Legal Information: North Carolina

Statutes: North Carolina

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Statutes: North Carolina

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

The statutes below are current through S.L 2017-142 (with the exception of S.L. 2017-6, §§ 1 – 4(c)), of the 2017 Regular Session of the General Assembly. Please check to make sure there have been no changes since this time. For additional statutes or for updates to this statute, please go to the website of the North Carolina General Assembly.

Chapter 1. Civil Procedure

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Subchapter IV. Venue

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Article 7. Venue

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

1?82. Venue in all other cases

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

In all other cases the action must be tried in the county in which the plaintiffs or the defendants, or any of them, reside at its commencement, or if none of the defendants reside in the State, then in the county in which the plaintiffs, or any of them, reside; and if none of the parties reside in the State, then the action may be tried in any county which the plaintiff designates in the plaintiff's summons and complaint, subject to the power of the court to change the place of trial, in the cases provided by statute; provided that any person who has resided on or been stationed in a United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or Air Force installation or reservation within this State for a period of one (1) year or more next preceding the institution of an action shall be deemed a resident of the county within which such installation or reservation, or part thereof, is situated and of any county adjacent to such county where such person stationed at such installation or reservation lives in such adjacent county, for the purposes of this section. The term person shall include military personnel and the spouses and dependents of such personnel.

Chapter 1A. Rules of Civil Procedure

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Article 2. Commencement of Action; Service of Process, Pleadings, Motions, and Orders

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Rule 4. Process

Updated: 
November 27, 2017




(a) Summons -- Issuance; who may serve. -- Upon the filing of the complaint, summons shall be issued forthwith, and in any event within five days. The complaint and summons shall be delivered to some proper person for service. In this State, such proper person shall be the sheriff of the county where service is to be made or some other person duly authorized by law to serve summons. Outside this State, such proper person shall be anyone who is not a party and is not less than 21 years of age or anyone duly authorized to serve summons by the law of the place where service is to be made. Upon request of the plaintiff separate or additional summons shall be issued against any defendants. A summons is issued when, after being filled out and dated, it is signed by the officer having authority to do so. The date the summons bears shall be prima facie evidence of the date of issue.

(b) Summons -- Contents. -- The summons shall run in the name of the State and be dated and signed by the clerk, assistant clerk, or deputy clerk of the court in the county in which the action is commenced. It shall contain the title of the cause and the name of the court and county wherein the action has been commenced. It shall be directed to the defendant or defendants and shall notify each defendant to appear and answer within 30 days after its service upon him and further that if he fails so to appear, the plaintiff will apply to the court for the relief demanded in the complaint. It shall set forth the name and address of plaintiff's attorney, or if there be none, the name and address of plaintiff. If a request for admission is served with the summons, the summons shall so state.

(c) Summons -- Return. -- Personal service or substituted personal service of summons as prescribed by Rules 4(j) and (j1) must be made within 60 days after the date of the issuance of summons. When a summons has been served upon every party named in the summons, it shall be returned immediately to the clerk who issued it, with notation thereon of its service.

Failure to make service within the time allowed or failure to return a summons to the clerk after it has been served on every party named in the summons shall not invalidate the summons. If the summons is not served within the time allowed upon every party named in the summons, it shall be returned immediately upon the expiration of such time by the officer to the clerk of the court who issued it with notation thereon of its nonservice and the reasons therefor as to every such party not served, but failure to comply with this requirement shall not invalidate the summons.

(d) Summons -- Extension; endorsement, alias and pluries. -- When any defendant in a civil action is not served within the time allowed for service, the action may be continued in existence as to such defendant by either of the following methods of extension:

(1) The plaintiff may secure an endorsement upon the original summons for an extension of time within which to complete service of process. Return of the summons so endorsed shall be in the same manner as the original process. Such endorsement may be secured within 90 days after the issuance of summons or the date of the last prior endorsement, or

(2) The plaintiff may sue out an alias or pluries summons returnable in the same manner as the original process. Such alias or pluries summons may be sued out at any time within 90 days after the date of issue of the last preceding summons in the chain of summonses or within 90 days of the last prior endorsement.

Provided, in tax and assessment foreclosures under G.S. 47-108.25 and G.S. 105-374, the first endorsement may be made at any time within two years after the issuance of the original summons, and subsequent endorsements may thereafter be made as in other actions; or an alias or pluries summons may be sued out at any time within two years after the issuance of the original summons, and after the issuance of such alias or pluries summons, the chain of summonses may be kept up as in any other action.

Provided, for service upon a defendant in a place not within the United States, the first endorsement may be made at any time within two years after the issuance of the original summons, and subsequent endorsements may thereafter be made at least once every two years; or an alias or pluries summons may be sued out at any time within two years after the issuance of the original summons, and after the issuance of such alias or pluries summons, the chain of summonses may be kept up as in any other action if sued out within two years of the last preceding summons in the chain of summonses or within two years of the last prior endorsement.

Provided, further, the methods of extension may be used interchangeably in any case and regardless of the form of the preceding extension.

(e) Summons -- Discontinuance. -- When there is neither endorsement by the clerk nor issuance of alias or pluries summons within the time specified in Rule 4(d), the action is discontinued as to any defendant not theretofore served with summons within the time allowed. Thereafter, alias or pluries summons may issue, or an extension be endorsed by the clerk, but, as to such defendant, the action shall be deemed to have commenced on the date of such issuance or endorsement.

(f) Summons -- Date of multiple summonses. -- If the plaintiff shall cause separate or additional summonses to be issued as provided in Rule 4(a), the date of issuance of such separate or additional summonses shall be considered the same as that of the original summons for purposes of endorsement or alias summons under Rule 4(d).

(g) Summons -- Docketing by clerk. -- The clerk shall keep a record in which he shall note the day and hour of issuance of every summons, whether original, alias, pluries, or endorsement thereon. When the summons is returned, the clerk shall note on the record the date of the return and the fact as to service or non-service.

(h) Summons -- When proper officer not available. -- If at any time there is not in a county a proper officer, capable of executing process, to whom summons or other process can be delivered for service, or if a proper officer refuses or neglects to execute such process, or if such officer is a party to or otherwise interested in the action or proceeding, the clerk of the issuing court, upon the facts being verified before him by written affidavit of the plaintiff or his agent or attorney, shall appoint some suitable person who, after he accepts such process for service, shall execute such process in the same manner, with like effect, and subject to the same liabilities, as if such person were a proper officer regularly serving process in that county.

(h1) Summons -- When process returned unexecuted. -- If a proper officer returns a summons or other process unexecuted, the plaintiff or his agent or attorney may cause service to be made by anyone who is not less than 21 years of age, who is not a party to the action, and who is not related by blood or marriage to a party to the action or to a person upon whom service is to be made. This subsection shall not apply to executions pursuant to Article 28 of Chapter 1 or summary ejectment pursuant to Article 3 of Chapter 42 of the General Statutes.

(i) Summons -- Amendment. -- At any time, before or after judgment, in its discretion and upon such terms as it deems just, the court may allow any process or proof of service thereof to be amended, unless it clearly appears that material prejudice would result to substantial rights of the party against whom the process issued.

(j) Process -- Manner of service to exercise personal jurisdiction. -- In any action commenced in a court of this State having jurisdiction of the subject matter and grounds for personal jurisdiction as provided in G.S. 1-75.4, the manner of service of process within or without the State shall be as follows:

(1) Natural Person. -- Except as provided in subdivision (2) below, upon a natural person by one of the following:

a. By delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the natural person or by leaving copies thereof at the defendant's dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein.

b. By delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to be served or to accept service of process or by serving process upon such agent or the party in a manner specified by any statute.

c. By mailing a copy of the summons and of the complaint, registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the party to be served, and delivering to the addressee.

d. By depositing with a designated delivery service authorized pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 7502(f)(2) a copy of the summons and complaint, addressed to the party to be served, delivering to the addressee, and obtaining a delivery receipt. As used in this sub-subdivision, “delivery receipt” includes an electronic or facsimile receipt.

e. By mailing a copy of the summons and of the complaint by signature confirmation as provided by the United States Postal Service, addressed to the party to be served, and delivering to the addressee.

(2) Natural Person under Disability. -- Upon a natural person under disability by serving process in any manner prescribed in this section (j) for service upon a natural person and, in addition, where required by paragraph a or b below, upon a person therein designated.

a. Where the person under disability is a minor, process shall be served separately in any manner prescribed for service upon a natural person upon a parent or guardian having custody of the child, or if there be none, upon any other person having the care and control of the child. If there is no parent, guardian, or other person having care and control of the child when service is made upon the child, then service of process must also be made upon a guardian ad litem who has been appointed pursuant to Rule 17.

b. If the plaintiff actually knows that a person under disability is under guardianship of any kind, process shall be served separately upon his guardian in any manner applicable and appropriate under this section (j). If the plaintiff does not actually know that a guardian has been appointed when service is made upon a person known to him to be incompetent to have charge of his affairs, then service of process must be made upon a guardian ad litem who has been appointed pursuant to Rule 17.

(3) The State. -- Upon the State by personally delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the Attorney General or to a deputy or assistant attorney general; by mailing a copy of the summons and of the complaint, registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the Attorney General or to a deputy or assistant attorney general; or by depositing with a designated delivery service authorized pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 7502(f)(2) a copy of the summons and complaint, addressed to the Attorney General or to a deputy or assistant attorney general, delivering to the addressee, and obtaining a delivery receipt. As used in this subdivision, “delivery receipt” includes an electronic or facsimile receipt.

