Domestic Violence Protective Orders
If you are suffering abuse at the hands of a spouse, significant other, child, parent, or friend in North Carolina, you should know that the legal system can help you put an end to it. A major step toward making this happen is to obtain a restraining order.
Although you may file for a protective order on your own, having an experienced and skilled attorney in your corner can make the process much easier. The knowledgeable domestic violence lawyers at Kurtz & Blum have extensive experience helping domestic violence survivors in Wake County and throughout North Carolina get protection from their abusers.
If you are suffering from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, our compassionate lawyers are ready to protect your rights and help you break free from the harmful cycle of mistreatment. To learn more about how to file a protective order in North Carolina, schedule a free consultation with us today.
What Is a Domestic Violence Protective Order (50B)?
A Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO or “50B order”) is a restraining order designed specifically for victims of domestic violence. A DVPO gives victims the protection they need from the abuser. These protective orders are different from general restraining orders because they allow a judge to order more specific forms of protection. Furthermore, police have the power to enforce a DVPO by charging an abuser if the person violates the order.
What Is a Civil No-Contact (50C) Order?
A civil no-contact order, or “50C,” is a court order that provides protection from stalking and unwanted sexual conduct from an individual with whom you do not have a familial or intimate relationship, such as a co-worker, neighbor, acquaintance, or stranger.
With a civil no-contact order, a judge can order the abuser to stop all unwanted or nonconsensual sexual activity against you, as well as order the abuser to stop stalking you and stay away. A judge may grant a temporary order, typically for up to 10 days, which will last until you can have a full court hearing and a permanent order, which will last up to one year. The temporary order is designed to give you immediate protection from the abuser.
Who Is Eligible to File for a Domestic Violence Order?
You must have a “personal relationship” with the abuser in order to file for a Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO). In North Carolina, only certain types of relationships meet the definition of a “personal relationship” in regard to filing a DVPO. The categories of relationships that qualify are:
- The abuser is a current or former spouse.
- The person is of the opposite sex and lives with you or you have lived together.
- You are related as parents and children or as grandparents and grandchildren. An aggrieved party cannot obtain an order of protection against a child or grandchild under the age of 16.
- You have a child in common with the abuser.
- The two of you are current or former household members.
- You are of the opposite sex and are in a dating relationship or have been in the past. A dating relationship is considered one where parties are romantically involved and on a continuous basis. A casual acquaintance between people in a social or business context does not classify as a dating relationship.
North Carolina law currently does not allow for same sex partners who are not married or who have never been household members to file for a DVPO. If you are a victim of domestic violence in a same-sex dating relationship, you may file for a civil no-contact order (50C). An experienced domestic violence attorney will be able to explain all of your options.
What Kind of Protections Can a Domestic Violence Order Provide?
In North Carolina, a DVPO can provide a wide range of protections, including:
- Order the abuser not to abuse, assault, threaten, stalk, harass, or interfere with you and your children in person, at work, on the phone, or by other means
- Order the abuser to move out of the home in which you have lived together
- Tell law enforcement to remove the abuser from the property
- Order the abuser to stay away from your place of work, your children’s school, your friend’s home, or any place where you are staying
- Order the abuser to provide alternative housing for you
- Give you possession of personal property, such as a car, except for the abuser’s personal belongings
- Order the abuser to attend a treatment program
- Grant you temporary custody of a minor child and order the abuser to pay temporary child support
- Order your spouse to pay spousal support
- Order the abuser to hand over firearms
- Order the abuser not to harm your dog, cat, or other pet
- Order the abuser to pay attorney’s fees
What Is the Process for Getting a 50B or 50C?
You can file a 50B or 50C in the civil clerk’s office in the county where you reside, the county where the acts or conduct occurred, or the county where the abuser lives. Every county in North Carolina has local practices that determine when judges are available to accept filings.
You may want to call the clerk’s office before going to the courthouse so you can get more information about the 50B or 50C process in your particular county. You may also want to seek support from a local domestic violence agency. Knowledgeable advocates at these agencies can explain the process of filing a 50B and 50C in your county.
Talk to a Lawyer Now About Your Case
If you are the victim of domestic violence in Wake County or elsewhere in North Carolina, you will benefit from having the help of the experienced lawyers at Kurtz & Blum. Our compassionate attorneys will protect your rights and help you through this difficult time. Call us today to schedule a confidential consultation with our compassionate Wake County family law attorneys.