Due to several recent NFL player incidents, the topic of Domestic Violence has been in the public’s eye. Allegations of Domestic Violence are serious and should not be made frivolously. Issues may arise when the alleged act was in fact in retaliation to the act of another.
An Ocean County Judge stated that a defendant who is facing a restraining order can use provocation as a defense, particularly if he/she has no prior history of violence and was merely acting out in response to the plaintiff’s actions. The Judge stated that even the most non-violent, docile, peace–loving of individuals may sometimes be provoked into acting impulsively, immaturely and regrettably, in direct and immediate response to such instigation.
The Court’s opinion stems from the case R.C. v. R.W. This matter involved a man, R.C., and a woman, R.W., who had been living together for several years and who have two (2) children together. The relationship between R.C. and R.W. deteriorated to the point where R.C. turned off the electrical service to their apartment, prompting R.W. to move with the children, to her mother’s house. At a later date R.C. went to visit where R.W. was residing and, due to the fact he suspected her of dating someone else, demanded to see her phone. He grabbed the phone from her and eventually discovered that she had been communicating with another man. R.C. demanded the return of his Buick to which R.W. responded it was her only mode of transportation for her and the children. R.C. then picked up a cinder block and threw it through the rear window of the Buick. R.W. responded by throwing a brick at R.C.’s Nissan, damaging the body. R.C. then threw several bricks through the Buick’s other windows.
R.C. filed a domestic violence complaint against R.W. and sought a restraining order. The Judge denied the request due to the fact that R.C. provoked R.W.’s conduct.
The purpose of the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act is to protect victims of Domestic Violence. One should not “cry wolf” to take advantage of the system. The Attorneys at Gale & Laughlin have handled Domestic Violence disputes for both victims and alleged aggressors and know how to zealously advocate your position. Contact us today for help.