Procedures for Appearing and Arguing an Enforcment Motion in the Chancery Division Family Part of The Superior Court of New Jersey in an “FV” or Domestic Violence case.
- Before you go to court it is a good idea to make a list of the reasons why you had to make a motion to enforce the custody or visitation order. Those reasons should be the same as the reasons that you listed on the papers that you filed with the court.
If you have new information to give to the court, information that is different from the information on the court papers you must tell the court as soon as possible, or at least on the date of the hearing. If the new information is important the court may adjourn (reschedule) the hearing to allow the other parent time to prepare a response.
- Parties who are not involved domestic violence cases are normally required to appear before a mediator first before they appear before a judge. However, parties who have a restraining orders against each other are exempt from participating in mediation.
- At the hearing the judge will normally ask the person who filed the motion (known as the moving party) to speak first. The judge will then give the other parent time to respond to the arguments of the moving party.
- If the judge feels that he or she needs more information, he or she may:
- Interview the child(ren)—If the judge decides to interview the child(ren) the interview will take place in the judge's chambers (private office). The judge may permit you and the other parent to suggest questions that should be asked. The judge does not have to agree to ask questions you suggest, but he or she must give you reasons why your questions will not be asked. This interview must be recorded. You may request a transcript (printed record of everything that is said during the interview) but there is a fee.
- Order investigations done by the court (sometimes called best interest investigations.)
- Order psychological evaluations of parents and child(ren).
- Order medical examinations of the child(ren).
- Order that a school provide records to the court.
- Order that DYFS conduct home evaluations of both parents’ homes.
- Order that DYFS provide records of prior involvement with your family(if there has been prior DYFS involvement).
- Request copies of the child(ren)’s medical records.
- If the judge feels that he or she has enough information to make a decision he or she issues a decision orally and fills out a written court order which either grants the motion or denies it.
If the motion is denied the most recent order issued before the motion was filed remains in place and both parties must continue to follow that order. The judge will direct the court staff to make sure that both parties get a copy of the order denying the motion.
If the motion is granted the judge will write out a new order which states that the motion was granted and orders new custody or visitation arrangements.
- Both parties should get a copy of the signed order and take it with them before they leave the courthouse.
- Both parties must now follow the directions of the new Amended Final Restraining order with respect to custody and visitation.
NOTE - The rest of the relief in the new Amended Final Restraining Order will remain the same as in the relief in the original Final Restraining Order. The defendant (the party who committed the act of domestic violence) is still restrained from any and all contact with the plaintiff (the party who was the victim of the domestic violence.)
SAFETY PRECAUTION - Make sure to give a copy of the new Amended Final Restraining Order to your local police department and anyone else to whom you gave a copy of the prior order.