Have you or your child been harmed by someone with whom you have a personal relationship? Are you genuinely concerned that this person may harm you in the near future? This guide will give you the basic information that you need to receive a Domestic Violence Protective Order in North Carolina.
Are You a Victim of Domestic Violence?
According to NCGS 50-1, you are the victim of Domestic Violence if someone that you have a personal relationship with is guilty of any of the following:
(1) causing you or a child that resides in your custody bodily harm;
(2) attempting to harm you or the child in your custody;
(3) sexually assaulting you or your minor child;
(4) continuously harassing you or your child to the point that they are causing you or your child substantial emotional distress; or
(5) placing you or your child in imminent fear of bodily injury to the point of causing you or your child substantial emotional distress.
Do You Have a Personal Relationship with the Perpetrator Described Above?
In order to receive a Domestic Violence Protective Order, you must have a “personal relationship” with the party guilty of at least one of the acts listed above. A “personal relationship” exists in the event of any of the following:
(1) The party is a former spouse;
(2) The party is a current or former household member;
(3) You are the party’s parent or child and the party is over 16 years old;
(4) You have a child with the party;
(5) You have been in a dating or romantic relationship with the party.
If there is a personal relationship as defined in this section and there is domestic violence as described above, you are entitled to a Domestic Violence Protective Order.
What is a Domestic Violence Protective Order?
A Domestic Violence Protective Order (aka 50B or DVPO) is a civil order that provides protection from someone with whom you had a “personal relationship”. Often, the order will prevent the person from having any contact with you for one year. If the person violates the order, they can be convicted of an A1 misdemeanor and receive up to 150 days in jail per incident.
How do I get a Domestic Violence Protective Order?
Step 1. Meet with an attorney. Prior to meeting with your attorney, write down every incident of domestic violence in explicit detail. Do your best to state the time and date. Also, gather or make a list of any evidence that supports your allegations.
Step 2. Go to the clerk of court or magistrate to get and file the necessary forms.
Step 3. Request an ex parte temporary order for immediate protection.
Step 4. File the order with the clerk of court, and have a copy served on the opposing party.
Step 5. There will be a hearing on the issue unless the opposing party consents to the restraining order remaining in effect.