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            Weapons ownership is at the forefront of the news lately nationwide.  The horrific events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut followed less than a month later by a shooting at the Taft Union High School in Taft, California have guns on everyone’s mind, pro and con.  It appears inevitable that in the coming months much will be discussed and done regarding existing gun laws.

            Of course, the NRA will weigh in heavily as will anti-gun organizations.  The Second Amendment will be scrutinized and dissected.  Resolution may prove difficult, but, it seems certain some changes will be made.

            In New Jersey Family law, weapons ownership has been the topic for years in Domestic Violence or alleged Domestic Violence situations.  If a Temporary Restraining Order is entered, it is common practice for all weapons to be removed from the house, as well as any firearm purchase identification cards and permits to purchase weapons.  The weapons, ID cards and permits are then turned over to the CountyProsecutor’s Office.  Even if the hearing does not result in a Final Restraining Order being entered, many have found it an uphill battle to have their weapons returned.

            At Iandoli and Edens, LLC our staff of family lawyers will be keeping a close eye on the upcoming debates.  For information pertaining to Domestic Violence Complaints, Restrainning Orders, or any aspect of family law, please contact one of our experienced attorneys at IANDOLI & EDENS (908) 879-9499 or visit us at


             Once a Final Restraining Order (FRO) is granted by a judge, it remains in effect indefinitely.  There is no expiration date or date upon which it lapses.  The continued existence of a Final Restraining Order may or may not affect one’s ability to obtain employment, obtain a promotion, etc. 


            The law does provide for the dismissal or dissolution of a Final Restraining Order if certain criteria are met.  To request the dissolution of a Final Restraining Order a formal application must be made to the court.  The court must consider certain criteria.  If the court thinks it is appropriate to dismiss a Final Restraining Order, it may do so even over the objection of the victim.  However, all of the enumerated factors are scrutinized by the court.  Additionally, the court is free to consider any other factors the court deems relevant.

        Should you have a need to revisit a Final Restraining Order, contact one of the attorneys at Iandoli & Edens at (908) 879-9499.

             One of the questions asked frequently these days, particularly in these difficult economic times, is how does having a Final Restraining Order entered against me affect my employment and/or my employability?

             The answer is anything but clear cut.  It is important to understand that in New Jersey, once a Final Restraining Order (FRO) is entered there is no “expiration date”.  The FRO will remain in effect until it is dismissed by the Plaintiff or dissolved by Judicial Decree.  As a consequence, someone who is now 38 and had an FRO entered when he or she was 18- 20 years old- is still under the same restraints.

            Employers vary in response to a background check that discloses an FRO.  Rules also vary from state to state, but it is also important to keep in mind that even if you have moved from the state where the FRO was entered it is still in full force and effect wherever you reside.

            In some cases, as with celebrities, Domestic Violence does not seem to affect their job or popularity.  Charlie Sheen, for example appears to be one such individual.

The names Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen and Chris Brown have all been in the news recently.  Allegations of domestic violence cross all socioeconomic barriers.  The law differs from state to state. 

In New Jersey, a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) can be obtained through the Court.  A victim of domestic violence can obtain a TRO by going to the courthouse during the Court’s daytime hours and appearing before a judge.  Another way to obtain a TRO is through the police.  If police are contacted regarding a domestic violence matter, the police can contact a judge to obtain a TRO.  Judges are on call for emergent matters even during the nighttime, on weekends and holidays.

If a victim obtains a TRO, the TRO will have on it the date for a hearing.  The court rules of evidence will apply at the hearing.  At the hearing the victim will take the stand, call any witnesses to testify, and produce any relevant and admissible evidence.  The victim and witnesses will be subject to cross-examination.  The party accused of domestic violence is called the defendant.  The defendant may take the stand, call any witnesses and introduce any relevant and admissible evidence.  The defendant and witnesses will be subject to cross-examination.

The judge will decide if an act of domestic violence has occurred.  If the judge finds that an act of domestic violence did not occur, the TRO will be dismissed.  If the judge finds that an act of domestic violence occurred, the judge will enter a Final Restraining Order (FRO).  A FRO carries significant consequences to the defendant. 

If you are a victim of domestic violence or accused of domestic violence, you may want to contact an experienced matrimonial attorney.  For further questions or comments, call us at (908) 879‑9499.

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