The Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act and its subsequent corresponding legislation raised the age of juvenile jurisdiction to 18 for most offenses committed at ages 16 or 17 that would otherwise be crimes. S.L. 2017-57, §§ 16.D.4.(a)-16.D.4.(tt) and S.L. 2019-186. Last summer, the legislature enacted changes to the criminal law to ensure that minors who fall outside of raise the age and continue to be tried as adults are not housed in adult jails. S.L. 2020-83, §§ 8.(a)-8.(p). While it may feel like these changes must mean that the age of 18 is now consistently the legal demarcation for being treated as an adult, the law continues to use the age of 16 as a defining line in some instances. For example, Chapter 50B (Domestic Violence) and Chapter 50C (Civil No-Contact Orders) continue to provide that domestic violence protective orders (DVPOs) and Civil No-Contact Orders can be obtained against youth once they reach the age of 16. This blog addresses how enforcement of these orders against youth who are ages 16 and 17 is affected by raise the age and by the removal of minors from jails. Continue Reading
Chapter 50B requires that all civil domestic violence protective orders be of limited duration. GS 50B-3(b). However, that statute also allows the court to extend the life of a DVPO by renewing it at the request of the aggrieved party. Is a court required to renew the DVPO when requested? Is there a limit on the number of times an order can be renewed? Can a court change the terms of the order when it is renewed? Unfortunately, Chapter 50B provides very little guidance on these and other issues that arise regarding the renewal process.