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Legal Information: New Jersey

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of January 8, 2024

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

In New Jersey, there are two types of sexual assault restraining orders, temporary and final.

Temporary ex parte restraining orders
When you file a petition for a sexual assault restraining order, you can ask for a temporary ex parte restraining order to be issued immediately. A judge can grant you a temporary order if the judge decides it is necessary to protect your safety and well-being.1 The judge can issue this order without the abuser having prior notice or being present at the hearing. The hearing for the final order will be scheduled within ten days of filing your petition.2 Your temporary order, if you have one, will remain in effect until a judge of the Superior Court issues a decision on your petition either granting a final order or dismissing your temporary order.3

Final sexual assault restraining orders
After a hearing in which you both have an opportunity to tell your side of the story through testimony, evidence, and witnesses, a judge can grant you a final restraining order. The judge can only grant it after the judge finds that the abuser committed or attempted to commit an act of nonconsensual sexual contact, sexual penetration„ lewdness, stalking, or cyber-harassment against you or the abuser admits to the behavior.4 The final sexual assault restraining order remains in effect until the judge says otherwise. In other words, there is no set end date to a sexual assault restraining order.5

1 N.J. Stat. § 2C:14-15(a)
2 N.J. Stat. § 2C:14-16(a)
3 N.J. Stat. § 2C:14-15(d)
4 N.J. Stat. § 2C:14-16(e)
5 N.J. Stat. § 2C:14-16(i)