Music Music gtgt It is an application for a temporary restraining order via our tutorial link with St. Joseph’s Hospital. Ma’am, are you Mary Smith Narrator Victims of domestic violence can now appear before a judge without ever leaving the hospital or safe house. gtgt Raise your right hand if you’re able to and listen to the oath. Narrator New Jersey’s judiciary has joined with hospitals and safe houses to help victims of domestic violence apply for temporary restraining orders without going to court. gtgt GOT IN MY FACE AND CUT MY FACE!.
AND I WAS BLEEDIN’ EVERYWHERE! I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO. AND RAN OUTTA THE HOUSE AND MY GIRLFRIEND. Narrator New Jersey’s Hospital to Court and Safe House to Court Safety Assistance Projects allow domestic violence victims to appear before a judge by way of tutorialconferencing if they are being treated in an emergency room or have sought refuge in a safe house. gtgt Upset from the job, judge, he. gtgt This program helps victims of domestic violence because they get to get the restraining order in a safe location. Gives them some sense of power back.
Where they do have control over somethings. And they are with us, we are with them and it’s safe, it’s quiet. they don’t have to see the perpetrator, so it does help. gtgt It’s that critical period of time when you have family pressure, you have perpetrator pressure, maybe the person is so traumatized by the injury itself that they just don’t followup and if they’re told, well, you know, tomorrow, go to the municipal building and file a complaint or go down to the courthouse later tonight and file it, that’s not good.
New Jersey Courts HospitalSafe House to Court Program
We don’t want that. We want to be able to issue the restraining order on the spot, observe the injuries, observe the demeanor. Narrator New Jersey’s prevention of domestic violence acts permits victims to file for restraining orders to protect them from further harm. If you are being abused by your spouse, former spouse, the coparent of your child, or if you are an expectant parent, you are protected under the law. Victims are also protected if they live with or have lived with the abuser or if they are dating or have dated the abuser.
A person can file for a restraining order in the county where the domestic violence occurred, where the defendant lives, where the victim lives, or where the victim is staying temporarily. This new program helps victims by eliminating that trip to the courthouse. Without leaving the hospital or safe house a victim can obtain a restraining order during court hours, 830 AM to 330 PM, Monday through Friday. A social worker or nurse will begin the process and make the initial contact with the court. gtgt When a victim files a restraining order from the safe house.
Or from the hospital during court hours, a court professional conducts the initial interview and helps the victim complete the application for a restraining order either by phone or closed tutorial conferencing system. If an interpreter is needed, one is provided by the court. Narrator After the application is complete, the victim appears before the judge or hearing officer over the tutorial network. This is when the victim can discuss the situation with the judge or hearing officer. gtgt AND HIS RING CUT ME ON MY FACE RIGHT HERE, JUDGE, SEE RIGHT HERE.
AND, AND, AND I WAS BLEEDING ALL OVER THE PLACE AND SO I RAN OUTTA THE HOUSE AND MY GIRLFRIEND. Narrator The judge or hearing officer makes a decision on the application for a temporary restraining order. If the order is granted, court staff faxes a temporary restraining order to the hospital or safe house for the victim’s signature. After the hearing, the judge or hearing officer provides the victim with additional information about the court process and other resources. gtgt Well, one of the things that we highlight when we speak with victims.
Is that not only are they leaving here, but we can also provide them safety at discharge. We can contact the police, we can contact a family member, we can get them home, whether it’s with a police escort or assisting getting them to another location if they’re not comfortable going home, but also leaving with the restraining order. Narrator The judge or hearing officer then sets a date for the victim to appear in court to obtain a final restraining order. gtgt And therefore I am going to grant the temporary restraining order.
Based on the allegations in the complaint of assault and terroristic threat. Now, Miss Smith, what this means for you is this, you’ll be given a copy of the temporary restraining order before you leave the emergency department there at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Please keep that with you at all times. If for any reason Mr. Marvin Smith has contact with you, call the Paterson Police and let them know. A copy of that will be kept with the Paterson Police and a copy of it will be served upon Mr. Marvin Smith.
You understand that gtgt Yes, judge. gtgt Alright, in approximately ten days you’ll be coming here to the superior court in Passaic County for a hearing, for a final restraining order. Do you understand that gtgt Yes, judge. gtgt We had one family who came to us from another county. Her husband was a cab driver. She was extremely scared that he would see her because he was usually, according to her, everywhere. She really was scared because he knew the streets. He knew the courts. But she did want the order because she knew.
He was scared of also being involved with the judicial system. We were able to get the restraining order for her via the camera system in the shelter, which to her was so empowering. gtgt One of the true benefits is the visual part of this, that we can actually see the victim. I had a victim who was stabbed multiple times by her boyfriend. She had to have a tracheotomy as part of her medical treatment. She couldn’t speak and we were able to do the restraining order by her just giving me a thumbs up if she meant yes.
Or a thumbs down if she meant no, so I was able to view her injuries and I was able to view her responses to my questions. Without the tutorial obviously I wouldn’t be able to do either and that was very, very important in that case and extremely helpful to me as a judge to come to factual findings for a restraining order. gtgt I think one that sort of stands out to me was a woman that came with her child and we were able to accommodate her here.
In doing the hearing with the judge and going through the whole process with her child here also. We had staff available to help her through that. We were able to watch the child while she provided testimony to the judge. gtgt And then we had our young lady with her five babies. There was no way we would be sitting in a family courtroom with five babies running around and mom being in crisis and the abuser most likely being present. She was able to get the restraining order via the camera system.
And on top of that she didn’t speak the language and they were able to bring in an interpreter that did everything with the court monitor, with her via the camera. Narrator The program was piloted in Passaic Vicinage in partnership with St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson. It has expanded to include other hospitals and safe houses in New Jersey. The programs are funded through the federal violence against women act, VAWA, which is administered by the New Jersey division of criminal justice within the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety.
The whole program was developed around the concept that some of these victims, while in the emergency department would not, if told, to go to the police department, would not go to the police department out of fear, out of distraction, maybe the perpetrator would put pressure on them and so it’s essential for them to have the restraining order when they step out of the door of the emergency department at St. Joe’s. Narrator For more about counseling, shelter, crisis intervention, referrals for legal services and related information, call the domestic violence hotline at 18005727233.