Filming Victim Did Not Violate Final Restraining Order

On March 20, 2015, the Appellate Division of New Jersey decided State v. D.G.M. In this case, the victim had a final restraining order (FRO) against D.G.M.

He was accused of violating it when he showed up to their son’s soccer game and video recorded the victim. He was found guilty of contempt under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9(b), a disorderly persons offense.

However, while the restraining order prohibited communication with the victim, the Appellate Division applied the doctrine of lenity, since the conduct of filming was not encompassed by the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act. Therefore, the Appellate Division reversed the lower court’s decision.