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Domestic Violence & Spousal Abuse - How do I go about reporting an act of domestic violence?

Posted by attorney Curtis Romanowski

Q. How do I go about reporting an act of domestic violence?

A. Physical violence should be immediately reported to the police, or to a Superior Court Judge or Hearing Officer and a restraining order applied for to prohibit the abuser from returning to your residence and from committing any further acts of Domestic Violence. Initially, a Temporary Restraining Order ( TRO ) will be issued, on the condition that the Judge, Magistrate or Hearing Officer believes one is necessary to deter further acts of Domestic Violence.

If you report the violence to the police during the hours of about 6:00AM to about 3:30PM, the officer taking the report will, in all likelihood, direct you to your County's Superior Family Court, where you will given the opportunity to tell your story to a Hearing Officer or Judge, who will decide whether a TRO should issue.

If you report the violence to the police after about 3:30PM on a week day (Court closes at 4:40PM), or on the weekend, the officer taking your report is supposed to convey your complaint of Domestic Violence to a Municipal Court Judge, who is supposed to be on-call for the purpose of reviewing such complaints. Sometimes, this does not happen the way it should in practice.

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