Mount Olive NJ Homicide LawyersAn ex-teacher at a Wharton NJ school faces criminal charges for allegedly murdering her boyfriend at her Mount Olive home.

According to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, the 53-year-old suspect killed the victim on March 3, 2014. The victim was a 51-year-old man who resided in Staten Island, NY. He had reportedly gone to the suspect’s residence in Mount Olive NJ because he wanted to break up with her.

After the shooting, the suspect reportedly notified the Mount Olive Police Department. When Mount Olive NJ police officers arrived at the residence, they found the victim’s body.

The suspect is accused of shooting the victim while he tried to end the couple’s relationship.

Now the suspect is scheduled for trial in Morris County Superior Court in Morristown, New Jersey.

The suspect’s attorneys have indicated that she will claim self-defense in the homicide case. The suspect’s lawyers said that the homicide victim abused the suspect before the fatal shooting. For example, said the suspect’s lawyers, there were multiple prior acts of domestic violence between the suspect and the victim. Additionally, the suspect’s attorneys expect to introduce evidence reportedly showing that the homicide victim had a history of domestic violence with his ex-wife.

At this time, however, there does not seem to be supporting documentation of prior restraining orders between the suspect and the victim.

On June 6, the suspect’s attorneys will appear in Morris County Superior Court for a hearing to go over the admissibility of various statements allegedly made by the suspect to police.

The suspect used to work as a math teacher at Marie V. Duffy Elementary School in Wharton, New Jersey. At the time of the death, she was on a leave of absence from teaching at the elementary school.

For additional information about this case, read the DailyRecord.com article, “Woman Charged in Beau’s Killing in Mt. Olive to Claim Abuse.”

Montville NJ Homicide LawyersA man accused of murdering a three-year-old child in Montville New Jersey recently pleaded not guilty to the very serious criminal charges.

According to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, the 29-year-old suspect used a belt to savagely beat the young boy to death in what has been classified as a domestic violence incident. The brutal beatings allegedly occurred at a motel located in the Pine Brook area of Montville, New Jersey. Law enforcement said that the suspect came from Pennsylvania and was living in Montville so that he could be near his girlfriend, the boy’s mother.

On April 10, 2015, the day on which the suspect allegedly beat the child, the suspect dialed 911 and told police that the young boy was choking. When Montville police officers got to the motel, they saw that the child was suffering from significant physical injuries. Police officers also reportedly observed that the victim’s mother had bruises across her face and her body.

Investigators talked to the woman, who told police that both she and the child had been beaten by the suspect.

Meanwhile, the young victim was transported to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, New Jersey, where he was placed on life support. Tragically, just three days later, the child was removed from life support and died.

An autopsy was later conducted by the Morris County medical examiner and a forensic neuropathologist, with the medical examiners determining that the victim died due blunt force trauma.

Shortly after the victim died, the suspect was officially charged with murder. He had already been charged with a number of other crimes, including aggravated assault (on both the mother and the child), child endangerment, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a weapon, and hindering apprehension.

Now the suspect will likely have to answer the charges in court after a Morris County grand jury issued an indictment against him on the criminal homicide charges.

Moreover, the grand jury voted in favor of two aggravating factors in the case, meaning that the suspect faces life imprisonment in NJ State Prison, with no chance of parole, if he is ultimately convicted.

Morris County prosecutors have said that they expect to offer the suspect a plea deal calling for him to serve 30 years in state prison.

At this time, the suspect is being held at the Morris County Correctional Facility in Morristown on a massive bail amount of $1 million.

For more information about this case, read the DailyRecord.com article, “Montville Motel Tenant Arraigned on Toddler’s Murder.”

Parsippany New Jersey Restraining Order AttorneysParsippany New Jersey police recently arrested a man accused of breaking into his former girlfriend’s apartment and holding her at knifepoint.

The scary incident started around 3:30 a.m. According to authorities, the suspect went to his ex-girlfriend’s apartment, which is located at Lakeview Garden Apartment on Reservoir Road in Parsippany, and barricaded himself inside the unit.

The suspect reportedly picked up a knife from the kitchen and then threatened the victim, and another person, while preventing them from leaving the apartment.

One of the victims dialed 911 and contacted local police, prompting members of multiple law enforcement agencies to dispatch officers to the scene. The responding agencies included the Parsippany Police Department, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Response Team, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.

The suspect was eventually taken into custody and placed under arrest.

The suspect, a 33-year-old man who resides in New Brunswick NJ, faces criminal charges for criminal restraint, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, burglary, and stalking. He was charged with stalking because he allegedly placed several phone calls and sent multiple email messages to the victim, as well as making appearances at locations she frequents.