(4) An Agency of the State. --

a. Upon an agency of the State by personally delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the process agent appointed by the agency in the manner hereinafter provided; by mailing a copy of the summons and of the complaint, registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to said process agent; or by depositing with a designated delivery service authorized pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 7502(f)(2) a copy of the summons and complaint, addressed to the process agent, delivering to the addressee, and obtaining a delivery receipt. As used in this sub-subdivision, “delivery receipt” includes an electronic or facsimile receipt.

b. Every agency of the State shall appoint a process agent by filing with the Attorney General the name and address of an agent upon whom process may be served.

c. If any agency of the State fails to comply with paragraph b above, then service upon such agency may be made by personally delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the Attorney General or to a deputy or assistant attorney general; by mailing a copy of the summons and of the complaint, registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the Attorney General, or to a deputy or assistant attorney general; or by depositing with a designated delivery service authorized pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 7502(f)(2) a copy of the summons and complaint, addressed to the Attorney General or to a deputy or assistant attorney general, delivering to the addressee, and obtaining a delivery receipt. As used in this sub-subdivision, “delivery receipt” includes an electronic or facsimile receipt.

d. For purposes of this rule, the term “agency of the State” includes every agency, institution, board, commission, bureau, department, division, council, member of Council of State, or officer of the State government of the State of North Carolina, but does not include counties, cities, towns, villages, other municipal corporations or political subdivisions of the State, county or city boards of education, other local public districts, units, or bodies of any kind, or private corporations created by act of the General Assembly.

(5) Counties, Cities, Towns, Villages and Other Local Public Bodies. --

a. Upon a city, town, or village by personally delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to its mayor, city manager or clerk; by mailing a copy of the summons and of the complaint, registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to its mayor, city manager or clerk; or by depositing with a designated delivery service authorized pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 7502(f)(2) a copy of the summons and complaint, addressed to the mayor, city manager, or clerk, delivering to the addressee, and obtaining a delivery receipt. As used in this sub-subdivision, “delivery receipt” includes an electronic or facsimile receipt.

b. Upon a county by personally delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to its county manager or to the chairman, clerk or any member of the board of commissioners for such county; by mailing a copy of the summons and of the complaint, registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to its county manager or to the chairman, clerk, or any member of this board of commissioners for such county; or by depositing with a designated delivery service authorized pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 7502(f)(2) a copy of the summons and complaint, addressed to the county manager or to the chairman, clerk, or any member of the board of commissioners of that county, delivering to the addressee, and obtaining a delivery receipt. As used in this sub-subdivision, “delivery receipt” includes an electronic or facsimile receipt.

c. Upon any other political subdivision of the State, any county or city board of education, or other local public district, unit, or body of any kind (i) by personally delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to an officer or director thereof, (ii) by personally delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to an agent or attorney-in-fact authorized by appointment or by statute to be served or to accept service in its behalf, (iii) by mailing a copy of the summons and of the complaint, registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the officer, director, agent, or attorney-in-fact as specified in (i) and (ii), or (iv) by depositing with a designated delivery service authorized pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 7502(f)(2) a copy of the summons and complaint, addressed to the officer, director, agent, or attorney-in-fact as specified in (i) and (ii), delivering to the addressee, and obtaining a delivery receipt. As used in this sub-subdivision, “delivery receipt” includes an electronic or facsimile receipt.

d. In any case where none of the officials, officers or directors specified in paragraphs a, b and c can, after due diligence, be found in the State, and that fact appears by affidavit to the satisfaction of the court, or a judge thereof, such court or judge may grant an order that service upon the party sought to be served may be made by personally delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the Attorney General or any deputy or assistant attorney general of the State of North Carolina; by mailing a copy of the summons and of the complaint, registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the Attorney General or any deputy or assistant attorney general of the State of North Carolina; or by depositing with a designated delivery service authorized pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 7502(f)(2) a copy of the summons and complaint, addressed to the Attorney General or any deputy or assistant attorney general of the State of North Carolina, delivering to the addressee, and obtaining a delivery receipt. As used in this sub-subdivision, “delivery receipt” includes an electronic or facsimile receipt.

(6) Domestic or Foreign Corporation. -- Upon a domestic or foreign corporation by one of the following:

a. By delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to an officer, director, or managing agent of the corporation or by leaving copies thereof in the office of such officer, director, or managing agent with the person who is apparently in charge of the office.

b. By delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to be served or to accept service of process or by serving process upon such agent or the party in a manner specified by any statute.

c. By mailing a copy of the summons and of the complaint, registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the officer, director or agent to be served as specified in paragraphs a and b.

d. By depositing with a designated delivery service authorized pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 7502(f)(2) a copy of the summons and complaint, addressed to the officer, director, or agent to be served as specified in paragraphs a. and b., delivering to the addressee, and obtaining a delivery receipt. As used in this sub-subdivision, “delivery receipt” includes an electronic or facsimile receipt.

(7) Partnerships. -- Upon a general or limited partnership:

a. By delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to any general partner, or to any attorney-in-fact or agent authorized by appointment or by law to be served or to accept service of process in its behalf; by mailing a copy of the summons and of the complaint, registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to any general partner, or to any attorney-in-fact or agent authorized by appointment or by law to be served or to accept service of process in its behalf; or by depositing with a designated delivery service authorized pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 7502(f)(2) a copy of the summons and complaint, addressed to any general partner or to any attorney-in-fact or agent authorized by appointment or by law to be served or to accept service of process in its behalf, delivering to the addressee, and obtaining a delivery receipt; or by leaving copies thereof in the office of such general partner, attorney-in-fact or agent with the person who is apparently in charge of the office. As used in this sub-subdivision, “delivery receipt” includes an electronic or facsimile receipt.

b. If relief is sought against a partner specifically, a copy of the summons and of the complaint must be served on such partner as provided in this section (j).

(8) Other Unincorporated Associations and Their Officers. -- Upon any unincorporated association, organization, or society other than a partnership by one of the following:

a. By delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to an officer, director, managing agent or member of the governing body of the unincorporated association, organization or society, or by leaving copies thereof in the office of such officer, director, managing agent or member of the governing body with the person who is apparently in charge of the office.

b. By delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to be served or to accept service of process or by serving process upon such agent or the party in a manner specified by any statute.

c. By mailing a copy of the summons and of the complaint, registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the officer, director, agent or member of the governing body to be served as specified in paragraphs a and b.

d. By depositing with a designated delivery service authorized pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 7502(f)(2) a copy of the summons and complaint, addressed to the officer, director, agent, or member of the governing body to be served as specified in paragraphs a. and b., delivering to the addressee, and obtaining a delivery receipt. As used in this sub-subdivision, “delivery receipt” includes an electronic or facsimile receipt.

(9) Foreign States and Their Political Subdivisions, Agencies, and Instrumentalities. -- Upon a foreign state or a political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1608.

(j1) Service by publication on party that cannot otherwise be served. -- A party that cannot with due diligence be served by personal delivery, registered or certified mail, or by a designated delivery service authorized pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 7502(f)(2) may be served by publication. Except in actions involving jurisdiction in rem or quasi in rem as provided in section (k), service of process by publication shall consist of publishing a notice of service of process by publication once a week for three successive weeks in a newspaper that is qualified for legal advertising in accordance with G.S. 1-597 and G.S. 1-598 and circulated in the area where the party to be served is believed by the serving party to be located, or if there is no reliable information concerning the location of the party then in a newspaper circulated in the county where the action is pending. If the party's post-office address is known or can with reasonable diligence be ascertained, there shall be mailed to the party at or immediately prior to the first publication a copy of the notice of service of process by publication. The mailing may be omitted if the post-office address cannot be ascertained with reasonable diligence. Upon completion of such service there shall be filed with the court an affidavit showing the publication and mailing in accordance with the requirements of G.S. 1-75.10(a)(2), the circumstances warranting the use of service by publication, and information, if any, regarding the location of the party served.

The notice of service of process by publication shall (i) designate the court in which the action has been commenced and the title of the action, which title may be indicated sufficiently by the name of the first plaintiff and the first defendant; (ii) be directed to the defendant sought to be served; (iii) state either that a pleading seeking relief against the person to be served has been filed or has been required to be filed therein not later than a date specified in the notice; (iv) state the nature of the relief being sought; (v) require the defendant being so served to make defense to such pleading within 40 days after a date stated in the notice, exclusive of such date, which date so stated shall be the date of the first publication of notice, or the date when the complaint is required to be filed, whichever is later, and notify the defendant that upon his failure to do so the party seeking service of process by publication will apply to the court for the relief sought; (vi) in cases of attachment, state the information required by G.S. 1-440.14; (vii) be subscribed by the party seeking service or his attorney and give the post-office address of such party or his attorney; and (viii) be substantially in the following form:

NOTICE OF SERVICE OF PROCESS BY PUBLICATION

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA ____________ COUNTY

In the __________________ Court

[Title of action or special proceeding] [To Person to be served]:

Take notice that a pleading seeking relief against you (has been filed) (is required to be filed not later than ___________, ____) in the above-entitled (action) (special proceeding). The nature of the relief being sought is as follows:

(State nature.)

You are required to make defense to such pleading not later than (__________, ____) and upon your failure to do so the party seeking service against you will apply to the court for the relief sought.

This, the _______ day of ____________, ____

(Attorney)(Party)
(Address)

(j2) Proof of service. -- Proof of service of process shall be as follows:

(1) Personal Service. -- Before judgment by default may be had on personal service, proof of service must be provided in accordance with the requirements of G.S. 1-75.10(a)(1).

(2) Registered or Certified Mail, Signature Confirmation, or Designated Delivery Service. -- Before judgment by default may be had on service by registered or certified mail, signature confirmation, or by a designated delivery service authorized pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 7502(f)(2) with delivery receipt, the serving party shall file an affidavit with the court showing proof of such service in accordance with the requirements of G.S. 1-75.10(a)(4), 1-75.10(a)(5), or 1-75.10(a)(6), as appropriate. This affidavit together with the return receipt, copy of the proof of delivery provided by the United States Postal Service, or delivery receipt, signed by the person who received the mail or delivery if not the addressee raises a presumption that the person who received the mail or delivery and signed the receipt was an agent of the addressee authorized by appointment or by law to be served or to accept service of process or was a person of suitable age and discretion residing in the addressee's dwelling house or usual place of abode. In the event the presumption described in the preceding sentence is rebutted by proof that the person who received the receipt at the addressee's dwelling house or usual place of abode was not a person of suitable age and discretion residing therein, the statute of limitation may not be pleaded as a defense if the action was initially commenced within the period of limitation and service of process is completed within 60 days from the date the service is declared invalid. Service shall be complete on the day the summons and complaint are delivered to the address. As used in this subdivision, “delivery receipt” includes an electronic or facsimile receipt provided by a designated delivery service.

