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How can someone dismiss a restraining order?

In some situations, the reasons for which a person sought and obtained a restraining order either no longer apply or the plaintiff and defendant wish to reconcile. It is important to understand that if a New Jersey judge has issued an order, the order doesn't simply just disappear because the parties want it to go away.

In order to request a dismissal of a restraining order, the moving party must file a written request with the court and have a copy of it along with a notice of hearing served on the other party. The court will schedule a hearing on the request. At the hearing, the court will hear evidence regarding why the restraining order should be dismissed.

Judges do not have to dismiss a restraining order just because the plaintiff requests it be dropped. In some situations, the court may deny the dismissal request. It is also important to understand that a restraining order can only be dismissed after the judge hears from the parties in person. They cannot be dismissed by making a phone call or by simply ignoring them. A restrained party who has contact with the plaintiff before the order has been dismissed can be subject to criminal prosecution regardless of the plaintiff's wishes. Even if a judge grants the dismissal of a restraining order, the defendant may still have an ongoing criminal proceeding if one was filed in the criminal court regarding his or her actions.

A plaintiff who wishes to dismiss a domestic violence restraining order against another person may wish to meet with a family law attorney for help. The attorney may be able to review the facts with the client and help determine whether a dismissal is in the client's best interests.

Source: New Jersey Courts, "What happens if the plaintiff wants to dismiss or modify an existing restraining order? ", November 05, 2014

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