The suspect was also charged with violating a restraining order because the victim had reportedly obtained a domestic violence restraining order against the suspect in 2011.

After being placed under arrest and processed, the suspect was taken to the Morris County Correctional Facility in Morristown, NJ. He was being held at the jail on a $75K bail amount, with no 10-percent cash option for posting bail.

For further information about this case, see the DailyRecord.com article, “Police: Ex with Knife Broke into Woman’s Parsippany Apartment.”

Morristown New Jersey Restraining Order LawyersMany potential clients contact the Tormey Law Firm inquiring about their ability to file a restraining order against their neighbor. Unfortunately, that is not usually an option. To have standing to file a restraining order in New Jersey, you must be a victim of domestic violence under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act. Basically, one of the following scenarios must apply to you in order to be eligible to file for a restraining order:

  • You and the defendant were involved in a dating relationship at some point.
  • You and the defendant resided together at some point.
  • You and the defendant have a child in common.

Thus, unless you were romantically involved with your next-door neighbor at some point, you probably will not be permitted to file a restraining order against them. On the other hand, if you are roommates and live in the same apartment, or even the same apartment building, then you may have standing to file for a restraining order.

However, regardless of whether you can file a restraining order, you may be able to file criminal charges against your next-door neighbor, if appropriate. Once the criminal charges are filed, you can ask the judge for a “no-contact order” as a condition of the defendant’s bail. This means that the defendant will not be able to contact you while the charges are pending. Then, if they are convicted and found guilty of the domestic violence charges, you can ask the judge for a permanent no-contact order as part of the defendant’s sentence. This is different from a restraining order but will have a similar effect.

Some of the criminal charges that could be appropriate to file against your neighbor, depending on the facts, include:

It is important that you consult with an experienced criminal attorney when determining whether to file criminal charges and, if so, what charges to file. Contact the Tormey Law Firm now for immediate assistance at 201-556-1570.

Morristown NJ Domestic Violence AttorneysTo file a restraining order in New Jersey, you must go to your local police department or the Superior Court in the appropriate county. According to Rule 5:7A, the restraining order should be filed in the county in which either party resides, the county in which the alleged domestic violence incident took place, or the county in which the alleged victim is sheltered.

The first thing that must be determined when attempting to file a restraining order in NJ is whether or not you have standing to file as a victim under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act. In order to be eligible to file a restraining order, one of the following must be true:

  • You and the defendant were in a dating relationship at some point.
  • You and the defendant resided together at some point.
  • You and the defendant have a child together.

If any of the above applies to your situation, then you are eligible to apply for a temporary restraining order (TRO). If not, you may not be eligible to do so. NOTE: You can’t file a restraining order against your neighbor, for example, unless you and your neighbor had previously been involved in a relationship. You may be able to file criminal charges, but a restraining order is not applicable in that case.

Now, once it is determined that you have standing to apply for a temporary restraining order (TRO), you must go to the court or the police department and file a domestic violence complaint and an application for a TRO. You will either appear before a judge for sworn testimony or you will sign a sworn statement that will be read to a judge telephonically to determine whether or not the temporary restraining order (TRO) will issue

In the TRO application, you must allege the following:

If the judge grants the TRO, then the defendant is prohibited from having any contact with you. If they violate the TRO, then they will be arrested and charged with contempt. You can also enumerate specific people who they are prohibited from contacting, in addition to specific places that they are prohibited from attending. The prohibited places can include your workplace, school, and home. If there are children in common, then any visitation will also be addressed in the restraining order.

The final hearing will typically be scheduled within 10 days to determine whether a permanent restraining order will issue.

Morristown NJ Restraining Order AttorneysMany potential clients contact the Tormey Law Firm LLC asking if they have grounds to file a restraining order in New Jersey. Here are the basics:

To obtain a temporary restraining order (TRO) in NJ, you must show the following:

  1. That a predicate act of domestic violence has occurred: This can be assault, harassment, stalking, terroristic threats, etc. You can allege multiple acts of domestic violence, but you must be able to show at least one of the enumerated predicate acts of domestic violence in order to obtain a temporary restraining order.
  2. A prior history of domestic violence: Most restraining order cases also require a showing of a prior history of domestic violence over and above the predicate act of domestic violence (as discussed above). In certain cases, if the predicate act of domestic violence is particularly egregious, then no showing of a prior history of domestic violence will be necessary to obtain a restraining order.
  3. The victim needs the restraining order to protect them: You must be able to show the judge that you need the restraining order to protect your safety and well-being. This generally means showing that a reasonable person in your situation would be in fear of the defendant and would need the protection of the court system in order to feel safe.