(3) Publication. -- Before judgment by default may be had on service by publication, the serving party shall file an affidavit with the court showing the circumstances warranting the use of service by publication, information, if any, regarding the location of the party served which was used in determining the area in which service by publication was printed and proof of service in accordance with G.S. 1-75.10(a)(2).

(j3) Service in a foreign country. -- Unless otherwise provided by federal law, service upon a defendant, other than an infant or an incompetent person, may be effected in a place not within the United States:

(1) By any internationally agreed means reasonably calculated to give notice, such as those means authorized by the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents; or

(2) If there is no internationally agreed means of service or the applicable international agreement allows other means of service, provided that service is reasonably calculated to give notice:

a. In the manner prescribed by the law of the foreign country for service in that country in an action in any of its courts of general jurisdiction;

b. As directed by the foreign authority in response to a letter rogatory or letter of request; or

c. Unless prohibited by the law of the foreign country, by

1. Delivery to the individual personally of a copy of the summons and the complaint and, upon a corporation, partnership, association or other such entity, by delivery to an officer or a managing or general agent;

2. Any form of mail requiring a signed receipt, to be addressed and dispatched by the clerk of the court to the party to be served; or

(3) By other means not prohibited by international agreement as may be directed by the court.

Service under subdivision (2)c.1. or (3) of this subsection may be made by any person authorized by subsection (a) of this Rule or who is designated by order of the court or by the foreign court.

On request, the clerk shall deliver the summons to the plaintiff for transmission to the person or the foreign court or officer who will make the service. Proof of service may be made as prescribed in G.S. 1-75.10, by the order of the court, or by the law of the foreign country.

Proof of service by mail shall include an affidavit or certificate of addressing and mailing by the clerk of court.

(j4) Process or judgment by default not to be attacked on certain grounds. -- No party may attack service of process or a judgment of default on the basis that service should or could have been effected by personal service rather than service by registered or certified mail. No party that receives timely actual notice may attack a judgment by default on the basis that the statutory requirement of due diligence as a condition precedent to service by publication was not met.

(j5) Personal jurisdiction by acceptance of service. -- Any party personally, or through the persons provided in Rule 4(j), may accept service of process by notation of acceptance of service together with the signature of the party accepting service and the date thereof on an original or copy of a summons, and such acceptance shall have the same force and effect as would exist had the process been served by delivery of copy and summons and complaint to the person signing said acceptance.

(j6) Service by electronic mailing not authorized. -- Nothing in subsection (j) of this section authorizes the use of electronic mailing for service on the party to be served.

(k) Process -- Manner of service to exercise jurisdiction in rem or quasi in rem. -- In any action commenced in a court of this State having jurisdiction of the subject matter and grounds for the exercise of jurisdiction in rem or quasi in rem as provided in G.S. 1-75.8, the manner of service of process shall be as follows:

(1) Defendant Known. -- If the defendant is known, he may be served in the appropriate manner prescribed for service of process in section (j), or, if otherwise appropriate section (j1); except that the requirement for service by publication in (j1) shall be satisfied if made in the county where the action is pending and proof of service is made in accordance with section (j2).

(2) Defendant Unknown. -- If the defendant is unknown, he may be designated by description and process may be served by publication in the manner provided in section (j1), except that the requirement for service by publication in (j1) shall be satisfied if made in the county where the action is pending and proof of service is made in accordance with section (j2).




Chapter 5A. Contempt

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Article 1. Criminal Contempt

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

5A-12. Punishment; circumstances for fine or imprisonment; reduction of punishment; other measures

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) A person who commits criminal contempt, whether direct or indirect, is subject to censure, imprisonment up to 30 days, fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00), or any combination of the three, except that:

(1) A person who commits a contempt described in G.S. 5A-11(8) is subject to censure, imprisonment not to exceed 6 months, fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00), or any combination of the three;

(2) A person who has not been arrested who fails to comply with a nontestimonial identification order, issued pursuant to Article 14 of Chapter 15A of the General Statutes is subject to censure, imprisonment not to exceed 90 days, fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00), or any combination of the three; and

(3) A person who commits criminal contempt by failing to comply with an order to pay child support is subject to censure, imprisonment up to 30 days, fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00), or any combination of the three. However, a sentence of imprisonment up to 120 days may be imposed for a single act of criminal contempt resulting from the failure to pay child support, provided the sentence is suspended upon conditions reasonably related to the contemnor's payment of child support.

(b) Except for contempt under G.S. 5A-11(5) or 5A-11(9), fine or imprisonment may not be imposed for criminal contempt, whether direct or indirect, unless:

(1) The act or omission was willfully contemptuous; or

(2) The act or omission was preceded by a clear warning by the court that the conduct is improper.

(c) The judicial official who finds a person in contempt may at any time withdraw a censure, terminate or reduce a sentence of imprisonment, or remit or reduce a fine imposed as punishment for contempt if warranted by the conduct of the contemnor and the ends of justice.

(d) A person held in criminal contempt under this Article shall not, for the same conduct, be found in civil contempt under Article 2 of this Chapter, Civil Contempt.

(e) A person held in criminal contempt under G.S. 5A-11(9) may nevertheless, for the same conduct, be found guilty of a violation of G.S. 14-225.1, but he must be given credit for any imprisonment resulting from the contempt.

Chapter 7B. Juvenile Code

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Subchapter IV. Parental Authority; Emancipation

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Article 35. Emancipation

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

7B-3500. Who may petition

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Any juvenile who is 16 years of age or older and who has resided in the same county in North Carolina or on federal territory within the boundaries of North Carolina for six months next preceding the filing of the petition may petition the court in that county for a judicial decree of emancipation.

7B-3503. Hearing

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

The court, sitting without a jury, shall permit all parties to present evidence and to cross-examine witnesses. The petitioner has the burden of showing by a preponderance of the evidence that emancipation is in the petitioner's best interests. Upon finding that reasonable cause exists, the court may order the juvenile to be examined by a psychiatrist, a licensed clinical psychologist, a physician, or any other expert to evaluate the juvenile's mental or physical condition. The court may continue the hearing and order investigation by a juvenile court counselor or by the county department of social services to substantiate allegations of the petitioner or respondents.

No husband-wife or physician-patient privilege shall be grounds for excluding any evidence in the hearing.

7B-3504. Considerations for emancipation

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

In determining the best interests of the petitioner and the need for emancipation, the court shall review the following considerations:

(1) The parental need for the earnings of the petitioner;

(2) The petitioner's ability to function as an adult;

(3) The petitioner's need to contract as an adult or to marry;

(4) The employment status of the petitioner and the stability of the petitioner's living arrangements;

(5) The extent of family discord which may threaten reconciliation of the petitioner with the petitioner's family;

(6) The petitioner's rejection of parental supervision or support; and

(7) The quality of parental supervision or support.

7B-3509. Application of common law

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

A married juvenile is emancipated by this Article. All other common-law provisions for emancipation are superseded by this Article.

Chapter 14. Criminal Law

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Subchapter III. Offenses Against the Person

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Article 7B. Rape and Other Sex Offenses

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

14-27.20. Definitions

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Formerly cited as § 14-27.1

As used in this Article, unless the context requires otherwise:

(1) “Mentally disabled” means (i) a victim who suffers from mental retardation, or (ii) a victim who suffers from a mental disorder, either of which temporarily or permanently renders the victim substantially incapable of appraising the nature of his or her conduct, or of resisting the act of vaginal intercourse or a sexual act, or of communicating unwillingness to submit to the act of vaginal intercourse or a sexual act.

(2) “Mentally incapacitated” means a victim who due to any act committed upon the victim is rendered substantially incapable of either appraising the nature of his or her conduct, or resisting the act of vaginal intercourse or a sexual act.

(3) “Physically helpless” means (i) a victim who is unconscious; or (ii) a victim who is physically unable to resist an act of vaginal intercourse or a sexual act or communicate unwillingness to submit to an act of vaginal intercourse or a sexual act.

(4) “Sexual act” means cunnilingus, fellatio, analingus, or anal intercourse, but does not include vaginal intercourse. Sexual act also means the penetration, however slight, by any object into the genital or anal opening of another person's body: provided, that it shall be an affirmative defense that the penetration was for accepted medical purposes.

(5) “Sexual contact” means (i) touching the sexual organ, anus, breast, groin, or buttocks of any person, (ii) a person touching another person with their own sexual organ, anus, breast, groin, or buttocks, or (iii) a person ejaculating, emitting, or placing semen, urine, or feces upon any part of another person.

(6) “Touching” as used in subdivision (5) of this section, means physical contact with another person, whether accomplished directly, through the clothing of the person committing the offense, or through the clothing of the victim.

14-27.21. First-degree forcible rape

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) A person is guilty of first-degree forcible rape if the person engages in vaginal intercourse with another person by force and against the will of the other person, and does any of the following:
(1) Uses, threatens to use, or displays a dangerous or deadly weapon or an article which the other person reasonably believes to be a dangerous or deadly weapon.
(2) Inflicts serious personal injury upon the victim or another person.
(3) The person commits the offense aided and abetted by one or more other persons.
(b) Any person who commits an offense defined in this section is guilty of a Class B1 felony.
(c) Upon conviction, a person convicted under this section has no rights to custody of or rights of inheritance from any child born as a result of the commission of the rape, nor shall the person have any rights related to the child under Chapter 48 or Subchapter 1 of Chapter 7B of the General Statutes.

14-27.22. Second-degree forcible rape

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Formerly cited as § 14-27.3

(a) A person is guilty of second-degree forcible rape if the person engages in vaginal intercourse with another person:

(1) By force and against the will of the other person; or

(2) Who is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless, and the person performing the act knows or should reasonably know the other person is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless.

