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J.D. v. M.D.F.
Supreme Court of New Jersey
25 A.3d 1045 (N.J. 2011)
Although they were never married, J.D. (plaintiff) and M.D.F. (defendant) lived together, had two children, and were in a committed relationship for approximately 13 years. The relationship subsequently deteriorated. Later, J.D. began a new relationship with another man, R.T. Early one morning, R.T. saw M.D.F. outside J.D.’s home in a vehicle, taking pictures. R.T. immediately notified J.D. As soon as R.T. pulled aside the curtain to permit J.D. to see M.D.F., M.D.F. drove away. J.D. filed a domestic-violence complaint against M.D.F. and requested that a temporary restraining order (TRO) be issued. In the complaint, J.D. listed only the single act of M.D.F. taking pictures outside J.D.’s residence in the early morning. The trial court granted the TRO and set a return date for a full hearing. At the hearing, J.D. testified consistently with her written petition and also mentioned several previous incidents of M.D.F. taking pictures and committing other harassing conduct. M.D.F. objected to the testimony regarding the prior incidents and requested additional time to prepare. The trial court denied M.D.F.’s request. M.D.F. testified that his taking of pictures was intended to build a case against J.D. for the custody of their two children. The trial court disagreed and entered a final restraining order against M.D.F. M.D.F. appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Hoens, J.)
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