On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Atlantic County, Docket No. FV-01-1464-11.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Lihotz and Waugh.
Defendant J.S., to whom we refer by the pseudonym James, appeals from the final domestic violence restraining order entered against him on June 15, 2011. We affirm.
We discern the following facts and procedural history from the record on appeal.
James and plaintiff D.F., to whom we refer by the pseudonym Dawn, had a dating relationship and one child together. Dawn has legal custody of the child and is the parent of primary residence. James is entitled to parenting time. The record reflects that the parties had a history of problems with respect to parenting time and the exchanges of custody related to it. Several orders concerning the parameters of parenting time and exchanges of custody were entered in the parties' nondissolution action. In addition, there was an earlier domestic violence matter, which Dawn voluntarily dismissed.
Late on the night of April 29, 2011, James came to Dawn's residence to pick up their child for his parenting time. He became involved in an argument with Dawn's mother. According to Dawn, when she came out of the house, she witnessed James push her mother. Dawn then approached James and told him to leave. She threatened to call the police. Because he did not leave, but continued to argue with her mother, Dawn called the police.
During their confrontation, according to Dawn, James pushed her in the stomach. She was pregnant at the time and required medical attention due to the resulting bleeding. According to James, Dawn hit and scratched him. The judge viewed a video showing the incident. In addition, there were pictures showing scratches on James's arm.
Both parties sought and received temporary restraining orders pursuant to 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 June 15, 2011, for the trial of their respective complaints. After hearing the testimony of each party, the trial judge delivered an oral decision, concluding that each party had committed an act of harassment and that there was a need to enter a final restraining order (FRO) against each. This appeal followed.
On appeal, James argues that the facts adduced at trial did not support the trial judge's finding that he engaged in an act of domestic violence and that, in any event, there was no showing that an FRO was ...