The North Carolina General Assembly recently made two important changes to Chapter 50B regarding civil domestic violence protective orders. S.L. 2017-92, “Domestic Violence Appeals and Modifications”, was effective October 1, 2017.
This post is also published on the NC Criminal Law blog.
Domestic violence protective orders (DVPOs) are available to “persons of the opposite sex who are . . . or have been in a dating relationship,” and who are able to establish that the person that they are or were dating committed an act of domestic violence against them. Persons of the same sex who are or were in a dating relationship don’t have the same opportunity. Is that constitutional? The Supreme Court of South Carolina just addressed a related question, and its opinion suggests that the answer is no. Continue Reading
Chapter 50B expressly authorizes entry of consent DVPOs, GS 50B-1(c), and many cases are resolved in this way. Overall, this is a good thing because consent orders:
- Spare both parties, who often are appearing pro se, the stress and uncertainty of a trial;
- Allow the parties to create orders that will best meet their specific needs; and
- Conserve valuable court time.
It is not uncommon for a defendant to be willing to agree to the entry of an order but not willing to agree that the specific acts alleged in the complaint actually occurred. Can a DVPO be entered without the specifics?