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Y.J.-V v. C.M

July 23, 2012

Y.J.-V., PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
C.M., DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Union County, Docket No. FV-20-000604-11.

Per curiam.

RECORD IMPOUNDED

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted July 17, 2012

Before Judges Sabatino and Kennedy.

Plaintiff, Y.J.-V., appeals the Family Part's order dated October 13, 2010, denying his application for a Final Restraining Order ("FRO") against defendant, C.M., under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:25-17 to -35. The court entered the order after considering the evidence adduced in a hearing at which both parties testified. We affirm.

The parties are the unmarried co-parents of a son, who is now six years old. They reside in separate dwellings and have a stormy relationship. In the past, defendant has obtained restraining orders against plaintiff. Plaintiff has intermittently been in jail.

Plaintiff obtained a temporary restraining order against defendant on October 5, 2010, based upon an allegation that she had harassed him through electronic messages. Eight days later, the case proceeded to trial. Both parties were self-represented.

In support of his harassment claims, plaintiff moved two exhibits, P-1 and P-2, into evidence at trial. The exhibits consisted of two groups of various electronic messages that defendant had sent plaintiff six months earlier in April 2010. In the first group of messages, P-1, defendant stated to plaintiff, in pertinent part:

I followed you all last night. It's crazy the things you do your first day being single. It didn't take you long to move on. Where [is] the money you took from me? But then you got 300 [sic] from your brother and $50 from me. . . . When I get money you owe me a car back.

In the second batch of messages, P-2, defendant commented on plaintiff's relationship with other women, stating that "You got . . the nerve to be taking two chicks in Elizabeth, be in Elizabeth. Everything's okay."

Plaintiff contended that these communications from defendant, which she did not deny making, comprised harassment under N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4. He alleged that he was in fear of defendant and that an FRO was necessary to prevent or discourage her from engaging in further harassment.

The trial judge denied plaintiff's request for an FRO. The judge noted that the acts complained of had occurred in April 2010, but plaintiff had not come to court seeking restraints until October 2010. The judge found that plaintiff failed to submit evidence of "any recent threats that would constitute an act of harassment that would entitle [plaintiff] to a[n] [FRO] at this time." Thus, the judge denied plaintiff's application for final restraints and dissolved the temporary restraints.

On appeal, plaintiff claims (1) the judge improperly denied relief based on predicate acts of harassment, along with other allegations of stalking and false imprisonment; (2) the judge failed to admit items into evidence; and (3) he is ...


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