Harassment and Domestic Violence in New Jersey
Harassment can constitute a basis for the issuance of a restraining order if the statutory elements are satisfied. See N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4. The statute defines harassment:
Except as provided in subsection e., a person commits a petty disorderly person offense if, with the purpose to harass another, he: a. Makes, or causes to be made, a communication or communications anonymously or at extremely inconvenient hours, or in offensively coarse language, or any other manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm; b. Subjects another to striking, kicking, shoving, or other offensive touching, or threatens to do so; or c. Engages in any other course of alarming conduct or of repeatedly committed acts with purpose to alarm or seriously annoy such other person. [N.J.S.A. 2c:33-4 (emphasis added).]
As provided by the statute, a finding of harassment requires proof of an intent or purpose to harass. State v. Hoffman, 149 N.J. 564, 576-77 (1997). An assertion by a plaintiff that he or she felt harassed is a subjective belief and insufficient to prove a purpose or intent to harass. See J.D. v. M.D.F., 207 N.J. 458, 484 (2011). The courts must find that “relief is necessary to prevent further abuse,” before making a finding of harassment. J.D., supra, 207 N.J. at 476 (first quoting Corrente v. Corrente, 281 N.J. Super. 243, 250 (App. Div. 1995); and quoting N.J.S.A. 2C:25-29(b)).
Trial courts must determine whether an act is simply an ordinary domestic dispute or disagreement or whether the act crosses the line into domestic violence. Id. at 475. The family court must then determine whether the plaintiff needs the protection of a restraining order. Silver v. Silver, 387 N.J. Super. 112, 126 (App. Div. 2006) and whether a restraining order is necessary . . . to protect the victim from an immediate danger or prevent further abuse.” Id. at 127. ” The court cannot grant a FRO by just merely concluding that plaintiff has described acts that qualify as harassment and omitting whether the plaintiffs need the protection of the restraining order as it would ‘trivialize the plight of true victims,’ in the process.” J.D., supra, 207 N.J. at 476 (internal citations omitted)(quoting Corrente v. Corrente, 281 N.J. Super. 243, 250 (App. Div. 1995)).
In New Jersey, in order for the family court to grant a FRO in a domestic violence matter involving harassment, the courts must not only decide that the predicate offense of harassment happened but it needs also to determine whether the plaintiff needs the protection of a final restraining order.
For more information about domestic violence matters in New Jersey please contact our office at (201) 880-5563, for an appointment with one of our attorneys.
New Tenant, but same old lease?
You need a Bergen County Landlord Tenant Attorney.
Not all lease agreements are created equal. In drafting the lease, the landlord needs to look beyond the standard clauses of amount of rent owed, date it is due and the term of the lease. It is crucial that each lease is individually drafted for that individual tenant as each tenant can create their own individual set of future problems. Failure to consider this and use a template lease for all new tenants will result in future problems when it is time to evict the tenant and/or collect rent that is owed.
‘Landlord should look into the tenant’s rental history, income, as well as family resources when determining what terms need to go into the tenant’s rental agreement. Not every tenant that qualifies financially is a necessarily a good tenant to have. In fact, some tenants winding up costing the landlord both financially and emotionally.
These are the type of pitfall that can easily be avoided by using an experienced landlord-tenant attorney to help you draft your lease.
Contact our Bergen, New Jersey Landlord Tenant Attorneys at 201-880-5563 to see how can help you save time, money and protect your investment and property.
Often clients come in asking what child support is supposed to cover and not cover. The paying parent can sometimes feel that they pay and do not know where their money is going, while the receiving parents’ feels that the money they are receiving cannot possibly support a child on what they are receiving.
Sadly, both parties are legitimate in their concerns. In an ideal world, parents can send bills to each other for all child related expenses and have those bills be paid. Unfortunately we do not live in an ideal world and it is very rare that this type of arrangements work long term.
To tackle those questions, it is important to understand what the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines are and what was the purpose of them.
The New Jersey Child Support Guidelines were created to aid the New Jersey Courts in determining the amount of child support. These guidelines were created under the principle that parents spend a percentage of their combined income on raising their children. In addition to the parents’ income, factors such as health insurance credits, government benefits to and for children, and amount of overnights with non-custodial parent will influence the amount of child support ordered.
These guidelines are meant to cover the basic expenses incurred in raising the child. These expenses include fixed costs such as shelter and shelter-related costs, non-fixed costs such as food, clothing, entertainment and miscellaneous expenses. Other expenses such as child care expenses, extracurricular activities, private school education and camps may be additional costs and are no included in the child support calculation.
The amount that is paid is not supposed to cover the entire rent, food, etc. for the child, but instead the amount is to be used as a contribution to the custodial parent’s expenses for that child.
If you need information regarding your specific case, you can access it at: http://www.njchildsupport.org/.
If you have a smart-phone, you also have an option to download an app for NJ child support: