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Legal Information: New Jersey

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
July 14, 2020

How do I get an extreme risk protective order?

The steps to get an extreme risk protective order are similar to the steps to get a domestic violence restraining order, but you will fill out different forms. When filing for an extreme risk protective order, your petition must include:

  • a sworn statement (affidavit) that includes the facts that cause you to believe that the respondent poses an immediate and present danger of bodily injury to himself/herself or others;
  • the reasons you believe these facts exists; and
  • the number, types, descriptions, and locations of any firearms and ammunition you believe to be in the respondent’s control or possession.1

1 N.J. Stat. § 2C:58-23(b)

How will a judge make a decision about whether to grant the order?

A judge can issue an extreme risk protective order if the judge 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. When deciding whether to grant a temporary or final extreme risk protective order, a judge will consider multiple factors including evidence of whether the respondent:

  • has any history of making threats or acting violent towards himself/herself or others;
  • has any history of attempted, threatened, or use of physical force against another person;
  • has or had a temporary or final domestic violence restraining order issued against him/her;
  • violated a temporary or final domestic violence restraining order;
  • has or had a temporary or final sexual assault restraining order issued against him/her;
  • violated a temporary or final sexual assault violence restraining order;
  • has any previous arrests, pending charges, or convictions for a violent crime, disorderly persons offense, or stalking offense;
  • has any previous arrests, pending charges, or convictions for cruelty to animals or any history of cruelty to animals;
  • has any history of drug or alcohol abuse and recovery from drug and alcohol abuse; or
  • recently got a firearm, ammunition, or other deadly weapon.1

1 N.J. Stat. §§ 2C:58-23(f); 2C:58-23(c)

What happens if the respondent violates the order?

If the respondent violates an extreme risk protective order, s/he can be convicted of a crime of the fourth degree.1 A person convicted of a fourth degree crime could face:

  • a permanent felony charge on his/her record;
  • potential probation;
  • up to 18 months in State Prison;
  • up to 364 days in the county jail; and/or
  • up to a $10,000 fine.2

1 N.J. Stat. §§ 2C:58-29; 2C:29-9(e)
2 N.J. Stat. §§ 2C:43-3; 2C:43-6