(b) Any person who commits the offense defined in this section is guilty of a Class C felony.

(c) Upon conviction, a person convicted under this section has no rights to custody of or rights of inheritance from any child conceived during the commission of the rape, nor shall the person have any rights related to the child under Chapter 48 or Subchapter 1 of Chapter 7B of the General Statutes.

14-27.23. Statutory rape of a child by an adult

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Formerly cited as § 14-27.2A

(a) A person is guilty of statutory rape of a child by an adult if the person is at least 18 years of age and engages in vaginal intercourse with a victim who is a child under the age of 13 years.

(b) A person convicted of violating this section is guilty of a Class B1 felony and shall be sentenced pursuant to Article 81B of Chapter 15A of the General Statutes, except that in no case shall the person receive an active punishment of less than 300 months, and except as provided in subsection (c) of this section. Following the termination of active punishment, the person shall be enrolled in satellite-based monitoring for life pursuant to Part 5 of Article 27A of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 81B of Chapter 15A of the General Statutes, the court may sentence the defendant to active punishment for a term of months greater than that authorized pursuant to G.S. 15A-1340.17, up to and including life imprisonment without parole, if the court finds that the nature of the offense and the harm inflicted are of such brutality, duration, severity, degree, or scope beyond that normally committed in such crimes, or considered in basic aggravation of these crimes, so as to require a sentence to active punishment in excess of that authorized pursuant to G.S. 15A-1340.17. If the court sentences the defendant pursuant to this subsection, it shall make findings of fact supporting its decision, to include matters it considered as egregious aggravation. Egregious aggravation can include further consideration of existing aggravating factors where the conduct of the defendant falls outside the heartland of cases even the aggravating factors were designed to cover. Egregious aggravation may also be considered based on the extraordinarily young age of the victim, or the depraved torture or mutilation of the victim, or extraordinary physical pain inflicted on the victim.

(d) Upon conviction, a person convicted under this section has no rights to custody of or rights of inheritance from any child born as a result of the commission of the rape, nor shall the person have any rights related to the child under Chapter 48 or Subchapter 1 of Chapter 7B of the General Statutes.

(e) The offense under G.S. 14-27.24 is a lesser included offense of the offense in this section.

14-27.24. First-degree statutory rape

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) A person is guilty of first-degree statutory rape if the person engages in vaginal intercourse with a victim who is a child under the age of 13 years and the defendant is at least 12 years old and is at least four years older than the victim.

(b) Any person who commits an offense defined in this section is guilty of a Class B1 felony.(c) Upon conviction, a person convicted under this section has no rights to custody of or rights of inheritance from any child born as a result of the commission of the rape, nor shall the person have any rights related to the child under Chapter 48 or Subchapter 1 of Chapter 7B of the General Statutes.

14-27.25. Statutory rape of person who is 15 years of age or younger

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Formerly cited as § 14-27.7A

(a) A defendant is guilty of a Class B1 felony if the defendant engages in vaginal intercourse with another person who is 15 years of age or younger and the defendant is at least 12 years old and at least six years older than the person, except when the defendant is lawfully married to the person.

(b) Unless the conduct is covered under some other provision of law providing greater punishment, a defendant is guilty of a Class C felony if the defendant engages in vaginal intercourse with another person who is 15 years of age or younger and the defendant is at least 12 years old and more than four but less than six years older than the person, except when the defendant is lawfully married to the person.

14-27.26. First-degree forcible sexual offense

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) A person is guilty of a first degree forcible sexual offense if the person engages in a sexual act with another person by force and against the will of the other person, and does any of the following:
(1) Uses, threatens to use, or displays a dangerous or deadly weapon or an article which the other person reasonably believes to be a dangerous or deadly weapon.
(2) Inflicts serious personal injury upon the victim or another person.
(3) The person commits the offense aided and abetted by one or more other persons.
(b) Any person who commits an offense defined in this section is guilty of a Class B1 felony.

14-27.27. Second-degree forcible sexual offense

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Formerly cited as § 14-27.5

(a) A person is guilty of second degree forcible sexual offense if the person engages in a sexual act with another person:

(1) By force and against the will of the other person; or

(2) Who is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless, and the person performing the act knows or should reasonably know that the other person is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless.

(b) Any person who commits the offense defined in this section is guilty of a Class C felony.

14-27.28. Statutory sexual offense with a child by an adult

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Formerly cited as § 14-27.4A

(a) A person is guilty of statutory sexual offense with a child by an adult if the person is at least 18 years of age and engages in a sexual act with a victim who is a child under the age of 13 years.

(b) A person convicted of violating this section is guilty of a Class B1 felony and shall be sentenced pursuant to Article 81B of Chapter 15A of the General Statutes, except that in no case shall the person receive an active punishment of less than 300 months, and except as provided in subsection (c) of this section. Following the termination of active punishment, the person shall be enrolled in satellite-based monitoring for life pursuant to Part 5 of Article 27A of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 81B of Chapter 15A of the General Statutes, the court may sentence the defendant to active punishment for a term of months greater than that authorized pursuant to G.S. 15A-1340.17, up to and including life imprisonment without parole, if the court finds that the nature of the offense and the harm inflicted are of such brutality, duration, severity, degree, or scope beyond that normally committed in such crimes, or considered in basic aggravation of these crimes, so as to require a sentence to active punishment in excess of that authorized pursuant to G.S. 15A-1340.17. If the court sentences the defendant pursuant to this subsection, it shall make findings of fact supporting its decision, to include matters it considered as egregious aggravation. Egregious aggravation can include further consideration of existing aggravating factors where the conduct of the defendant falls outside the heartland of cases even the aggravating factors were designed to cover. Egregious aggravation may also be considered based on the extraordinarily young age of the victim, or the depraved torture or mutilation of the victim, or extraordinary physical pain inflicted on the victim.

(d) The offense under G.S. 14-27.29 is a lesser included offense of the offense in this section.

14-27.29. First-degree statutory sexual offense

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) A person is guilty of first-degree statutory sexual offense if the person engages in a sexual act with a victim who is a child under the age of 13 years and the defendant is at least 12 years old and is at least four years older than the victim.

(b) Any person who commits an offense defined in this section is guilty of a Class B1 felony.

14-27.30. Statutory sexual offense with a person who is 15 years of age or younger

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) A defendant is guilty of a Class B1 felony if the defendant engages in a sexual act with another person who is 15 years of age or younger and the defendant is at least 12 years old and at least six years older than the person, except when the defendant is lawfully married to the person.

(b) Unless the conduct is covered under some other provision of law providing greater punishment, a defendant is guilty of a Class C felony if the defendant engages in a sexual act with another person who is 15 years of age or younger and the defendant is at least 12 years old and more than four but less than six years older than the person, except when the defendant is lawfully married to the person.

14-27.31. Sexual activity by a substitute parent or custodian

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Formerly cited as § 14-27.7

(a) If a defendant who has assumed the position of a parent in the home of a minor victim engages in vaginal intercourse or a sexual act with a victim who is a minor residing in the home, the defendant is guilty of a Class E felony.

(b) If a person having custody of a victim of any age or a person who is an agent or employee of any person, or institution, whether such institution is private, charitable, or governmental, having custody of a victim of any age engages in vaginal intercourse or a sexual act with such victim, the defendant is guilty of a Class E felony.

(c) Consent is not a defense to a charge under this section.

14-27.32. Sexual activity with a student

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Formerly cited as § 14-27.7

(a) If a defendant, who is a teacher, school administrator, student teacher, school safety officer, or coach, at any age, or who is other school personnel, and who is at least four years older than the victim engages in vaginal intercourse or a sexual act with a victim who is a student, at any time during or after the time the defendant and victim were present together in the same school, but before the victim ceases to be a student, the defendant is guilty of a Class G felony, except when the defendant is lawfully married to the student. The term “same school” means a school at which the student is enrolled and the defendant is employed, assigned, or volunteers.

(b) A defendant who is school personnel, other than a teacher, school administrator, student teacher, school safety officer, or coach, and is less than four years older than the victim and engages in vaginal intercourse or a sexual act with a victim who is a student, is guilty of a Class A1 misdemeanor [“Class I felony”, as added by S.L. 2015-44, § 2, eff. Dec. 1, 2015].

(c) This section shall apply unless the conduct is covered under some other provision of law providing for greater punishment.

(d) Consent is not a defense to a charge under this section.

(e) For purposes of this section, the terms “school”, “school personnel”, and “student” shall have the same meaning as in G.S. 14-202.4(d). For purposes of this section, the term “school safety officer” shall include a school resource officer or any other person who is regularly present in a school for the purpose of promoting and maintaining safe and orderly schools.

14-27.33. Sexual battery

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Formerly cited as § 14-27.5A

(a) A person is guilty of sexual battery if the person, for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse, engages in sexual contact with another person:

(1) By force and against the will of the other person; or

(2) Who is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless, and the person performing the act knows or should reasonably know that the other person is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless.

(b) Any person who commits the offense defined in this section is guilty of a Class A1 misdemeanor.

14-27.34. No defense that victim is spouse of person committing act

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Formerly cited as § 14-27.8

A person may be prosecuted under this Article whether or not the victim is the person's legal spouse at the time of the commission of the alleged rape or sexual offense.

Article 8. Assaults

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

14-32.4. Assault inflicting serious bodily injury; strangulation; penalties

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) Unless the conduct is covered under some other provision of law providing greater punishment, any person who assaults another person and inflicts serious bodily injury is guilty of a Class F felony. “Serious bodily injury” is defined as bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death, or that causes serious permanent disfigurement, coma, a permanent or protracted condition that causes extreme pain, or permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or that results in prolonged hospitalization.

(b) Unless the conduct is covered under some other provision of law providing greater punishment, any person who assaults another person and inflicts physical injury by strangulation is guilty of a Class H felony.

