Domestic Violence Protective Order

What is a Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO)?

A Domestic Violence Protective Order, often called a “DVPO” or a “50B order,” is a court order that requires a perpetrator of domestic violence to stay away from the victim. Law enforcement can arrest the perpetrator on the spot for violating the order. In North Carolina, a “permanent” DVPO can last for up to one year, but can be renewed for up to two years at a time.

Is a DVPO like a criminal conviction?

A DVPO is not a criminal conviction and does not appear on the defendant’s criminal record. However, all documents filed in the case are public record. A defendant can be arrested and criminally charged for violating a DVPO.

Who can file for a DVPO?

Anyone living in North Carolina, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, can file for a DVPO.

What type of relationship qualifies to file for a DVPO?

  • Spouse or ex-spouse,

  • A person of the opposite sex with who you live or used to live

  • Parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, 

  • Someone with whom you have a child in common,

  • Current or former household member,

  • Someone of the opposite sex whom you are dating or have dated. 

Protections that a DVPO can provide:

  • Granting possession of a residence

  • Ordering eviction from a household

  • Granting temporary custody

  • Ordering no contact

  • Ordering the abuser to refrain from certain locations

  • Prohibiting the abuser from possessing or purchasing a firearm. 

What if I don’t have a qualifying relationship with the perpetrator?

If you are a victim of sexual assault or stalking and do not have a relationship qualifying for a DVPO, you can file for a no-contact order, often called a “50C order,” against the perpetrator. The process for getting a 50C order is similar to the process for getting a DVPO.

What happens when I go to file forms at the clerk of court?

While at the clerk’s office you may either see a judge in person at the ex parte hearing or receive the judges answer regarding whether or not you are awarded a temporary a DVPO or No contact order.  This temporary order is also called an ex parte order.  Ex Parte means that the defendant was not present at the hearing or receive notice of the hearing to have the opportunity to be present in court.  

If awarded this Temporary order will prevent the defendant from having contact with you for a period of no more than 10 days.  The court date that the clerk will give you will fall within this 10-day period. When you leave the clerk’s office you should have: 

  • a copy of the filed order,

  • an answer from a judge about the ex parte or temporary order, and

  • a court date.