If you can show all three of the above factors, then you have grounds to obtain a restraining order in New Jersey. However, you must also have standing to obtain a restraining order. Standing means that you are a protected party under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act. To have standing to be able to file a restraining order in NJ, one of the following must apply to you:

  • You and the defendant were in a dating relationship at some point.
  • You and the defendant resided together at some point.
  • You and the defendant have a child together.

If any of those scenarios apply to you, then you may have standing to apply for a temporary restraining order (TRO). You can do so by going to your local police department or to the Superior Court in the county in which you reside.

For more information, contact the Tormey Law Firm directly at 201-556-1570.

Morristown NJ Domestic Violence LawyersHere is a basic roadmap of how a New Jersey restraining order case will proceed once a temporary restraining order (TRO) is filed. Once a TRO is obtained, the case will be scheduled for a final restraining order (FRO) hearing within 10 days. The case will be handled in the Family Division of the Superior Court in the county in which the TRO was granted. At the first hearing, the Judge will ask both parties if they wish to proceed that day or if they need a postponement. A postponement will usually be granted the first time so that either party can seek legal advice or if either party needs to gather evidence or line up witnesses for the trial. Because it is a civil case (and not criminal), neither party has a right to an attorney. An attorney is optional and can be obtained by hiring private counsel or, for an alleged victim, there are some legal groups that will provide free legal services to a plaintiff in need. Otherwise, the parties will represent themselves at the trial.

At the final hearing, the plaintiff goes first and has the burden of proof. Because it is a civil case (and not a criminal case), the standard of proof is “by a preponderance of evidence,” which basically means more likely than not. If the plaintiff can show the following three things by more than 50 percent of the weight of credible evidence, then the restraining order will be granted:

The trial is held before and decided by a Judge, not a jury. The plaintiff goes first and seeks to admit any and all evidence they want to show that a predicate act of domestic violence has occurred. If they allege harassment and stalking in the temporary restraining order (TRO), then they must prove harassment and stalking at the trial. Any alleged predicate acts of domestic violence that were not included in the restraining order cannot be alleged at trial. The defendant must have notice of the alleged acts of domestic violence prior to the trial. In addition, the plaintiff should include any prior history of domestic violence in the TRO and must prove those incidents at trial. Some of the evidence that can be used at trial to prove the case include:

  • Plaintiff’s testimony
  • Witness testimony
  • Photos of injuries, damage done, etc.
  • Text messages of threats, harassment, etc.
  • Voice messages of threats, harassment, etc.
  • Emails of threats, harassment, etc.
  • Prior police reports that have been filed
  • Any hospital or doctor records regarding injuries sustained

After the plaintiff has testified, admitted any evidence he or she wishes to admit, and called any additional witnesses they choose, the plaintiff rests. It is then the defendant’s turn to testify (if they choose), admit any rebuttal evidence they may have (including texts, emails, voicemails, etc.), and call any witnesses they choose. Once the defense rests, then the judge will decide whether or not a permanent (final) restraining order should issue.

If the judge determines that the plaintiff has met the burden of proof and established predicate act(s) of domestic violence and that a restraining order is necessary to protect the plaintiff, then a final restraining order (FRO) is issued. This FRO is permanent and never expires. The defendant is fingerprinted and placed in a statewide database for domestic violence offenders. The defendant can no longer have any contact with the plaintiff and any other individuals who are named in the FRO (i.e. the victim’s parents). The defendant may also be prohibited from the plaintiff’s home, place of employment, etc. All of these details will be spelled out in the final order. Additionally, the defendant will no longer be allowed to own firearms, and any firearms that were seized upon the issuance of the TRO will be forfeited. Moreover, if the defendant is not a US citizen, the issuance of the permanent restraining order could affect their immigration status, as well as their ability to enter and leave the country legally.

If the judge determines that the plaintiff failed to meet the burden of proof for the issuance of the final restraining order (FRO), then the case will be dismissed. If the TRO is dismissed, there are no longer any restrictions on the defendant and their ability to contact the plaintiff. In addition, any firearms that were seized based on the issuance of the TRO should be returned to the defendant by the county prosecutor’s office.

For more information, contact the Tormey Law Firm at 201-556-1570.

Florham Park NJ Aggravated Assault LawyersTravis Tormey, founding partner of the Tormey Law Firm, recently represented a client facing charges for third degree aggravated assault with a weapon stemming from an alleged domestic violence incident in Florham Park, New Jersey.

