Legal Information: North Carolina

Restraining Orders

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February 14, 2022

Step 2: You can ask for an ex parte temporary order for immediate protection.

If you need immediate protection, you can check the box on the complaint to ask for an ex parte order. An ex parte order is a temporary emergency order that a judge can grant you if you or your child are in immediate danger. The abuser will not be notified beforehand that you are asking the judge for an ex parte order.

If the judge believes you or your children are in serious and immediate danger, s/he may give you an ex parte order which is good for 10 days, until your full court hearing. If you are there after business hours, some magistrates may give you an ex parte order which is good only until the case is heard by a judge, which should occur by the end of the next day on which the court is in session in the county.1

You must return to the courthouse to see a judge to get an ex parte order that will last for up to 10 days, until you can have a full court hearing. Whether the judge or magistrate grants you an ex parte order or not, you will be given a court date for a full court “hearing” within 10 days. This hearing will be in front of a judge at the time shown on the Notice of Hearing. At this hearing, your abuser and you will both have a chance to explain your sides to the judge.

1 NCGS § 50B-2(c1)

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