North Carolina Restraining Order Overview
There are two types of restraining orders, also called no contact orders, in North Carolina. The first is a Domestic Violence Protective Order, commonly called a “50-B” in reference to the statute that authorizes that relief. The second is a Civil No-Contact Order, commonly called a “50-C” in reference to the statute that defines its requirements.
Difference Between 50-C’s And 50-B’s
50-C’s and 50-B’s differ in the relationship between the parties, what the Order can provide the person seeking it, and the consequences to the defendant for violating an order once entered.
A 50-B is available to victims of domestic violence who allege that a defendant caused or attempted to cause bodily injury, placed the victim or a member of the victim’s household in fear of bodily injury, continued harassment, or the commission of a sexual offense. A personal relationship is required for a 50-B.
A 50-C is available to the victims of unlawful conduct, including stalking, harassment, or nonconsensual sexual contact in instances where the parties do not have the personal relationship required for a 50-B.
Definition Of A Personal Relationship
A 50-B can only be entered between parties who have a personal relationship. A personal relationship includes current or former spouses, current or former dating partners, current or former household members, two people who have a child in common, parent and child, or grandparent and grandchild.
A 50-C does not require any specific relationship between the parties, only that the perpetrator of the unlawful conduct be over the age of 16.
Process Of Getting A 50C Or 50B
- When seeking either a 50-B or 50-C order, the plaintiff initially requests an ex parte Order from the Court. Ex parte orders are initial orders to prevent a defendant from contacting a plaintiff.
- At the ex parte stage, the Court will either allow the plaintiff’s motion and enter the order requested, or decline to enter an order.
- Regardless of whether the Court initially allows or declines the plaintiff’s motion, a hearing will be scheduled within 10 days.
- At a hearing, both parties are allowed an opportunity to be heard and present further evidence on the events alleged by the plaintiff.
- The Court makes a final determination in the case. It can either enter an order lasting up to one (1) year or dismiss the case.
What is Required of a Defendant?
Both a 50-B and a 50-C, if entered at any stage, require that a defendant not contact the plaintiff, directly or via third parties, any further. The 50-B specifically requires that a defendant commit no further acts of domestic violence against a plaintiff and it can include other members of the plaintiff’s household and pets. There also are many other restrictions on a defendant’s rights that can come from the entry of a 50-B.