NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Waugh and St. John.
Defendant G.A., to whom we refer by the pseudonym George, appeals from the final domestic violence restraining order entered by the Family Part on June 2, 2011. We affirm.
We discern the following factual and procedural history from the record on appeal.
Plaintiff M.R., to whom we refer by the pseudonym Mary, and George began a dating relationship in December 2005, when she was seventeen and he was twenty-one. In October 2010, Mary told George she wished to terminate that relationship. Although she was initially willing to remain in contact with George, Mary told him in December, following repeated efforts by George to renew the dating relationship, that she did not want to have any further contact. While some of his communications could be characterized as endearing, on one occasion he referred to her as a "drunk slut" who was "only trying to get raped."
After she told George not to contact her, Mary changed her telephone number. George then contacted her by sending flowers and a note expressing his love. On February 11, 2010, Mary encountered George at a local bar. As she was walking out of the rest room and trying to avoid him, George grabbed her and said: "I can't believe you changed your f-ing number." She ignored him and left. The following day, she found that two of her car's tires had been slashed.
Mary sought and received a temporary restraining order under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991 (DV Act), N.J.S.A. 2C:25-17 to -35. Both parties, who were represented by counsel, appeared in the Family Part on February 17, 2011. After discussion between counsel, Mary agreed to dismiss her DV complaint. At the same time, George agreed that he would have no further contact with Mary or her family. Counsel for George stated on the record that his client was "on notice that communication is unwanted and is not permitted" and that he understood that it "would not bode very well for him if he were to violate this agreement that's been made in open court and on the record." The order dismissing the complaint stated, in part, that Mary was "aware that such withdrawals are not prejudicial."
On May 8, shortly after midnight, Mary received a call on her cell phone from a number she did not recognize. For that reason, she did not answer the call. At approximately 3 a.m., she received two text messages from the same number. The first stated: "I'd appreciate if you didn't try to get with one of my boys." The second stated: "Tom's my nigger and I don't know why you would ever do that." Because Tom was a mutual friend whom she had seen at an event earlier that day, Mary concluded that the text messages had come from George. George does not deny that he made the call and sent the text messages.
Mary immediately contacted her father and eventually sought and received a second temporary restraining order under the DV Act. The matter was tried on June 9, at which time both parties appeared with counsel. Mary and her mother testified at the trial. George did not testify or call any witnesses. The trial judge delivered an oral decision explaining his reasons for granting a final restraining order (FRO). This appeal followed.
On appeal, George argues that the trial judge erred in (1) admitting testimony about the underlying facts from the earlier DV action, (2) finding that there had been an act of harassment under N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4, and (3) ...