14-33. Misdemeanor assaults, batteries, and affrays, simple and aggravated; punishments

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) Any person who commits a simple assault or a simple assault and battery or participates in a simple affray is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

(b) Unless his conduct is covered under some other provision of law providing greater punishment, any person who commits any assault, assault and battery, or affray is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor if, in the course of the assault, assault and battery, or affray, he:

(1) to (3) Repealed by Laws 1995, c. 507, § 19.5(b), eff. Dec. 1, 1995.

(4) to (7) Repealed by Laws 1991, c. 525, § 1.

(8) Repealed by Laws 1995, c. 507, § 19.5(b), eff. Dec. 1, 1995.

(9) Commits an assault and battery against a sports official when the sports official is discharging or attempting to discharge official duties at a sports event, or immediately after the sports event at which the sports official discharged official duties. A “sports official” is a person at a sports event who enforces the rules of the event, such as an umpire or referee, or a person who supervises the participants, such as a coach. A “sports event” includes any interscholastic or intramural athletic activity in a primary, middle, junior high, or high school, college, or university, any organized athletic activity sponsored by a community, business, or nonprofit organization, any athletic activity that is a professional or semiprofessional event, and any other organized athletic activity in the State.

(c) Unless the conduct is covered under some other provision of law providing greater punishment, any person who commits any assault, assault and battery, or affray is guilty of a Class A1 misdemeanor if, in the course of the assault, assault and battery, or affray, he or she:

(1) Inflicts serious injury upon another person or uses a deadly weapon;

(2) Assaults a female, he being a male person at least 18 years of age;

(3) Assaults a child under the age of 12 years;

(4) Assaults an officer or employee of the State or any political subdivision of the State, when the officer or employee is discharging or attempting to discharge his official duties;

(5) Repealed by S.L. 1999-105, § 1, eff. Dec. 1, 1999; or

(6) Assaults a school employee or school volunteer when the employee or volunteer is discharging or attempting to discharge his or her duties as an employee or volunteer, or assaults a school employee or school volunteer as a result of the discharge or attempt to discharge that individual's duties as a school employee or school volunteer. For purposes of this subdivision, the following definitions shall apply:

a. “Duties” means:

1. All activities on school property;

2. All activities, wherever occurring, during a school authorized event or the accompanying of students to or from that event; and

3. All activities relating to the operation of school transportation.

b. “Employee” or “volunteer” means:

1. An employee of a local board of education; or a charter school authorized under G.S. 115C-218.5, or a nonpublic school which has filed intent to operate under Part 1 or Part 2 of Article 39 of Chapter 115C of the General Statutes;

2. An independent contractor or an employee of an independent contractor of a local board of education, charter school authorized under G.S. 115C-218.5, or a nonpublic school which has filed intent to operate under Part 1 or Part 2 of Article 39 of Chapter 115C of the General Statutes, if the independent contractor carries out duties customarily performed by employees of the school; and

3. An adult who volunteers his or her services or presence at any school activity and is under the supervision of an individual listed in sub-sub-subdivision 1. or 2. of this sub-subdivision.

(7) Assaults a public transit operator, including a public employee or a private contractor employed as a public transit operator, when the operator is discharging or attempting to discharge his or her duties.

(8) Assaults a company police officer certified pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 74E of the General Statutes or a campus police officer certified pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 74G, Chapter 17C, or Chapter 116 of the General Statutes in the performance of that person's duties.

(c1) No school personnel as defined in G.S. 14-33(c)(6) who takes reasonable actions in good faith to end a fight or altercation between students shall incur any civil or criminal liability as the result of those actions.

<Text of (d) eff. until Dec. 1, 2015.>

(d) Any person who, in the course of an assault, assault and battery, or affray, inflicts serious injury upon another person, or uses a deadly weapon, in violation of subdivision (c)(1) of this section, on a person with whom the person has a personal relationship, and in the presence of a minor, is guilty of a Class A1 misdemeanor. A person convicted under this subsection, who is sentenced to a community punishment, shall be placed on supervised probation in addition to any other punishment imposed by the court.

A person committing a second or subsequent violation of this subsection shall be sentenced to an active punishment of no less than 30 days in addition to any other punishment imposed by the court.

The following definitions apply to this subsection:

(1) “Personal relationship” is as defined in G.S. 50B-1(b).

(2) “In the presence of a minor” means that the minor was in a position to have observed the assault.

(3) “Minor” is any person under the age of 18 years who is residing with or is under the care and supervision of, and who has a personal relationship with, the person assaulted or the person committing the assault.

<Text of (d) eff. Dec.1, 2015.>

(d) Any person who, in the course of an assault, assault and battery, or affray, inflicts serious injury upon another person, or uses a deadly weapon, in violation of subdivision (c)(1) of this section, on a person with whom the person has a personal relationship, and in the presence of a minor, is guilty of a Class A1 misdemeanor. A person convicted under this subsection, who is sentenced to a community punishment, shall be placed on supervised probation in addition to any other punishment imposed by the court.

A person committing a second or subsequent violation of this subsection shall be sentenced to an active punishment of no less than 30 days in addition to any other punishment imposed by the court.

The following definitions apply to this subsection:

(1) “Personal relationship” is as defined in G.S. 50B-1(b).

(2) “In the presence of a minor” means that the minor was in a position to see or hear the assault.

(3) “Minor” is any person under the age of 18 years who is residing with or is under the care and supervision of, and who has a personal relationship with, the person assaulted or the person committing the assault.

14-33.1. Evidence of former threats upon plea of self-defense

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

In any case of assault, assault and battery, or affray in which the plea of the defendant is self-defense, evidence of former threats against the defendant by the person alleged to have been assaulted by him, if such threats shall have been communicated to the defendant before the altercation, shall be competent as bearing upon the reasonableness of the claim of apprehension by the defendant of bodily harm, and also as bearing upon the amount of force which reasonably appeared necessary to the defendant, under the circumstances, to repel his assailant.

14-33.2. Habitual misdemeanor assault

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

A person commits the offense of habitual misdemeanor assault if that person violates any of the provisions of G.S. 14-33 and causes physical injury, or G.S. 14-34, and has two or more prior convictions for either misdemeanor or felony assault, with the earlier of the two prior convictions occurring no more than 15 years prior to the date of the current violation. A conviction under this section shall not be used as a prior conviction for any other habitual offense statute. A person convicted of violating this section is guilty of a Class H felony.

14-34. Assaulting by pointing gun

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

If any person shall point any gun or pistol at any person, either in fun or otherwise, whether such gun or pistol be loaded or not loaded, he shall be guilty of a Class A1 misdemeanor.

Article 10 - Kidnapping and Abduction

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

14-39. Kidnapping

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) Any person who shall unlawfully confine, restrain, or remove from one place to another, any other person 16 years of age or over without the consent of such person, or any other person under the age of 16 years without the consent of a parent or legal custodian of such person, shall be guilty of kidnapping if such confinement, restraint or removal is for the purpose of:

(1) Holding such other person for a ransom or as a hostage or using such other person as a shield; or

(2) Facilitating the commission of any felony or facilitating flight of any person following the commission of a felony; or

(3) Doing serious bodily harm to or terrorizing the person so confined, restrained or removed or any other person; or

(4) Holding such other person in involuntary servitude in violation of G.S. 14-43.6.

(5) Trafficking another person with the intent that the other person be held in involuntary servitude or sexual servitude in violation of G.S. 14-43.5.

(6) Subjecting or maintaining such other person for sexual servitude in violation of G.S. 14-43.7.

(b) There shall be two degrees of kidnapping as defined by subsection (a). If the person kidnapped either was not released by the defendant in a safe place or had been seriously injured or sexually assaulted, the offense is kidnapping in the first degree and is punishable as a Class C felony. If the person kidnapped was released in a safe place by the defendant and had not been seriously injured or sexually assaulted, the offense is kidnapping in the second degree and is punishable as a Class E felony.

(c) Any firm or corporation convicted of kidnapping shall be punished by a fine of not less than five thousand dollars ($5,000) nor more than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), and its charter and right to do business in the State of North Carolina shall be forfeited.

14-43.3. Felonious restraint

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

A person commits the offense of felonious restraint if he unlawfully restrains another person without that person's consent, or the consent of the person's parent or legal custodian if the person is less than 16 years old, and moves the person from the place of the initial restraint by transporting him in a motor vehicle or other conveyance. Violation of this section is a Class F felony. Felonious restraint is considered a lesser included offense of kidnapping.

Article 10A. Human Trafficking

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

14-43.11. Human trafficking

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) A person commits the offense of human trafficking when that person (i) knowingly or in reckless disregard of the consequences of the action recruits, entices, harbors, transports, provides, or obtains by any means another person with the intent that the other person be held in involuntary servitude or sexual servitude or (ii) willfully or in reckless disregard of the consequences of the action causes a minor to be held in involuntary servitude or sexual servitude.

(b) A person who violates this section is guilty of a Class F felony if the victim of the offense is an adult. A person who violates this section is guilty of a Class C felony if the victim of the offense is a minor.

(c) Each violation of this section constitutes a separate offense and shall not merge with any other offense. Evidence of failure to deliver benefits or perform services standing alone shall not be sufficient to authorize a conviction under this section.

(c1) Mistake of age is not a defense to prosecution under this section. Consent of a minor is not a defense to prosecution under this section.

(d) A person who is not a legal resident of North Carolina, and would consequently be ineligible for State public benefits or services, shall be eligible for the public benefits and services of any State agency if the person is otherwise eligible for the public benefit and is a victim of an offense charged under this section. Eligibility for public benefits and services shall terminate at such time as the victim's eligibility to remain in the United States is terminated under federal law.

14-43.12. Involuntary servitude

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) A person commits the offense of involuntary servitude when that person knowingly and willfully or in reckless disregard of the consequences of the action holds another in involuntary servitude.

(b) A person who violates this section is guilty of a Class F felony if the victim of the offense is an adult. A person who violates this section is guilty of a Class C felony if the victim of the offense is a minor.

(c) Each violation of this section constitutes a separate offense and shall not merge with any other offense. Evidence of failure to deliver benefits or perform services standing alone shall not be sufficient to authorize a conviction under this section.

