Domestic Violence Restraining Order – One Roof
By Jeff J. Horn, Esq.
Meet Bobby and Daisy –
Daisy is on the left, light colored. Daisy is staring at the camera. Bobby is the dark colored and a little camera shy. Bobby and Daisy live together as a sort of family. Both are prone to aggressive acts. Bobby has mysteriously ended up on Daisy’s side of the wall on multiple occasions. They fight and stir each other up. In a domestic relationship their conduct may be sufficient to secure a domestic violence restraining order. https://njcourts.gov/forms/11253_dv_act.pdf
Do they live together for the purpose of getting a domestic violence restraining order?
The basics of a restraining order start with the status of the parties. They must be spouses, ex-spouses, former household members, in a dating relationship, family members or formerly in a dating relationship. In other words, the parties must have had an intimate relationship. No intimate relationship means no jurisdiction for the issuance of a domestic violence order.
Are Bobby and Daisy household members sufficient to qualify for a domestic violence restraining order?
Bobby and Daisy clearly live within the same four walls of the tank. Likewise, they are completely separated by a wall in the tank. However, if the water level is raised too high, Bobby has been known to slip over to Daisy’s side of the tank. Then the mayhem of attacking and splashing begins. Perhaps, the wall creates opportunities for harassment like unwanted communication day and night. That may be enough to make Bobby and Daisy household members.
Something fishy about this domestic violence restraining order…
Domestic violence raises serious questions. Can people reside under the same roof with a domestic violence restraining order? Could they live in a duplex?
To be clear, beta fish can be pretty darn aggressive. They are known to kill each other. Hence, their tanks must be separate. Nonetheless, beta fish like humans are social beings. Separated only by a wall, Daisy and Bobby clearly communicate with each other and their surroundings.
Could they live in a large apartment building where everyone has their own lock and key?
Bobby and Daisy are physically isolated. Only when the water is overfilled can they slip over to the other side. Neither a Bobby nor Daisy has the power to fill the tank with water. In comparison, in a large apartment building, each person has a key and can lock the door to the apartment.
So, what about humans, can they live in the same building ?
Gripped with dread, I answer, it depends. Bobby and Daisy’s little duplex dunes them to a life of police in court. There will be violations of the domestic violence restraining order. Physical proximity inevitably fuels hardship. No contact is the key goal of a domestic violence restraining order. In contrast to Bobby and Daisy, apartment buildings will have common areas. Common entrances, laundry facilities and recreation facilities may increase the likelihood of contact between the parties to a domestic violence restraining order.
Brazil’s Edificio Copan has over 1100 apartments. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edif%C3%ADcio_Copan. A far cry from Daisy and Bobby’s little duplex. I would argue that people could live in a large apartment building. Even subjects a domestic violence order. A bit of good faith may be necessary to navigate common areas. Fortunately, there is likely strength in numbers in a large and otherwise secure apartment building.