On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Burlington County, Docket No. FV-03-0955-10.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Ashrafi, Nugent and Newman.
Defendant A.T. appeals from a final restraining order (FRO) of December 23, 2009 in a domestic violence action involving his then wife, plaintiff, J.T. We now affirm.
Judge Michael Haas conducted a hearing before entering the FRO and found plaintiff to be a credible witness. He amplified his oral decision of December 23, 2009 with a written decision of February 17, 2010. In his written decision, he described the incident that had taken place between plaintiff and defendant in April 2009 when defendant prevented plaintiff from leaving the family home.
He pushed her into a kitchen cabinet. He grabbed her cell phone away from her, threw it, and broke it. Plaintiff attempted to get into a car to leave. He then blocked her in the driveway with another vehicle. Defendant then pulled plaintiff from the car and threw her to the ground. Later that evening, defendant attempted to force plaintiff to go into the bedroom to talk about the incident with him. At that point, plaintiff decided that she had had enough and she began making plans to leave the relationship.
The parties separated on July 1, 2009. Following that, defendant continued telephoning plaintiff to inquire as to what she was doing and whether she was seeing someone else. He also repeatedly sent text messages and left voicemails on her cell phone.
Judge Haas then went on to describe the continuing conduct of defendant with the following findings.
Sometimes, there was conversation about the children. However, defendant would then ask that the parties discuss "why we can't get back together." He would also talk to plaintiff's co-workers and attempt to involve them in the parties' personal matters. He showed up at plaintiff's job, even though she had asked him not to. Plaintiff advised defendant that he was not to call her at work, but he continued to do so.
After having these calls being made to her at work since September 2009, plaintiff was called in by the "administration" at her job. As a result of that, she filed her request for a[n] FRO.
The court then found that "these repeated calls to plaintiff at her place of employment constituted harassment under N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4c."
The court was satisfied that plaintiff had established the elements to issue an FRO. She proved by a preponderance of the evidence that: she qualified as a victim under N.J.S.A. 2C:25-19d; defendant committed one of the enumerated acts of domestic violence in N.J.S.A. 2C:25-19a, specifically, harassment, N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4(c); and there was a need to protect plaintiff from future acts of domestic violence in light of their ...