Domestic violence is prevalent in many homes around the country, but it should not be the norm. If you or someone you love is involved in an intimate relationship with someone who is trying to control them with physical or emotional violence of any kind, they may be eligible for a 50B Domestic Violence Protective Order.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is defined as abusive behavior within an intimate relationship. The intention of the perpetrator, which can be either a man or a woman, is to gain power and control over their partner. The abuse can include anything from humiliation, criticism, and threats to physical violence or sexual abuse. Any pattern of abusive behavior that is intended to control is domestic violence.
50B Domestic Violence Protective Order
In North Carolina, a domestic violence protective order, or a 50B order, is awarded by a judge to protect a victim from domestic violence. The offender is forced to stay away from their victim or be arrested on the spot. 50B orders can last for up to one year but can be renewed two years at a time after that.
How to File for a 50B Domestic Violence Protective Order
Initially, the person filing the case (the plaintiff) will fill out the 50B order paperwork and give it to the court clerk. A judge will hold an ex parte hearing, where the plaintiff will explain the acts of domestic violence the defendant committed. The judge will grant an ex parte order if they find that the offender committed domestic violence. An ex parte order is a short-term domestic violence order that stays in place until the judge can hear the defendant's side of the issue.
A sheriff will serve the defendant with a copy of all the court paperwork, the plaintiff's complaint, and the ex parte order. On the hearing date, the judge will ask the defendant if they consent to the order. If the defendant does not consent, and the plaintiff wishes to move forward with the permanent order, the judge will hold a trial to determine if the order should be granted. At this trial, both parties can present evidence to show the defendant did, or did not, commit acts of domestic violence against the plaintiff.
If the judge awards the 50B domestic violence protective order, they will require the defendant to stay away from the plaintiff. Meaning, the defendant will be barred from the plaintiff's home, school, and workplace; the defendant will be required to keep a specific distance from the plaintiff in other settings.
50B domestic violence protective orders may not be criminal convictions, but they are still a matter of public record. As such, anyone can view the order whenever they look up the defendant's name, which may cause issues outside of their personal life. It is essential to consult an experienced attorney when seeking a protective order or to challenge one. The attorneys at Caulder & Valentine are skilled in ensuring the court upholds all your rights. Contact us today for a consultation.