Domestic Violence & Protective Orders
Any NC resident who believes that they are a victim of domestic violence can seek relief through the courts by means of a Domestic Violence Protective Order. This order is often called a “50b Order” provides protection from an abuser.
Who is can apply for a Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO)?
To apply for a DVPO you must have a personal relationship with the alleged abuser. North Carolina Law defines a personal relationship as:
- Current or former spouse
- Persons of opposite sex that live together or have lived together
- Persons that are related as parents and children, this includes persons acting as parents to a minor child (ie: grandparents)
- Have a child in common
- Current or former household members
- Persons of the opposite sex who are in or have been in a dating relationship.
In addition to having a personal relationship, you will need to show that the accused has:
- Attempted to cause bodily injury or intentionally caused bodily injury; or
- Placed you or a member of your family/household in fear of imminent serious bodily injury or continued harassment as defined in NCGS 14-277.3A (Stalking), that rises to a level as to inflict substantial emotion distress; or
- Committing any act defined in NCGS 14-27.21 and NCGS14-27.33 (rape and sexual offenses)
I believe that I qualify for a DVPO, what do I do?
In order to start the process for a DVPO, you must go to the civil court house or magistrate and complete a civil complaint.
If you feel that you believe that you are in danger of serious and immediate injury to yourself or a minor child, you can apply for emergency relief in the form of an ex parte order. The other party will not be notified and if granted is good for 10 days. A court date for a full hearing will be scheduled at which time you and the accused will appear before the judge to tell your side of the story of what happened. If the judge finds that an emergency order is not warranted, you will still be given a date for a hearing within 10 days.
On the day of the hearing the judge will hear both sides of the situation and determine if the emergency order should be turned into a DVPO or if a DVPO is granted. Each case is different, and you may feel stressed and scared, it is important to have a knowledgeable and experienced Domestic Violence Attorney by your side to help prove your case.
How does the DVPO protect me?
Once a DVPO is granted you may be protected in one of the following ways:
- The accused will be ordered to have no contact with you of any kind;
- The accused will be prohibited from assaulting, threatening, abusing, following, harassing, or otherwise interfering with you or your family by any means;
- The accused may be ordered to move out of the residence if you live together;
- The accused may be ordered to stay away from you, your place of employment, your children’s school, or any other places that you frequent
- You may be given possession of personal property including a car, possession of your pet;
- You may also be given temporary custody of a minor child or children
- The court may order any other prohibitions or requirements that are deemed necessary to keep you safe.
I don’t have a personal relationship, but I need a protective order.
If you do not have a personal relationship as defined by North Carolina Law and you feel that you have been the victim of non-consensual sexual conduct or stalking, you will need to apply for a Civil No-contact order of 50C.
As with a DVPO, you will file a complaint with the Civil Court and a hearing date will be set within 10 days. The accused will need to be personal served with the complaint. Both you and the accused will appear before the judge. If the order is granted the judge could order several different types of relief such as:
- Order the accused not to visit, assault, molest, or otherwise interfere with you.
- Order the accused to stop stalking and/or harassing you
- Order the accused not to abuse or injure you
- Order the accused to stop contacting you vial phone, or written communication or electronic means
- Barr the accused from entering or remaining present at your home, school, place of employment, or other places at times when you are there.
A Temporary Order has been entered against me, what do I do?
It is important that you do not try to contact the person who filed against you, even if you think the allegations are false. Any contact could be deemed a violation of the protective order and be cause for your arrest. Violations of the restraining order will lead to criminal charges pending against you.
The best thing to do is follow the order, move out of the residence if required, and contact an experience Domestic Violence Attorney.
You can contact an experienced lawyer by calling The Law Offices of Anna Smith Felts, PLLC at
Let our experience be your guide