North Carolina Family Law Statutes
Civil No-Contact Orders.
§ 50C-1. Definitions.
The following definitions apply in this Chapter:
(1) Abuse. – To physically or
mentally harm, harass, intimidate, or interfere with the personal
liberty of another.
(2) Civil no-contact order. – An order granted under this
Chapter, which includes a remedy authorized by G.S. 50C-5.
(3) Nonconsensual. – A lack of freely given consent.
(4) Sexual conduct. – Any intentional or knowing touching,
fondling, or sexual penetration by a person, either directly or
through clothing, of the sexual organs, anus, or breast of
another, whether an adult or a minor, for the purpose of sexual
gratification or arousal. For purposes of this subdivision, the
term shall include the transfer or transmission of semen.
(5) Repealed by Session Laws 2004-199, s. 50, effective August 17,
(6) Stalking. – Following on more than one occasion or otherwise
harassing, as defined in G.S. 14-277.3(c), another person without
legal purpose with the intent to do any of the following:
a. Place the person in reasonable fear
either for the person's safety or the safety of the person's
immediate family or close personal associates.
b. Cause that person to suffer substantial emotional distress by
placing that person in fear of death, bodily injury, or continued
harassment and that in fact causes that person substantial
(7) Unlawful conduct. – The
commission of one or more of the following acts upon a person, but
does not include acts of self-defense or defense of others:
a. Nonconsensual sexual conduct,
including single incidences of nonconsensual sexual conduct.
(8) Victim. – A person against whom
an act of unlawful conduct has been committed by another person
not involved in a personal relationship with the person as defined
in G.S. 50B-1(b). (2004-194, s. 1; 2004-199, s. 50.)
§ 50C-2. Commencement of action; filing fees not permitted;
(a) An action is commenced under this Chapter by filing a
verified complaint for a civil no-contact order in district court
or by filing a motion in any existing civil action, by any of the
(1) A person who is a victim of
unlawful conduct that occurs in this State.
(2) A competent adult who resides in this State on behalf of a
minor child or an incompetent adult who is a victim of unlawful
conduct that occurs in this State.
(b) No court costs shall be assessed for the filing or service
of the complaint, or the service of any orders.
(c) An action commenced under this Chapter may be filed in any
county permitted under G.S. 1-82 or where the unlawful conduct
(d) If the victim states that disclosure of the victim's address
would place the victim or any member of the victim's family or
household at risk for further unlawful conduct, the victim's
address may be omitted from all documents filed with the court. If
the victim has not disclosed an address under this subsection, the
victim shall designate an alternative address to receive notice of
any motions or pleadings from the opposing party. (2004-194, s.
§ 50C-3. Process for action for no-contact order.
(a) Any action for a civil no-contact order requires that a
separate summons be issued and served. The summons issued pursuant
to this Chapter shall require the respondent to answer within 10
days of the date of service. Attachments to the summons shall
include the complaint for the civil no-contact order, and any
temporary civil no-contact order that has been issued and the
notice of hearing on the temporary civil no-contact order.
(b) Service of the summons and attachments shall be by the sheriff
by personal delivery in accordance with Rule 4 of the Rules of
Civil Procedure, and if the respondent cannot with due diligence
be served by the sheriff by personal delivery, the respondent may
be served by publication by the complainant in accordance with
Rule 4(j1) of the Rules of Civil Procedure.
(c) The court may enter a civil no-contact order by default for
the remedy sought in the complaint if the respondent has been
served in accordance with this section and fails to answer as
directed, or fails to appear on any subsequent appearance or
hearing date agreed to by the parties or set by the court.
(2004-194, s. 1.)
§ 50C-4. Hearsay exception.
In proceedings for an order or prosecutions for violation of
an order under this Chapter, the prior sexual activity or the
reputation of the victim is inadmissible except when it would be
admissible in a criminal prosecution under G.S. 8C, Rule 412.
(2004-194, s. 1.)
§ 50C-5. Civil no-contact order; remedy.
(a) Upon a finding that the victim has suffered unlawful
conduct committed by the respondent, the court may issue temporary
or permanent civil no-contact orders as authorized in this
Chapter. In determining whether or not to issue a civil no-contact
order, the court shall not require physical injury to the victim.
(b) The court may grant one or more of the following forms of
relief in its orders under this Chapter:
(1) Order the respondent not to visit,
assault, molest, or otherwise interfere with the victim.
(2) Order the respondent to cease stalking the victim, including
at the victim's workplace.
(3) Order the respondent to cease harassment of the victim.
(4) Order the respondent not to abuse or injure the victim.
(5) Order the respondent not to contact the victim by telephone,
written communication, or electronic means.
(6) Order the respondent to refrain from entering or remaining
present at the victim's residence, school, place of employment, or
other specified places at times when the victim is present.
(7) Order other relief deemed necessary and appropriate by the
(c) A civil no-contact order shall include the following
notice, printed in conspicuous type: "A knowing violation of
a civil no-contact order shall be punishable as contempt of court
which may result in a fine or imprisonment." (2004-194, s.
