As a law firm that focuses on criminal defense, we often get many questions about domestic violence 50B protective orders, or restraining orders, in North Carolina. Below we answer some of the most common questions we receive.


How do I know if domestic violence laws apply to me?

Individuals who may be protected by domestic violence laws in North Carolina are:

  • Present or former spouses;
  • Present or former household members;
  • Persons of the opposite sex who are dating each other or had dated each other;
  • A person who is living with a person of the opposite sex as if married;
  • Children and their parents or grandparents; and
  • Persons acting in the role of a child’s parent.

What is a 50B Protective Order (Restraining Order)?

The North Carolina General Assembly has enacted the Domestic Violence Act, Chapter 50B, to deal with the growing problem of domestic violence. Many people in the legal industry, as well as law enforcement or social services, refer to domestic violence protective orders as simply “50B.”

What is considered domestic violence in North Carolina?

  • Any act which attempts to cause or intentionally causes bodily injury.
  • Any act which places someone in fear of “imminent serious bodily injury” by threatening force.
  • Acts constituting rape or sexual offense are acts of domestic violence as well.

How can I protect myself and my children from a violent ex-partner?

A complaint must be filed, alleging specific facts, to obtain a protective court order. These forms are available from the Clerk of Superior Court at any county’s courthouse.

Then What?

The court may, at their discretion, issue an ex parte protective order. Ex parte means that one party was not present at the hearing.

The judge may order the person to stay away from your residence, your work or your children’s schools.

The court has the power and discretion to give a person possession of their home, vehicles, personal property and/or household possessions rather than allow their spouse to have these things pending a full hearing.

Contact an Attorney with Experience in 50B Protective Orders

Dummit Fradin criminal lawyers and family lawyers have extensive experience defending clients involved in Domestic Violence cases. Whether you need help filing a 50B protective order or need help fighting one,  contact us today to schedule a consultation. We have offices conveniently located throughout the NC Piedmont Triad. Visit us in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, or High Point.