If you or someone you love is in an abusive relationship and needs protection, there are many resources available in North Carolina. In our state, a “restraining order” is officially called a Domestic Violence Protection Order, commonly known as a “DVPO” or sometimes as a “50B” order. They are completely free of charge to file and can be filed regardless of your citizenship status.

A DVPO is not a criminal charge in and of itself, but it is a matter of public record. If you have a DVPO out on an abusive spouse and he or she violates the order, then he or she may be arrested on the spot for the violation.

In order to file for a DVPO, your relationship with the abusive partner in question must be one of the following: spouse or ex-spouse, a person with whom you are cohabitating or previously cohabitated with, a parent, child, grandchild, grandparent, or a person of the opposite sex who you have been dating.

In the event that you do not have a relationship with the abusive person in question that qualifies for a DVPO, you may look into filing a “no-contact” or “50C” order. This process is very similar to a DVPO, other than the person in question will not be immediately arrested for violating the order. Rather, they will be held in contempt of court.

In order to receive a DVPO, the plaintiff, or the partner who is being abused, needs to prove that abuse has occurred either against their person or that of a minor child.

This post is intended to educate you on filing a DVPO in North Carolina. It is not intended to be taken as legal advice.