§ 50C-6. Temporary civil no-contact order; court holidays
(a) A temporary civil no-contact order may be granted ex
parte, without evidence of service of process or notice, only if
both of the following are shown:
(1) It clearly appears from specific facts shown by a verified
complaint or affidavit that immediate injury, loss, or damage will
result to the victim before the respondent can be heard in
(2) Either one of the following:
a. The complainant certifies to the
court in writing the efforts, if any, that have been made to give
the notice and the reasons supporting the claim that notice should
not be required.
b. The complainant certified to the court that there is good cause
to grant the remedy because the harm that the remedy is intended
to prevent would likely occur if the respondent were given any
prior notice of the complainant's efforts to obtain judicial
(b) Every temporary civil no-contact order granted without
(1) Be endorsed with the date and hour
(2) Be filed immediately in the clerk's office and entered of
(3) Define the injury, state why it is irreparable and why the
order was granted without notice.
(4) Expire by its terms within such time after entry, not to
exceed 10 days.
(5) Give notice of the date of hearing on the temporary order as
provided in G.S. 50C-8(a).
(c) If the respondent appears in court for a hearing on a
temporary order, the respondent may elect to file a general
appearance and testify. Any resulting order may be a temporary
order, governed by this section. Notwithstanding the requirements
of this section, if all requirements of G.S. 50C-7 have been met,
the court may issue a permanent order.
(d) When the court is not in session, the complainant may file for
a temporary order before any judge or magistrate designated to
grant relief under this Chapter. If the judge or magistrate finds
that there is an immediate and present danger of harm to the
victim and that the requirements of subsection (a) of this section
have been met, the judge or magistrate may issue a temporary civil
no-contact order. The chief district court judge may designate for
each county at least one judge or magistrate to be reasonably
available to issue temporary civil no-contact orders when the
court is not in session. (2004-194, s. 1.)
§ 50C-7. Permanent civil no-contact order.
Upon a finding that the victim has suffered unlawful conduct
committed by the respondent, a permanent civil no-contact order
may issue if the court additionally finds that process was
properly served on the respondent, the respondent has answered the
complaint and notice of hearing was given, or the respondent is in
default. No permanent civil no-contact order shall be issued
without notice to the respondent. (2004-194, s. 1.)
§ 50C-8. Duration; extension of orders.
(a) A temporary civil no-contact order shall be effective for
not more than 10 days as the court fixes, unless within the time
so fixed the temporary civil no-contact order, for good cause
shown, is extended for a like period or a longer period if the
respondent consents. The reasons for the extension shall be stated
in the temporary order. In case a temporary civil no-contact order
is granted without notice and a motion for a permanent civil
no-contact order is made, it shall be set down for hearing at the
earliest possible time and takes precedence over all matters
except older matters of the same character. When the motion for a
permanent civil no-contact order comes on for hearing, the
complainant may proceed with a motion for a permanent civil
no-contact order, and, if the complainant fails to do so, the
judge shall dissolve the temporary civil no-contact order. On two
days' notice to the complainant or on such shorter notice to that
party as the judge may prescribe, the respondent may appear and
move its dissolution or modification. In that event the judge
shall proceed to hear and determine such motion as expeditiously
as the ends of justice require.
(b) A permanent civil no-contact order shall be effective for a
fixed period of time not to exceed one year.
(c) Any order may be extended one or more times, as required,
provided that the requirements of G.S. 50C-6 or G.S. 50C-7, as
appropriate, are satisfied. The court may renew an order,
including an order that previously has been renewed, upon a motion
by the complainant filed before the expiration of the current
order. The court may renew the order for good cause. The
commission of an act of unlawful conduct by the respondent after
entry of the current order is not required for an order to be
renewed. If the motion for extension is uncontested and the
complainant seeks no modification of the order, the order may be
extended if the complainant's motion or affidavit states that
there has been no material change in relevant circumstances since
entry of the order and states the reason for the requested
extension. Extensions may be granted only in open court and not
under the provisions of G.S. 50D-6(c).
(d) Any civil no-contact order expiring on a day the court is not
open for business shall expire at the close of the next court
business day. (2004-194, s. 1.)
§ 50C-9. Notice of orders.
(a) The clerk of court shall deliver on the same day that a
civil no-contact order is issued, a certified copy of that order
to the sheriff.
(b) Unless the respondent was present in court when the order was
issued, the sheriff shall serve the order on the respondent and
file proof of service in the manner provided for service of
process in civil proceedings. If the summons has not yet been
served upon the respondent, it shall be served with the order.
(c) A copy of the order shall be issued promptly to and retained
by the police department of the municipality of the victim's
residence. If the victim's residence is not located in a
municipality or in a municipality with no police department,
copies shall be issued promptly to and retained by the sheriff and
the county police department, if any, of the county in which the
victim's residence is located.
(d) Any order extending, modifying, or revoking any civil
no-contact order shall be promptly delivered to the sheriff by the
clerk and served by the sheriff in accordance with the provisions
of this section. (2004-194, s. 1.)
§ 50C-10. Violation.
A knowing violation of an order entered pursuant to this
Chapter is punishable as contempt of court. (2004-194, s. 1.)
§ 50C-11. Remedies not exclusive.
The remedies provided by this Chapter are not exclusive but
are additional to other remedies provided under law. (2004-194, s.
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