(c1) Mistake of age is not a defense to prosecution under this section. Consent of a minor is not a defense to prosecution under this section.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the laws governing the relationship between an unemancipated minor and his or her parents or legal guardian.

(e) If any person reports a violation of this section, which violation arises out of any contract for labor, to any party to the contract, the party shall immediately report the violation to the sheriff of the county in which the violation is alleged to have occurred for appropriate action. A person violating this subsection shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

14-43.13. Sexual servitude

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) A person commits the offense of sexual servitude when that person knowingly or in reckless disregard of the consequences of the action subjects or maintains another in sexual servitude.

(b) A person who violates this section is guilty of a Class D felony if the victim of the offense is an adult. A person who violates this section is guilty of a Class C felony if the victim of the offense is a minor.

(b1) Mistake of age is not a defense to prosecution under this section. Consent of a minor is not a defense to prosecution under this section.

(c) Each violation of this section constitutes a separate offense and shall not merge with any other offense. Evidence of failure to deliver benefits or perform services standing alone shall not be sufficient to authorize a conviction under this section.

Subchapter IV. Offenses Against the Habitation and Other Buildings

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Article 14. Burglary and Other Housebreakings.

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

14-52. Punishment for burglary

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Burglary in the first degree shall be punishable as a Class D felony, and burglary in the second degree shall be punishable as a Class G felony.

14-53. Breaking out of dwelling house burglary

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

If any person shall enter the dwelling house of another with intent to commit any felony or larceny therein, or being in such dwelling house, shall commit any felony or larceny therein, and shall, in either case, break out of such dwelling house in the nighttime, such person shall be punished as a Class D felon.

14-55. Preparation to commit burglary or other housebreakings

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

If any person shall be found armed with any dangerous or offensive weapon, with the intent to break or enter a dwelling, or other building whatsoever, and to commit any felony or larceny therein; or shall be found having in his possession, without lawful excuse, any picklock, key, bit, or other implement of housebreaking; or shall be found in any such building, with intent to commit any felony or larceny therein, such person shall be punished as a Class I felon.

Subchapter V. Offenses Against Property

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Article 19C. Identity Theft

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

14-113.20 Identity Theft

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) A person who knowingly obtains, possesses, or uses identifying information of another person, living or dead, with the intent to fraudulently represent that the person is the other person for the purposes of making financial or credit transactions in the other person's name, to obtain anything of value, benefit, or advantage, or for the purpose of avoiding legal consequences is guilty of a felony punishable as provided in G.S. 14-113.22(a).

(b) The term "identifying information" as used in this Article includes the following:

(1) Social security or employer taxpayer identification numbers.

(2) Drivers license, State identification card, or passport numbers.

(3) Checking account numbers.

(4) Savings account numbers.

(5) Credit card numbers.

(6) Debit card numbers.

(7) Personal Identification (PIN) Code as defined in G.S. 14-113.8(6).

(8) Electronic identification numbers, electronic mail names or addresses, Internet account numbers, or Internet identification names.

(9) Digital signatures.

(10) Any other numbers or information that can be used to access a person's financial resources.

(11) Biometric data.

(12) Fingerprints.

(13) Passwords.

(14) Parent's legal surname prior to marriage.

(c) It shall not be a violation under this Article for a person to do any of the following:

(1) Lawfully obtain credit information in the course of a bona fide consumer or commercial transaction.

(2) Lawfully exercise, in good faith, a security interest or a right of offset by a creditor or financial institution.

(3) Lawfully comply, in good faith, with any warrant, court order, levy, garnishment, attachment, or other judicial or administrative order, decree, or directive, when any party is required to do so.

Subchapter VI. Criminal Trespass

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Article 22. Damages and Other Offenses to Land and Fixtures

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

14-134.3. Domestic criminal trespass

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) Any person who enters after being forbidden to do so or remains after being ordered to leave by the lawful occupant, upon the premises occupied by a present or former spouse or by a person with whom the person charged has lived as if married, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if the complainant and the person charged are living apart; provided, however, that no person shall be guilty if said person enters upon the premises pursuant to a judicial order or written separation agreement which gives the person the right to enter upon said premises for the purpose of visiting with minor children. Evidence that the parties are living apart shall include but is not necessarily limited to:

(1) A judicial order of separation;

(2) A court order directing the person charged to stay away from the premises occupied by the complainant;

(3) An agreement, whether verbal or written, between the complainant and the person charged that they shall live separate and apart, and such parties are in fact living separate and apart; or

(4) Separate places of residence for the complainant and the person charged.

Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, upon conviction, said person is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(b) A person convicted of a violation of this section is guilty of a Class G felony if the person is trespassing upon property operated as a safe house or haven for victims of domestic violence and the person is armed with a deadly weapon at the time of the offense.

Article 22B. First and Second Degree Trespass

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

14-159.12. First degree trespass

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) Offense.--A person commits the offense of first degree trespass if, without authorization, he enters or remains:

(1) On premises of another so enclosed or secured as to demonstrate clearly an intent to keep out intruders; or

(2) In a building of another.

<Text of (b) eff. until Dec. 1, 2016.>

(b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) or (d) of this section, first degree trespass is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

<Text of (b) eff. Dec. 1, 2016.>

(b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c), (d), or (f) of this section, first degree trespass is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

(c) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (d) of this section, a violation of subsection (a) of this section is a Class A1 misdemeanor if all of the following circumstances exist:

(1) The offense is committed on the premises of any of the following:

a. A facility that is owned or operated by an electric power supplier as defined in G.S. 62-133.8(a)(3) and that is either an electric generation facility, a transmission substation, a transmission switching station, a transmission switching structure, or a control center used to manage transmission operations or electrical power generating at multiple plant locations.

b. Any facility used or available for use in the collection, treatment, testing, storing, pumping, or distribution of water for a public water system.

c. Any facility, including any liquefied natural gas storage facility or propane air facility, that is owned or operated by a natural gas local distribution company, natural gas pipeline carrier operating under a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the Utilities Commission, municipal corporation operating a municipally owned gas distribution system, or regional natural gas district organized and operated pursuant to Article 28 of Chapter 160A of the General Statutes used for transmission, distribution, measurement, testing, regulating, compression, control, or storage of natural gas.

d. Any facility used or operated for agricultural activities, as that term is defined in G.S. 106-581.1.

(2) The person actually entered a building, or it was necessary for the person to climb over, go under, or otherwise surmount a fence or other barrier to reach the facility.

(d) If, in addition to the circumstances set out in subsection (c) of this section, the violation also includes any of the following elements, then the offense is a Class H felony:

(1) The offense is committed with the intent to disrupt the normal operation of any of the facilities described in subdivision (1) of subsection (c) of this section.

(2) The offense involves an act that places either the offender or others on the premises at risk of serious bodily injury.

(e) As used in subsections (c) and (d) of this section, the term “facility” shall mean a building or other infrastructure.

<Text of (f) eff. Dec. 1, 2016.>

(f) A violation of subsection (a) of this section is a Class I felony and shall include a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each violation, if any of the following circumstances exist:

(1) The offense occurs on real property where the person has reentered after having previously been removed pursuant to the execution of a valid order or writ for possession.

(2) The offense occurs under color of title where the person has knowingly created or provided materially false evidence of an ownership or possessory interest.

14-159.13. Second degree trespass

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) Offense.--A person commits the offense of second degree trespass if, without authorization, he enters or remains on premises of another:

(1) After he has been notified not to enter or remain there by the owner, by a person in charge of the premises, by a lawful occupant, or by another authorized person; or

(2) That are posted, in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders, with notice not to enter the premises.

(b) Classification.--Second degree trespass is a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Article 23. Trespasses to Personal Property

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

14-160. Willful and wanton injury to personal property; punishments

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) If any person shall wantonly and willfully injure the personal property of another he shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), if any person shall wantonly and willfully injure the personal property of another, causing damage in an amount in excess of two hundred dollars ($200.00), he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(c) This section applies to injuries to personal property without regard to whether the property is destroyed or not

Subchapter VII. Offenses Against Public Morality and Decency

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Article 26. Offenses Against Public Morality and Decency

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

14-190.5A. Disclosure of private images

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) Definitions.--The following definitions apply in this section:
(1) Disclose.--Transfer, publish, distribute, or reproduce.
(2) Image.--A photograph, film, videotape, recording, live transmission, digital or computer-generated visual depiction, or any other reproduction that is made by electronic, mechanical, or other means.
(3) Intimate parts.--Any of the following naked human parts: (i) male or female genitals, (ii) male or female pubic area, (iii) male or female anus, or (iv) the nipple of a female over the age of 12.
(4), (5) Repealed by S.L. 2017-93, § 1, eff. Dec. 1, 2017.
(6) Sexual conduct.--Includes any of the following:
a. Vaginal, anal, or oral intercourse, whether actual or simulated, normal or perverted.
b. Masturbation, excretory functions, or lewd exhibition of uncovered genitals.
c. An act or condition that depicts torture, physical restraint by being fettered or bound, or flagellation of or by a nude person or a person clad in undergarments or in revealing or bizarre costume.
(b) Offense.--A person is guilty of disclosure of private images if all of the following apply:
(1) The person knowingly discloses an image of another person with the intent to do either of the following:
a. Coerce, harass, intimidate, demean, humiliate, or cause financial loss to the depicted person.
b. Cause others to coerce, harass, intimidate, demean, humiliate, or cause financial loss to the depicted person.
(2) The depicted person is identifiable from the disclosed image itself or information offered in connection with the image.
(3) The depicted person's intimate parts are exposed or the depicted person is engaged in sexual conduct in the disclosed image.
(4) The person discloses the image without the affirmative consent of the depicted person.
(5) The person obtained the image without consent of the depicted person or under circumstances such that the person knew or should have known that the depicted person expected the images to remain private.
(c) Penalty.--A violation of this section shall be punishable as follows:
(1) For an offense by a person who is 18 years of age or older at the time of the offense, the violation is a Class H felony.
(2) For a first offense by a person who is under 18 years of age at the time of the offense, the violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
(3) For a second or subsequent offense by a person who is under the age of 18 at the time of the offense, the violation is a Class H felony.
(d) Exceptions.--This section does not apply to any of the following:
(1) Images involving voluntary exposure in public or commercial settings.
(2) Disclosures made in the public interest, including, but not limited to, the reporting of unlawful conduct or the lawful and common practices of law enforcement, criminal reporting, legal proceedings, medical treatment, or scientific or educational activities.
(3) Providers of an interactive computer service, as defined in 47 U.S.C. § 230(f), for images provided by another person.
(e) Destruction of Image.--In addition to any penalty or other damages, the court may award the destruction of any image made in violation of this section.
(f) Other Sanctions or Remedies Not Precluded.--A violation of this section is an offense additional to other civil and criminal provisions and is not intended to repeal or preclude any other sanctions or remedies.
(g) Civil Action.--In addition to any other remedies at law or in equity, including an order by the court to destroy any image disclosed in violation of this section, any person whose image is disclosed, or used, as described in subsection (b) of this section, has a civil cause of action against any person who discloses or uses the image and is entitled to recover from the other person any of the following:
(1) Actual damages, but not less than liquidated damages, to be computed at the rate of one thousand dollars ($1,000) per day for each day of the violation or in the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000), whichever is higher.
(2) Punitive damages.
(3) A reasonable attorneys' fee and other litigation costs reasonably incurred.
The civil cause of action may be brought no more than one year after the initial discovery of the disclosure, but in no event may the action be commenced more than seven years from the most recent disclosure of the private image.

