (b)