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Harassment as Grounds for a Restraining Order in New Jersey: An Overview of Reported Cases Part II

In the case Peranio v. Peranio., 280 N.J. Super 47, 55(App.Div.1995) the court held that a husband stating to his wife he would “bury” her after he discovered that she disposed of some of his personal property did not amount to harassment. The court in Peranio held that the husband did not intend to harass his wife and there was no history of domestic violence between the parties. Id. at 55-56. The court held that the husband’s actions did not constitute domestic violence, but amounted to domestic contretemps.

In the case E.K., v. G.K., 241 N.J.Super. 567, 570 (App. Div.1990) held that a wife who disciplined a child by shaking her and striking her head on the corner of the kitchen cabinet found said act did not constitute an act of harassment towards the plaintiff because the court found that the defendant did not injure the child in order to harass the plaintiff.

The court in Murray v. Murray., 267 N.J. Super. 406, 408-411 (App. Div. 1993) held that a husband’s statements to his wife that he did have affection for her and did not find her sexually attractive were not made to alarm or annoy his wife even though it may have that result, and thus said statements did not constitute harassment.

In the case D.C., v. T.H, 269., N.J. 458, 462 (App. Div. 1993) held that a defendant’s statement to the plaintiff, that he would kick her and her boyfriend’s ass if the boyfriend “beat” his child again through disciplining her, did not amount to harassment. The court reasoned that the defendant’s purpose of making said statement was not to harass the plaintiff, but to “dissuade” her “boyfriend from inflicting further corporal punishment upon his child.”

The Appellate Court in Tribuzio v. Roder., 356 N.J.Super. 590, 598 App. Div.2007) held that a defendant who was frustrated and angry at the plaintiff for rejecting him, who used “course and offensive language”, had a history of multiple “unwanted and upsetting contacts with the plaintiff” and blocked her car committed an act of harassment.

The court in McGowan v. O’Rourke., 391 N.J.Super. 502, 506 (App.Div.2007) held that the defendant who sent explicit photographs to the plaintiff’s sister and also threatened to send them to her workplace and to her son committed an act of harassment. It was stipulated that there was no previous history of domestic violence. Id However, the court noted that in the case Cesare v.Cesare, 154 N.J. 394, 402, (1998) the court held that a single act can constitute domestic violence for the granting of a Final Restraining Order. The court in Mc Gowan found the defendant’s act of mailing “graphic pornographic pictures” to a third party and threatening to send them to the plaintiff’s son and employer were “egregious” and thus constituted harassment. Id at 506

Please see Part I of this article which starts the reported case law review of harassment as grounds for a restraining order and Part III which is the conclusion of the same. Both articles are located on this website. If you have any questions in regard to a domestic violence case, call Peter Van Aulen, who is an experienced New Jersey divorce and domestic violence lawyer, for a consultation.

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