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Legal Information: North Carolina

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of December 22, 2023

Step 4: The hearing

As the plaintiff requesting a DVPO, you must prove that the defendant has committed one or more acts of domestic violence as defined by the law. If you do not go to the hearing, your ex parte order will expire. If the abuser does not show up for the hearing, the judge may still grant you a DVPO or may reschedule the hearing.

See the At the Hearing section for ways you can show the judge that you were abused. You can learn more about the court system in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section. It is generally recommended to have an attorney at the hearing. If you need to ask the judge for a continuance to find a lawyer, the continuance will be limited to one extension of no more than ten days unless all parties consent or you can show “good cause” for extending it longer.1

1 NCGS § 50B-2(c)(5)