Civil ActionFour Decades of Experience Guiding Clients Through Legal Matters
Civil Action Against Domestic Violence in Raleigh, NC
Legal Defense Against Domestic Abuse
Domestic violence is a serious crime consisting of physical, emotional, mental and economic abuse, to name some. However, abusers don’t always receive criminal penalties. You have the power to decide what consequences to impose on your abuser, and many victims of domestic violence choose to pursue civil action.
Civil action is a remedy for domestic violence that restrains abusers from their victims. Many victims file for a domestic violence protective order (DVPO) or sue their perpetrator rather than pressing criminal charges, although victims are free to choose that route as well. Our Raleigh domestic violence attorney at Hopper Law Office is deeply familiar with North Carolina’s civil court proceedings concerning domestic violence and can help you file for a DVPO. In addition, if you would like to sue your abuser, we can help you explore the best plan of action for your case.
What Is a 50B Order?
Also referred to as a domestic violence protective order, a 50B order is a court order that prohibits an abuser from being within a certain distance from the victim. DVPOs may provide the following types of relief:
- Direct the abuser to refrain from such acts.
- Grant you possession of the residence or household and exclude the abuser from the residence or household.
- Require the abuser to provide you and your children suitable alternate housing.
- Award temporary custody of minor children and establish temporary visitation rights if the order is granted ex parte or after notice or service of process.
- Order the eviction of your abuser from the residence or household and assistance for you to return to it.
- Order your abuser to make payments for the support of a minor child or yourself as required by law.
- Provide for possession of your personal property, including the care, custody, and control of any animal owned, possessed, kept, or held as a pet.
Order your abuser to refrain from doing any or all of the following:
- Threatening, abusing or following you.
- Harass you, including by telephone, visiting the home or workplace, or other means.
- Cruelly treating or abusing an animal owned, possessed, kept, or held as a pet by either party or minor child residing in the household.
- Otherwise interfering with you.
- Award attorney's fees.
- Prohibit your abuser from purchasing a firearm for a time fixed in the order.
- Order your abuser to attend and complete an abuser treatment program if the program is approved by the Domestic Violence Commission.
Eligibility for a 50B Order
To qualify for a DVPO, you must satisfy the following requirements:
- Prove that you reside in North Carolina, regardless of your citizenship or immigration status
- Prove that the perpetrator is a spouse or ex-spouse, someone with whom you currently or previously lived with, a person with whom you have a child, a person of the opposite sex whom you dated, or a parent, child, grandparent or grandchild
Prove that the perpetrator committed the following acts against you:
- Caused or attempted to cause physical injury
- Placed you in fear of imminent serious bodily injury
- Continuously harassed you by committing at least two wrongful acts for no reason against you, and as a result, caused you “substantial emotional distress”
- Sexually assaulted you
What to Expect in Domestic Violence Court
Navigating civil courts in North Carolina can be tricky and you’ll likely face challenges without the help of a lawyer. Luckily, our Raleigh domestic violence attorney will prepare you for what to expect at all stages of the process, beginning from the very moment you put Hopper Law Office on your team. We understand that dealing with court proceedings is the last thing on your mind, which is why we will work diligently to make the process as smooth as possible.
For your information, here is a general overview of the NC domestic violence court process:
- You must fill out the DVPO paperwork and give it to the court clerk
You will attend an “ex parte” hearing with a judge so they
can hear more details about your incident(s) to understand the best course
of action to take
- At their discretion, a judge will grant you an “ex parte” order that lasts until your next court hearing
- A sheriff will serve a copy of the paperwork to your abuser, and once that happens, the case can proceed
Both you and the defendant (the perpetrator) will appear in court, where
a judge will ask you how long you want the DVPO to be effective for
- If there is a disagreement between you and the defendant, the judge will hold a trial in which both parties present evidence to establish whether domestic violence has occurred or not
Serving Raleigh Since 1994
AV® Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
Family-Owned Law Firm
Highly-Regarded by Past Clients
“They were very easy to work with, answered all of my questions, and made me feel at ease during a stressful time.”- Past Client
“I was very impressed by the responsiveness and personal attention.”- Past Client
“They take the extra step and are personal and make sure I am satisfied with whatever decision they choose to take.”- Past Client
“Thanks to Kevin Hopper, the kids and I are finally moving past the nightmare and learning to laugh again.”- Newton
“They were able to help me receive the outcome I needed and I would recommend them to everyone.”- Holly