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Appellate Division Determines that Restraining Order Appropriate in Case Wherein Parties Had Not Dated in Six Years

In a recent appeal of a final restraining order, the Appellate Division determined that a restraining order entered by the trial court under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act was appropriate despite the fact that the parties had not dated or communicated in six years.  

In the case, the parties ended their relationship in 2007 and but had not communicated within the ensuing six years. In June 2013, six weeks before the victim was marry someone else, the defendant left nineteen messages on the victim's cell phone over a period of thirty days. Amidst the voicemails, the victim text messaged the defendant and advised him that she did not want him to contact her. Nonetheless, the defendant continued leaving voicemails. The court noted that an individual involved in a dating relationship may acquire a restraining order against the other individual in the relationship if the circumstances required one. Despite the fact that the defendant had not contacted the victim in six years, the Appellate Division determined that the defendant had committed harassment and that a restraining order was necessary to protect the victim from further acts of domestic violence. Based on this decision by the Appellate Division, it appears that a person once involved in a dating relationship remains susceptible to having a restraning order entered against him/her for a significant period of time after the relationship has ended. 

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