If you have been harassed or feel threatened by your spouse, a family member, or another person, you have a right to seek a restraining order that prevents the person from coming near you. These legal tools, unfortunately, can come in handy in divorce and related cases. New Jersey’s Superior Court recently explained some of the issues that judges consider when a person subject to a restraining order tries to get the order lifted.
Husband and Wife had two kids before they divorced in October 1999. A court granted Wife a temporary restraining order against Husband nine years later. That decision was based largely on a six-page email that Husband had sent to some 30 family members and friends. Husband’s email was apparently in response to Wife’s claims that he wasn’t paying child support and was a bad parent. Although the exact statements made in the email were unclear, a trial judge found that the message was intended to harass and threaten Wife. As a result, the judge granted Wife’s request for a restraining order.
A court held a brief oral argument in 2014, when Husband went back to court and asked that the restraining order be lifted. The judge noted that Wife opposed scrapping the restraining order. Although the judge didn’t allow anyone to testify, she also said Wife’s filing in opposition to Husband’s request clearly showed that Wife still feared him. Wife spoke at this point in the proceedings, saying “Yes, I do.” The judge ultimately held that Husband’s request was “too early” and “not warranted at this point.”