On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Burlington County, Docket No. FV-03-000513-11.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Grall and LeWinn.
Defendant appeals from the September 22, 2010 domestic violence final restraining order (FRO) issued against him in favor of plaintiff, his former girlfriend. We affirm.
We summarize the pertinent evidence from the record of the FRO hearing. Plaintiff testified that the parties lived together from November 2007 to January 2008, and again from May to December 2008. Both parties are corrections officers. On August 20, 2010, plaintiff was in a restaurant at a retirement party for a supervisor. While she was involved in a conversation with other officers, defendant came "over enraged and in a threatening manner start[ed] calling [her] all kinds of vulgar names. . . . [I]t was regarding a vehicle that [she] had purchased . . . in May." Plaintiff stated that defendant "had nothing to do with the vehicle, . . . but he was enraged at the fact that [she] was speaking of [it]." This took place in the presence of plaintiff's co-workers.
Plaintiff testified that she was "embarrassed, . . . humiliated, he belittled [her] in front of the entire restaurant . . . stat[ing] facts . . . regarding [her] body in a personal manner . . . ." She left the restaurant and defendant followed her, "still making comments . . ., cursing at [her]." She returned to the party a few minutes later and defendant "got back in [her] face, made even more comments . . . regarding [their] relationship." Defendant was then "escorted out" by other officers who "saw how enraged he was . . . ."
Plaintiff believed defendant had had "a few drinks" on that occasion, adding that "through this whole relationship he appeared to have a drinking problem, anger problems . . . ."
Since that incident it has been "very hard on [her] at work. . . . [T]he inmates that [she] deal[s] with now know [her] personal business because [defendant] embarrassed [her] in front of officers . . . ."
An incident occurred earlier in August when, as plaintiff was changing shifts at work, defendant called her "upset and he made statements . . . that were really offensive . . . saying that [her] existence makes him miserable and he hopes that [she crash[es her] car and die[s]." Throughout the summer he "constantly" drove past her house.
Plaintiff described numerous prior incidents, including the following. In July 2009, defendant came to her house "late in the evening"; he had been drinking and began pushing her around. A neighbor who is a police officer intervened. Later that month, defendant again came to plaintiff's house at about 1:30 a.m.; plaintiff's son let him in the house. Defendant went to plaintiff's bedroom, pulled her out of bed and "started throwing [her] around."
On February 22, 2010, defendant came to plaintiff's home to pick up his belongings. He grabbed her by the arms and started shaking her. She ran upstairs to call the police; he followed her, grabbed the phone and "threw [her] into the wall" and then picked her up, threw her on the bed and punched her in the leg.
She tried to escape and defendant told her "he was going to kill [her] and that [she] would be dead by that Saturday." He then ...