State v. E.J.H.

A judge in the Chancery Division sua sponte dismissed a complaint charging contempt for violating a temporary restraining order just as the defendant was about to plead guilty to the charge. In State v. E.J.H., the New Jersey Appellate Division reversed and remanded for further proceedings. The lower court ruled that there was no factual basis for the plea because the TRO required the defendant to install a Nest security camera so that family members could remotely supervise the defendant’s visit with his child. During such a visit, he made a lewd gesture and a nasty comment to his wife, who he knew was watching. Though the Chancery Division judge felt that was insufficient to constitute an “oral, written, personal, electronic, or other form of contact or communication with” his wife, the Appellate Division disagreed.

EJH