Many people do not understand what all of the abbreviations, as known as docket numbers, stand for in the Family Court System and do not understand which one applies to them. Below you will find a breakdown of the most common docket types and how to know which one you should use.
The first set of docket numbers pertain to restraining orders. The FV docket is for Domestic Violence Actions. You will file under the FV docket if you are filing for a temporary restraining order, dismissing a final restraining order, or amending a prior domestic violence complaint. The FO docket is for Domestic Violence Contempt Actions. This action is initiated when defendant on restraining order violates any of the provisions contained within the active restraining order.
The next set of docket numbers pertain to issues arising from the family unit and these include the FD docket and FM docket. FD docket is for Non-Dissolution Actions. This action is used by any parties who have been married, but are not filing for divorce, or for parties who have never been married. The docket is set up to handle child custody, parenting time, child support, paternity, spousal support, and medical support. The FM docket is for Matrimonial Actions. This action is used only by parties that are married and seeking a divorce or annulment, or were already divorced and are seeking relief from their divorced spouse. This docket handles all issues relating to a divorce as well as the same issues as the FD docket.
The last docket is the FN docket which is for Department of Child Protection and Permanency cases where the state is involved in the custody and/or care of the minor child[ren]. The FN docket handles the Abuse and Neglect cases most often brought by the State against the parents, although the statute does not prohibit individuals from filing under this docket.
As a litigant, you must be knowledgeable about the type of case you are filing and under which docket it should be filed. By filing under the wrong docket, you take the chance of your case being dismissed and having to take the time and money to re-file under the correct docket type. If you have any questions or are ready to file your papers with the court, call us at (732) 479-4711 to ensure your papers are filed correctly!