Believe it or not, many states, including New Jersey, allow you to obtain a restraining order against your parents when certain conditions are met.
For instance, in a case of domestic violence, N.J.S.A. 2C:25-19 clearly includes “any household member” as a person who you can obtain a restraining order against.
However, you will still have to prove that your mother and/or father committed one or more of the enumerated crimes against you (e.g. assault, burglary, criminal mischief, criminal restraint, criminal sexual contact, criminal trespass, false imprisonment, harassment, homicide, kidnapping, lewdness, sexual assault, stalking, or terroristic threats).
Although most people do not apply for such a restraining order, it might be necessary in the case of violently abusive parents or parents who constantly harass their children.
Last year, the Huffington Post related a story about a 21-year-old college student in Ohio who sought a restraining order against her parents. Even though she made the dean’s list, her parents regularly drove 600 miles from Kansas to Ohio to make countless unannounced visits to her at college.
Likewise, they supposedly would make her login to Skype and leave her computer screen open in her dorm room—even when she went to sleep—just so her parents could constantly keep watch over her. The student’s parents became so overbearing that they installed keylogging software on her computer and cell phone so they could keep track of her every physical move and virtual activity. At her hearing she told the judge, “I was a dog with a collar on.”
Her college even had to hire security guards to keep her parents from making a scene at the young lady’s school performances. After she cut off all contact with them, they stopped paying her tuition.
Both the school and the court sided with the young lady. Ultimately, a judge agreed to give her a restraining order against her parents due to their stalking and unrelenting harassing nature that effectively prevented her from being able to live her life.
However, for any of you out there thinking of filing for a restraining order against your parents in New Jersey, listen carefully to the words that the young woman told reporters:
- “I never wanted this to happen, that’s the last thing I wanted … but I wasn’t in control of my life at all anymore. I knew that they were holding me back emotionally, mentally, and professionally and that it got to the point where that was basically my last option.”
Remember, your parents are the very people who gave you life and helped bring you into the world. Getting a restraining order against them—although possible—should only be attempted in the most extreme of circumstances and as a last resort.