14-196. Using profane, indecent or threatening language to any person over telephone; annoying or harassing by repeated telephoning or making false statements over telephone

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person:

(1) To use in telephonic communications any words or language of a profane, vulgar, lewd, lascivious or indecent character, nature or connotation;

(2) To use in telephonic communications any words or language threatening to inflict bodily harm to any person or to that person's child, sibling, spouse, or dependent or physical injury to the property of any person, or for the purpose of extorting money or other things of value from any person;

(3) To telephone another repeatedly, whether or not conversation ensues, for the purpose of abusing, annoying, threatening, terrifying, harassing or embarrassing any person at the called number;

(4) To make a telephone call and fail to hang up or disengage the connection with the intent to disrupt the service of another;

(5) To telephone another and to knowingly make any false statement concerning death, injury, illness, disfigurement, indecent conduct or criminal conduct of the person telephoned or of any member of his family or household with the intent to abuse, annoy, threaten, terrify, harass, or embarrass;

(6) To knowingly permit any telephone under his control to be used for any purpose prohibited by this section.

(b) Any of the above offenses may be deemed to have been committed at either the place at which the telephone call or calls were made or at the place where the telephone call or calls were received. For purposes of this section, the term “telephonic communications” shall include communications made or received by way of a telephone answering machine or recorder, telefacsimile machine, or computer modem.

(c) Anyone violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

14-196.3. Cyberstalking

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) The following definitions apply in this section:

(1) Electronic communication.--Any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature, transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, computer, electromagnetic, photoelectric, or photo-optical system.

(2) Electronic mail.--The transmission of information or communication by the use of the Internet, a computer, a facsimile machine, a pager, a cellular telephone, a video recorder, or other electronic means sent to a person identified by a unique address or address number and received by that person.

(3) Electronic tracking device.--An electronic or mechanical device that permits a person to remotely determine or track the position and movement of another person.

(4) Fleet vehicle.--Any of the following: (i) one or more motor vehicles owned by a single entity and operated by employees or agents of the entity for business or government purposes, (ii) motor vehicles held for lease or rental to the general public, or (iii) motor vehicles held for sale, or used as demonstrators, test vehicles, or loaner vehicles, by motor vehicle dealers.

(b) It is unlawful for a person to:

(1) Use in electronic mail or electronic communication any words or language threatening to inflict bodily harm to any person or to that person's child, sibling, spouse, or dependent, or physical injury to the property of any person, or for the purpose of extorting money or other things of value from any person.

(2) Electronically mail or electronically communicate to another repeatedly, whether or not conversation ensues, for the purpose of abusing, annoying, threatening, terrifying, harassing, or embarrassing any person.

(3) Electronically mail or electronically communicate to another and to knowingly make any false statement concerning death, injury, illness, disfigurement, indecent conduct, or criminal conduct of the person electronically mailed or of any member of the person's family or household with the intent to abuse, annoy, threaten, terrify, harass, or embarrass.

(4) Knowingly permit an electronic communication device under the person's control to be used for any purpose prohibited by this section.

(5) Knowingly install, place, or use an electronic tracking device without consent, or cause an electronic tracking device to be installed, placed, or used without consent, to track the location of any person. The provisions of this subdivision do not apply to the installation, placement, or use of an electronic tracking device by any of the following:

a. A law enforcement officer, judicial officer, probation or parole officer, or employee of the Division of Corrections, Department of Public Safety, when any such person is engaged in the lawful performance of official duties and in accordance with State or federal law.

b. The owner or lessee of any vehicle on which the owner or lessee installs, places, or uses an electronic tracking device, unless the owner or lessee is subject to (i) a domestic violence protective order under Chapter 50B of the General Statutes or (ii) any court order that orders the owner or lessee not to assault, threaten, harass, follow, or contact a driver or occupant of the vehicle.

c. A legal guardian for a disabled adult, as defined in G.S. 108A-101(d), or a legally authorized individual or organization designated to provide protective services to a disabled adult pursuant to G.S. 108A-105(c), when the electronic tracking device is installed, placed, or used to track the location of the disabled adult for which the person is a legal guardian or the individual or organization is designated to provide protective services.

d. The owner of fleet vehicles, when tracking such vehicles.

e. A creditor or other secured party under a retail installment agreement involving the sale of a motor vehicle or the lessor under a retail lease of a motor vehicle, and any assignee or successor in interest to that creditor, secured party, or lessor, when tracking a motor vehicle identified as security under the retail installment sales agreement or leased pursuant to a retail lease agreement, including the installation, placement, or use of an electronic tracking device to locate and remotely disable the motor vehicle, with the express written consent of the purchaser, borrower, or lessee of the motor vehicle.

f. The installation, placement, or use of an electronic tracking device authorized by an order of a State or federal court.

g. A motor vehicle manufacturer, its subsidiary, or its affiliate that installs or uses an electronic tracking device in conjunction with providing a vehicle subscription telematics service, provided that the customer subscribes or consents to that service.

h. A parent or legal guardian of a minor when the electronic tracking device is installed, placed, or used to track the location of that minor unless the parent or legal guardian is subject to a domestic violence protective order under Chapter 50B of the General Statutes or any court order that orders the parent or legal guardian not to assault, threaten, harass, follow, or contact that minor or that minor's parent, legal guardian, custodian, or caretaker as defined in G.S. 7B-101.

i. An employer, when providing a communication device to an employee or contractor for use in connection with his or her work for the employer.

j. A business, if the tracking is incident to the provision of a product or service requested by the person, except as limited in sub-subdivision k. of this subdivision.

k. A private detective or private investigator licensed under Chapter 74C of the General Statutes, provided that (i) the tracking is pursuant to authority under G.S. 74C-3(a)(8), (ii) the tracking is not otherwise contrary to law, and (iii) the person being tracked is not under the protection of a domestic violence protective order under Chapter 50B of the General Statutes or any other court order that protects against assault, threat, harassment, following, or contact.

(c) Any offense under this section committed by the use of electronic mail or electronic communication may be deemed to have been committed where the electronic mail or electronic communication was originally sent, originally received in this State, or first viewed by any person in this State.

(d) Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

(e) This section does not apply to any peaceable, nonviolent, or nonthreatening activity intended to express political views or to provide lawful information to others. This section shall not be construed to impair any constitutionally protected activity, including speech, protest, or assembly.

Article 27A. Sex Offender and Public Protection Registration Programs

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Part 1. Registration Programs, Purpose and Definitions Generally

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

14-208.6. Definitions

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

The following definitions apply in this Article:

(1a) “Aggravated offense” means any criminal offense that includes either of the following: (i) engaging in a sexual act involving vaginal, anal, or oral penetration with a victim of any age through the use of force or the threat of serious violence; or (ii) engaging in a sexual act involving vaginal, anal, or oral penetration with a victim who is less than 12 years old.

(1b) “County registry” means the information compiled by the sheriff of a county in compliance with this Article.

(1c) “Department” means the Department of Public Safety.

(1d) “Electronic mail” means the transmission of information or communication by the use of the Internet, a computer, a facsimile machine, a pager, a cellular telephone, a video recorder, or other electronic means sent to a person identified by a unique address or address number and received by that person.

(1e) “Employed” includes employment that is full-time or part-time for a period of time exceeding 14 days or for an aggregate period of time exceeding 30 days during any calendar year, whether financially compensated, volunteered, or for the purpose of government or educational benefit.

(1f) “Entity” means a business or organization that provides Internet service, electronic communications service, remote computing service, online service, electronic mail service, or electronic instant message or chat services whether the business or organization is within or outside the State.

(1g) “Instant Message” means a form of real-time text communication between two or more people. The communication is conveyed via computers connected over a network such as the Internet.

(1h) “Institution of higher education” means any postsecondary public or private educational institution, including any trade or professional institution, college, or university.

(1i) “Internet” means the global information system that is logically linked together by a globally unique address space based on the Internet Protocol or its subsequent extensions; that is able to support communications using the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol suite, its subsequent extensions, or other Internet Protocol compatible protocols; and that provides, uses, or makes accessible, either publicly or privately, high-level services layered on the communications and related infrastructure described in this subdivision.

(1j) “Mental abnormality” means a congenital or acquired condition of a person that affects the emotional or volitional capacity of the person in a manner that predisposes that person to the commission of criminal sexual acts to a degree that makes the person a menace to the health and safety of others.

(1k) “Nonresident student” means a person who is not a resident of North Carolina but who is enrolled in any type of school in the State on a part-time or full-time basis.

