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Legal Information: New Jersey

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
July 14, 2020

What is an extreme risk protective order?

An extreme risk protective order temporarily restricts a respondent’s access to guns in certain situations to protect him/her and others.1

1 N.J. Stat. § 2C:58-24(d)

Who can file for an extreme risk protective order?

You can file for an extreme risk protective order if the respondent poses an immediate and present danger of bodily injury to himself/herself or others by possessing, purchasing, owning, or receiving a firearm. Additionally, to file for an extreme risk protective order, you must be:

  • a law enforcement officer; or
  • the respondent’s family or household member, which includes:
  • the respondent’s spouse or former spouse;
  • the respondent’s domestic partner or former domestic partner;
  • the respondent’s civil union partner or former civil union partner;
  • someone who lives with or has lived with the respondent;
  • someone with whom the respondent has a child in common or is expecting a child; or
  • someone who is dating or has dated the respondent.1

Note: The type of petition you file and process you will follow will depend on whom the petitioner is and whether the respondent is a law enforcement officer.2

1 N.J. Stat. § 2C:58-21
2 New Jersey Courts Guidelines for Extreme Risk Protective Orders

What types of orders are there? How long do they last?

There are two types of extreme risk protective orders: temporary extreme risk protective orders and final extreme risk protective orders.

Temporary extreme risk protective orders – The judge will issue a temporary extreme risk protective order if s/he believes that the respondent poses an immediate and present danger of bodily injury to himself/herself or others by possessing, purchasing, owning, or receiving a firearm. The judge can issue a temporary extreme risk protective order ex parte, which means that the respondent is not present and doesn’t have notice of the case. The judge may ask you questions under oath and question any witnesses that you bring to the hearing.1 The temporary extreme risk protective order will remain in effect until the hearing for the final order, which must be held within ten days of the date that you filed the petition.2

Final extreme risk protective orders – A final extreme risk protective order can be issued after the respondent receives notice and has the opportunity to be present for a hearing in court. The respondent will have the chance to present evidence and testimony to the judge. The judge will issue a final extreme risk protective order if s/he finds that the respondent poses an immediate and present danger of bodily injury to himself/herself or others by possessing, purchasing, owning, or receiving a firearm.3

A final extreme risk protective order remains in effect until the petitioner or respondent requests that the judge end the order. The request to end the order can be filed any time after the final extreme risk protective order is issued. If the respondent requests to end the order, s/he must prove to the judge that s/he no longer poses a danger of bodily injury to himself/herself or others by possessing, purchasing, owning, or receiving a firearm.4

1 N.J. Stat. § 2C:58-23(d)
2 N.J. Stat. § 2C:58-24(a)
3 N.J. Stat. § 2C:58-24(d)
4 N.J. Stat. § 2C:58-25; see Petition for Termination of Final Extreme Risk Protective Order

What protections can I get in an extreme risk protective order?

In an extreme risk protective order, the judge can order that the respondent:

  • not possess or buy a firearm or ammunition; and
  • not have any firearms identification cards or permits.1

1 N.J. Stat. § 2C:58-26(a)