It’s unfortunate, but sometimes relationships get downright messy. Domestic violence is something that many people don’t want to talk about, but it does happen. If you have been the victim of domestic violence one of the things that you can do is to obtain a domestic violence order.
Also called a Protection from Abuse Order in some states (or PFA), a Domestic Violence Order is essentially a special writ, similar to a warrant, that makes certain circumstances illegal. For instance, if you have been harassed by your domestic partner or spouse, the order may prohibit them from being able to contact you via telephone or the internet. It will also likely be illegal for them to be on your property, at your place of employment or within a certain distance of you (or your children) in public places. Should your spouse or domestic partner violate the terms of the Domestic Violence Order, then they may be arrested and charged with the violation.
In North Carolina, there are two different types of Domestic Violence Order. The first is a temporary order that is referred to as an ex parte. It is filed with the courts on the same day you report or file charges of domestic violence. The second, referred to as a final domestic violence protective order requires a court hearing and will replace the ex parte order. You may hear this referred to as a DVPO, a 50b or simply a restraining order.
A domestic violence order not only protects you and your children, but also your home, your possessions and even your pet. The order would make the charges stiffer should any of your personal property be damaged or destroyed by your abuser.
You may also be able to obtain a restraining order if you do not have a personal relationship with your abuser, whether it relates to stalking or sexual harassment.
If you have been the victim of domestic violence, then taking out a domestic violence order is the logical next step. To obtain the ex parte, you will need to speak to a judge on the same day you file charges. If the judge believes that there is a possibility that you are your children can be harmed by your abuser, they will then issue the order. For the DVPO, you will need to file papers for a court hearing in the locality in which you reside (or the county where the attacker resides – check with local law enforcement to be sure) and a trial date will be issued. Your abuser will have to be served with court papers and the judge will then determine if your circumstances warrant a domestic violence order.
If your abuser violates any of the provisions of the Domestic Violence Order, then you will need to contact your local law enforcement office to see him or her arrested. The judge presiding over the case will take it from there.
All Domestic Violence Orders have expiration dates. If you believe that you or your children are still in danger, it is your responsibility to make sure that you apply to have your order extended. Contact the office that issued the order at least thirty days before the expiration date. Your Domestic Violence Order can be renewed more than once.
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