How to File a Restraining Order in North Carolina
If another person is inflicting any sort of threat against your safety, then it is important to take the necessary steps to put a stop to it. If you’re a Wilmington area resident facing verbal abuse, physical or domestic violence, or any other form of possible assault, there is a process you can take to obtaining distance from that harmful individual. Typically, this process is commonly referred to as a restraining order, it is technically called a Domestic Violence Protective Order or a Civil No-Contact Order in the state of North Carolina.
The Two Types of Protective Orders
The type of protective order that you file against another individual is dependent upon whether you have a personal relationship or do not have a personal relationship with the abuser. For example, perhaps you are involved of a domestic violence situation with your spouse or partner. This type of protective order would be filed as a Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO). On the other hand, if your abuser is a stranger or acquaintance and you do not have a personal relationship with him or her, then you would file a Civil No-Contact Order.
Domestic Violence Protective Order
Filing a Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO) has specific repercussions on the reported abuser. If the individual is living with you, then he or she is required to either move out of your joint home or agree to pay for other housing for you. If you and your partner have children or pets, the DVPO can also state that you receive custody of those dependents and child/spousal support. In addition, your abuser will no longer be legally allowed to come within a specific distance of you and cannot continue to threaten you. There is even a possibility your abuser be required to attend counseling or a therapy treatment to address the issues.
Civil No-Contact Order
Cases that result in filing a Civil No-Contact Order typically stem from a case of stalking or being faced with unwanted sexual advances from someone whom you are not in relationship with. Filing this report can be applied to a temporary amount of time or could also be extended to a permanent status, depending on the case details. It also required that your stalker and/or abuser not have any contact with you, in addition to not being allowed within the same vicinity as you.
How Do I Get a Restraining Order?
As with most legal cases, there is a process that you must follow to file a DVPO or Civic Non-Contact Order. The first step is to go to your county courthouse to acquire the appropriate legal documents for filing. Then, you must ensure that you fill out the forms with extreme detail. However, you must refrain from signing until you have a notary witness. You will be have to fill out a summon with the police to properly identify your abuser. Once the abuser is identified, you can then obtain a temporary protective order with the abuser needed to be present for the hearing. This temporary protective order will ensure that your abuser will not be allowed to contact you or see prior to the scheduled hearing. All parties will then attend the scheduled hearing with 10 days of the filed complaint. We recommend hiring an attorney to represent you at the hearing for legal guidance. Once the restraints are judged and legally filed by the court, you will then have the option of extending or renewing your order in the future.
Even though it is possible to file these types of restrictive orders on your own, we recommend having an experienced, local Wilmington, NC lawyer like Brett Wentz to help guide you through the process. It’s always Brett’s goal to ensure this daunting task is less stressful for his clients. To learn more about filing a restraining order, contact Wentz Law Firm – Brett promises to advocate on your behalf!