Protective Orders, Orders of Protection, Restraining Orders, and Domestic Violence Protective Orders (DVPO) are all common terms for this action. DVPO’s are only put into place when there is a hearing. At that hearing, the judge can make the order good for one year.

In order to file for a DVPO against the abuser, you must have a “personal relationship” with the abuser. North Carolina law defines “personal relationship” for the purpose of being able to file a DVPO. Below are the types of relationships that fall into this category:

  1. Are current or former spouses;
  2. Are persons of opposite sex who live together or have lived together;
  3. Are related as parents and children, including others acting in loco parentis to a minor child, or as grandparents and grandchildren. For purposes of this subdivision, an aggrieved party may not obtain an order of protection against a child or grandchild under the age of 16;
  4. Have a child in common;
  5. Are current or former household members;
  6. Are persons of the opposite sex who are in a dating relationship or have been in a dating relationship. For purposes of this subdivision, a dating relationship is one wherein the parties are romantically involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship. A casual acquaintance or ordinary fraternization between persons in a business or social context is not a dating relationship.

Although domestic violence occurs at the same rate in same-sex dating relationships as in opposite-sex, currently North Carolina law does not allow for same-sex dating partners who have never been household members, and who are not or have not been married to each other to file for a DVPO. If you are a victim of domestic violence in a same-sex dating relationship and don’t qualify for a DVPO, you may be able to file for a different type of restraining order called a “Civil No-Contact Order” or a “50C.”

DVPO and Firearms

Upon issuance of an emergency or ex parte order, the court shall order the defendant to surrender to the Sheriff all firearms, machine guns, ammunition, permits to purchase firearms, and permits to carry concealed firearms that are in the care, custody, possession, ownership, or control of the defendant if the court finds any of the following factors:

  • The use or threatened use of a deadly weapon by the defendant or a pattern of prior conduct involving the use or threatened use of violence with a firearm against persons
  • Threats to seriously injure or kill the aggrieved party or minor child by the defendant
  • Threats to commit suicide by the defendant; or
  • Serious injuries inflicted upon the aggrieved party or minor child by the defendant.

The court, at the 10-day hearing, shall inquire the defendant as to the presence of, ownership of, or otherwise access to firearms by the defendant, as well as ammunition, permits to purchase firearms, and permits to carry concealed firearms, and include, whenever possible, identifying information regarding the description, number, and location of firearms, ammunition, and permits in the order.

Emergency Relief

A party may move the court for emergency relief if he or she believes there is a danger, serious, and immediate injury to himself or herself or a minor child. A hearing on a motion for emergency relief, where no ex parte order is entered, shall be held after five days notice of the hearing to the other party or after five days from the date of service of process on the other party, whichever occurs first. Provided, however, that no hearing shall be required if the service of process is not completed on the other party. If the party is proceeding pro se and does not request an ex parte hearing, the clerk shall set a date for hearing and issue a notice of hearing within the time periods provided in this subsection, and shall effect service of the summons, complaint, notice, and other papers through the appropriate law enforcement agency where the defendant is to be served.

We are here when you need help!

If you are in an abusive situation and need help, you can turn to us to advocate for you. We can walk you through the process of getting a DVPO. We can also represent you during any 10-day hearing or at the hearing to make the DVPO permanent. We also can help those who have wrongly had a DVPO taken out against them. We understand a DVPO can prevent a parent from being able to see their children. Contact us now to schedule your free consultation at 919-591-2240 or send us an email by clicking on the button below. .