There are two basic types of restraining orders that you can get in the state of North Carolina. Domestic Violence Protective Orders are available for protection from a spouse, domestic partner or family member. A Civil No-Contact Order provides protection from a stranger, neighbor, acquaintance or any other person who is not a family member. The requirements for obtaining these orders differ.
Requirements for a Domestic Violence Protective Order
You can file a Domestic Violence Protective Order against a family member, a spouse or domestic partner, a current or former household member or a person you are dating or have dated. There is no fee to file the order and you are not required to have an attorney. The Domestic Violence Protective Order only covers physical threats, abuse and violent acts. It cannot be issued for mental or emotional abuse.
Requirements for a Civil No-Contact Order
A Civil No-Contact Order provides protection from stalking and nonconsensual sexual contact. This order is used for acquaintances, co-workers, neighbors and anyone with whom you do not have a familial or domestic relationship. To apply for this order you must be the victim of nonconsensual sexual conduct, which includes intentional touching, fondling or a sexual act for the purposes of sexual arousal, or stalking, which is defined as being repeatedly followed or harassed with the intention of causing fear or distress.
A judge can issue a temporary order that will go into immediate effect without the respondent having a chance to present evidence or testimony. This usually lasts about 10 days, but will not go into effect until the respondent is served with a notification. A permanent order requires a full court hearing where both you and the respondent have the chance to present evidence and testimony.
Alternative Actions and Resources
If your situation does not qualify you for either a Domestic Violence Protective Order or a Civil No-Contact Order, there are alternate actions you can take. If you are threatened or a crime is committed against you, you can press charges and the trial judge may order the offender to stay away from you. If you are the victim of mental or physical abuse, you should contact your local domestic violence organization for assistance. The Stalking Resource Center provides assistance and support for those who are being harassed or stalked (see References).
Moving from State to State
If you are issued a Domestic Violence Protective Order in the state of North Carolina and it meets federal requirements, the order will apply in any state. If you move, you will want to register your order with your new state. To do this you will need a certified copy of the order.
If you move to North Carolina from another state and your order meets federal standards, it will be enforced in North Carolina. If you need to change, cancel or extend the order, you will need to do so through the courts in the state in which you initially received the restraining order.