Aggravated assault charges like those faced by the client are usually classified as an indictable, felony-level offense in NJ. As a result, the case was transferred from Florham Park Municipal Court to Morris County Superior Court in Morristown, New Jersey. If the client had gone to trial in superior court and been convicted on the aggravated assault charges, she would have been subject to significant penalties that included a sentence of 3-5 years in NJ State Prison. Beyond that, the client would have been required to serve 85 percent of any sentence before becoming eligible for parole because the No Early Release Act (NERA) typically applies to violent criminal offenses in New Jersey.

Our client, a 70-year-old woman with no prior criminal history, was happily married to her husband for more than forty years. Moreover, the couple had two adult children together. The client was placed under arrest by Florham Park police after a minor disagreement with her husband escalated into something slightly more serious. The client was cooking in the couple’s home when her husband began to call her names. She responded by bopping him on the forehead with the butt end of a kitchen knife, which she had in her hands because she was cooking at the time.

Shortly after the client was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, Travis J. Tormey got to work representing her. Mr. Tormey spoke with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and convinced them that the charges did not warrant being elevated from a disorderly persons offense to a felony. Mr. Tormey told the Morris County prosecutor that what happened with the client was not an aggravated assault with a knife; it was more akin to a caring grandmother lightly tapping her grandchild on the head with a wooden spoon in response to misbehavior. The prosecutor ultimately agreed with Mr. Tormey and elected to downgrade the charge to simple assault. The case was then remanded back to the Florham Park Municipal Court for resolution.

The case never actually went to trial in municipal court. That’s because the client’s husband informed the prosecutor that he wanted the charges to be dropped. Since there were no other witnesses in the case, the Florham Park NJ prosecutor dismissed the complaint against our client.
Thanks to Travis Tormey, the client avoided potentially severe criminal penalties and kept her record clear of an embarrassing criminal conviction. This was a fantastic result for our client and a huge success story for the Tormey Law Firm.

Morristown New Jersey Restraining Order AttorneysTravis J. Tormey recently helped a client get a restraining order dismissed in Morris County Superior Court in Morristown, NJ.

The client was facing a permanent restraining order after an alleged incident involving his ex-girlfriend. A superior court judge issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) and then scheduled a hearing for a final restraining order (FRO). Prior to the date of the FRO hearing, the client contacted the Tormey Law Firm for assistance.

The basis for the initial TRO was an allegation of stalking and harassment by our client. The plaintiff claimed that our client showed up at her place of work. Additionally, she alleged that our client posted false and misleading information about her on the Internet.

The plaintiff, who was also represented by counsel, appeared in court for the FRO hearing. At the hearing, Mr. Tormey showed that there was a lack of evidence of domestic violence and persuaded the plaintiff to agree to dismiss the TRO and enter into civil restraints. A civil restraint is basically a consent order that applies to both parties, with the parties agreeing to have no further contact with one another.

Needless to say, the client was thrilled with this result. Since the client is still a young man, a permanent restraining order would have severely impacted his future. A restraining order could have caused serious problems for his personal life and his career going forward. Thanks to the efforts of Travis J. Tormey and the Tormey Law Firm, the TRO was dismissed and the client was able to ensure that his future remains bright.

Hanover New Jersey Stalking AttorneysA Hanover Township New Jersey man was recently convicted of stalking a local woman.

The 44-year-old suspect, who is from the Whippany section of Hanover, NJ, was convicted on charges of stalking and contempt of court at the conclusion of a trial in Morris County Superior Court.

According to prosecutors, the stalking took place over the course of an entire year. The stalking reportedly began in February 2012; police arrested the suspect in February 2013.

The suspect had first been arrested in September 2012 after the victim filed a complaint against him. At that time, a no contact order was put into effect as a condition of the suspect’s release on bail.

Prosecutors said that the suspect subsequently ignored the no contact order and continued to stalk the victim. The stalking allegedly occurred at the victim’s workplace, her home, and her boyfriend’s residence. The suspect reportedly followed the victim in Chatham Township, Morris Plains, and Berkeley Heights, New Jersey.

When a warrant was issued for the suspect’s arrest, he reportedly left NJ and fled to Cincinnati, Ohio. He was eventually placed under arrest in Cincinnati by local police.

After the announcement of the conviction, a spokesperson for the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office provided details about the case. Authorities did not reveal how the suspect knew the victim, but it is believed that they did not have a prior romantic relationship.

The suspect is set to be sentenced for the stalking conviction in late July. He will have to return to Morris County Superior Court in Morristown NJ for the sentencing hearing.

At sentencing, the suspect faces severe penalties. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10, stalking can be classified as a third degree felony or a fourth degree felony. A conviction for third degree stalking is punishable by a sentence of 3-5 years in NJ State Prison.

To learn more about this case, view the NJ.com article entitled “Whippany Man Convicted of Stalking Woman for a Year.”