I previously blogged about the ever expanding definition of “household member” as it relates to who can meet the definition to be considered a “victim” under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act” (PVDA) in order to obtain a restraining order. New Jersey courts have continued to expand the circumstances in which the PDVA can be utilized.
In a recently published decision from the Honorable Gregory L. Acquaviva, J.S.C. in Monmouth County in the matter of S.C. v. J.D., the family court addressed the definition of a “household member” in the context of a modern, blended family. In this case case, the parties were half-siblings who did not reside together, but who spent regular time together as part of their blended family.
The Prevention of Domestic Violence requires that certain relationships exists before the statute can apply to them. Relevant here, “victim of domestic violence” is defined as: “any person who is 18 years of age or older . . . who has been subjected to domestic violence by . . . any other person who is a present household member or was at any time a household member.” N.J.S.A. 2C:25-19(d). The PVDA does not define “household.”