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!

About the Author


John Nachlinger is a co-founder and managing attorney of Netsquire, a family law firm focused on streamlining divorces through effective mediation, settlement drafting, and court filing assistance. As a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney and Qualified Mediator, John guides couples toward equitable agreements without the cost and stress of litigation.

Recognized as a New Jersey Super Lawyer for over a decade, John’s client-focused approach aims to foster understanding during challenging transitions. With a background spanning top law journals, judicial clerkships, and boutique family law firms, John now applies his analytical skills to create workable solutions for all parties. His mediation services reshape the divorce journey by prioritizing compassion and compromise.

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