Temporary restraining orders versus permanent protective orders

In cases of domestic violence, people in New Jersey have several options to achieve a level of protection from their abusers. Temporary restraining orders and permanent protective orders can be helpful tools in achieving separation from an abusive partner, but both do so in different ways.

Here is an explanation of the similarities and differences of these two types of court orders.

Temporary restraining orders

As the National Network to End Domestic Violence states, most restraining orders are limited to instances of domestic abuse, though there are several specific types of restraining orders in New Jersey that apply in other circumstances. Temporary restraining orders can only be granted to and enforce against adults or emancipated minors. They are only granted in cases where a marriage, domestic partnership or other relationship exists or has existed, or against current or former household members. Courts or police stations may grant a temporary restraining order on short notice that requires only one party’s evidence. They last 10 days and place limitations on an abuser’s activities as well as his or her physical proximity to the person filing the order.

Permanent protective orders

Like temporary restraining orders, permanent protective orders are primarily granted in instances of domestic abuse. They only apply under the same circumstances as temporary orders but can last indefinitely. Before granting one, there must be a full hearing in the presence of a judge. Both parties may present evidence. A permanent protective order places long-term restrictions on abusers and can prohibit them from visiting the home of the person they abused as well as requiring them to pay expenses and damages that resulted from their abuse.

People experiencing domestic violence should contact their local police department as soon as possible, both to document the abuse and get started on the path to safety.