(1l) “Nonresident worker” means a person who is not a resident of North Carolina but who has employment or carries on a vocation in the State, on a part-time or full-time basis, with or without compensation or government or educational benefit, for more than 14 days, or for an aggregate period exceeding 30 days in a calendar year.

(1m) “Offense against a minor” means any of the following offenses if the offense is committed against a minor, and the person committing the offense is not the minor's parent: G.S. 14-39 (kidnapping), G.S. 14-41 (abduction of children), and G.S. 14-43.3 (felonious restraint). The term also includes the following if the person convicted of the following is not the minor's parent: a solicitation or conspiracy to commit any of these offenses; aiding and abetting any of these offenses.

(1n) “Online identifier” means electronic mail address, instant message screen name, user ID, chat or other Internet communication name, but it does not mean social security number, date of birth, or pin number.

(2) “Penal institution” means:

a. A detention facility operated under the jurisdiction of the Section of Prisons of the Division of Adult Correction of the Department of Public Safety;

b. A detention facility operated under the jurisdiction of another state or the federal government; or

c. A detention facility operated by a local government in this State or another state.

(2a) “Personality disorder” means an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual's culture, is pervasive and inflexible, has an onset in adolescence or early adulthood, is stable over time, and leads to distress or impairment.

(2b) “Recidivist” means a person who has a prior conviction for an offense that is described in G.S. 14-208.6(4).

(3) “Release” means discharged or paroled.

(4) “Reportable conviction” means:

a. A final conviction for an offense against a minor, a sexually violent offense, or an attempt to commit any of those offenses unless the conviction is for aiding and abetting. A final conviction for aiding and abetting is a reportable conviction only if the court sentencing the individual finds that the registration of that individual under this Article furthers the purposes of this Article as stated in G.S. 14-208.5.

b. A final conviction in another state of an offense, which if committed in this State, is substantially similar to an offense against a minor or a sexually violent offense as defined by this section, or a final conviction in another state of an offense that requires registration under the sex offender registration statutes of that state.

c. A final conviction in a federal jurisdiction (including a court martial) of an offense, which is substantially similar to an offense against a minor or a sexually violent offense as defined by this section.

d. A final conviction for a violation of G.S. 14-202(d), (e), (f), (g), or (h), or a second or subsequent conviction for a violation of G.S. 14-202(a), (a1), or (c), only if the court sentencing the individual issues an order pursuant to G.S. 14-202(l) requiring the individual to register.

e. A final conviction for a violation of G.S. 14-43.14, only if the court sentencing the individual issues an order pursuant to G.S. 14-43.14(e) requiring the individual to register.

(5) “Sexually violent offense” means a violation of former G.S. 14-27.6 (attempted rape or sexual offense), G.S. 14-27.21 (first-degree forcible rape), G.S. 14-27.22 (second-degree forcible rape), G.S. 14-27.23 (statutory rape of a child by an adult), G.S. 14-27.25(a) (statutory rape of a person who is 15 years of age or younger and where the defendant is at least six years older), G.S. 14-27.26 (first-degree forcible sexual offense), G.S. 14-27.27 (second-degree forcible sexual offense), G.S. 14-27.28 (statutory sexual offense with a child by an adult), G.S. 14-27.29 (first-degree statutory sexual offense), G.S. 14-27.30(a) (statutory sexual offense with a person who is 15 years of age or younger and where the defendant is at least six years older), G.S. 14-27.31 (sexual activity by a substitute parent or custodian), G.S. 14-27.32 (sexual activity with a student), G.S. 14-27.33 (sexual battery), G.S. 14-43.11 (human trafficking) if (i) the offense is committed against a minor who is less than 18 years of age or (ii) the offense is committed against any person with the intent that they be held in sexual servitude, G.S. 14-43.13 (subjecting or maintaining a person for sexual servitude), G.S. 14-178 (incest between near relatives), G.S. 14-190.6 (employing or permitting minor to assist in offenses against public morality and decency), G.S. 14-190.9(a1) (felonious indecent exposure), G.S. 14-190.16 (first degree sexual exploitation of a minor), G.S. 14-190.17 (second degree sexual exploitation of a minor), G.S. 14-190.17A (third degree sexual exploitation of a minor), G.S. 14-202.1 (taking indecent liberties with children), G.S. 14-202.3 (Solicitation of child by computer or certain other electronic devices to commit an unlawful sex act), G.S. 14-202.4(a) (taking indecent liberties with a student), G.S. 14-205.2(c) or (d) (patronizing a prostitute who is a minor or a mentally disabled person), G.S. 14-205.3(b) (promoting prostitution of a minor or a mentally disabled person), G.S. 14-318.4(a1) (parent or caretaker commit or permit act of prostitution with or by a juvenile), or G.S. 14-318.4(a2) (commission or allowing of sexual act upon a juvenile by parent or guardian). The term also includes the following: a solicitation or conspiracy to commit any of these offenses; aiding and abetting any of these offenses.

(6) “Sexually violent predator” means a person who has been convicted of a sexually violent offense and who suffers from a mental abnormality or personality disorder that makes the person likely to engage in sexually violent offenses directed at strangers or at a person with whom a relationship has been established or promoted for the primary purpose of victimization.

(7) “Sheriff” means the sheriff of a county in this State.

(8) “Statewide registry” means the central registry compiled by the Department in accordance with G.S. 14-208.14.

(9) “Student” means a person who is enrolled on a full-time or part-time basis, in any postsecondary public or private educational institution, including any trade or professional institution, or other institution of higher education.

Subchapter IX. Offenses Against the Public Peace

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Article 35. Offenses Against the Public Peace

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

14-277.1. Communicating threats

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) A person is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor if without lawful authority:

(1) He willfully threatens to physically injure the person or that person's child, sibling, spouse, or dependent or willfully threatens to damage the property of another;

(2) The threat is communicated to the other person, orally, in writing, or by any other means;

(3) The threat is made in a manner and under circumstances which would cause a reasonable person to believe that the threat is likely to be carried out; and

(4) The person threatened believes that the threat will be carried out.

(b) A violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

14-277.3A. Stalking

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) Legislative Intent.--The General Assembly finds that stalking is a serious problem in this State and nationwide. Stalking involves severe intrusions on the victim's personal privacy and autonomy. It is a crime that causes a long-lasting impact on the victim's quality of life and creates risks to the security and safety of the victim and others, even in the absence of express threats of physical harm. Stalking conduct often becomes increasingly violent over time.

The General Assembly recognizes the dangerous nature of stalking as well as the strong connections between stalking and domestic violence and between stalking and sexual assault. Therefore, the General Assembly enacts this law to encourage effective intervention by the criminal justice system before stalking escalates into behavior that has serious or lethal consequences. The General Assembly intends to enact a stalking statute that permits the criminal justice system to hold stalkers accountable for a wide range of acts, communications, and conduct. The General Assembly recognizes that stalking includes, but is not limited to, a pattern of following, observing, or monitoring the victim, or committing violent or intimidating acts against the victim, regardless of the means.

(b) Definitions.--The following definitions apply in this section:

(1) Course of conduct.--Two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, is in the presence of, or follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person's property.

(2) Harasses or harassment.--Knowing conduct, including written or printed communication or transmission, telephone, cellular, or other wireless telephonic communication, facsimile transmission, pager messages or transmissions, answering machine or voice mail messages or transmissions, and electronic mail messages or other computerized or electronic transmissions directed at a specific person that torments, terrorizes, or terrifies that person and that serves no legitimate purpose.

(3) Reasonable person.--A reasonable person in the victim's circumstances.

(4) Substantial emotional distress.--Significant mental suffering or distress that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

(c) Offense.--A defendant is guilty of stalking if the defendant willfully on more than one occasion harasses another person without legal purpose or willfully engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person without legal purpose and the defendant knows or should know that the harassment or the course of conduct would cause a reasonable person to do any of the following:

(1) Fear for the person's safety or the safety of the person's immediate family or close personal associates.

(2) Suffer substantial emotional distress by placing that person in fear of death, bodily injury, or continued harassment.

(d) Classification.--A violation of this section is a Class A1 misdemeanor. A defendant convicted of a Class A1 misdemeanor under this section, who is sentenced to a community punishment, shall be placed on supervised probation in addition to any other punishment imposed by the court. A defendant who commits the offense of stalking after having been previously convicted of a stalking offense is guilty of a Class F felony. A defendant who commits the offense of stalking when there is a court order in effect prohibiting the conduct described under this section by the defendant against the victim is guilty of a Class H felony.

(e) Jurisdiction.--Pursuant to G.S. 15A-134, if any part of the offense occurred within North Carolina, including the defendant's course of conduct or the effect on the victim, then the defendant may be prosecuted in this State.

Subchapter XI. General Police Regulations

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Article 39. Protection of Minors

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

14-320.1. Transporting child outside the State with intent to violate custody order

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

When any federal court or state court in the United States shall have awarded custody of a child under the age of 16 years, it shall be a felony for any person with the intent to violate the court order to take or transport, or cause to be taken or transported, any such child from any point within this State to any point outside the limits of this State or to keep any such child outside the limits of this State. Such crime shall be punishable as a Class I felony. Provided that keeping a child outside the limits of the State in violation of a court order for a period in excess of 72 hours shall be prima facie evidence that the person charged intended to violate the order at the time of taking.

Article 40. Protection of the Family

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

14-322. Abandonment and failure to support spouse and children

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) For purposes of this Article:

(1) “Supporting spouse” means a spouse, whether husband or wife, upon whom the other spouse is actually substantially dependent or from whom such other spouse is substantially in need of maintenance and support.

(2) “Dependent spouse” means a spouse, whether husband or wife, who is actually substantially dependent upon the other spouse for his or her maintenance and support or is substantially in need of maintenance and support from the other spouse.

(b) Any supporting spouse who shall willfully abandon a dependent spouse without providing that spouse with adequate support shall be guilty of a Class 1 or 2 misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished according to subsection (f).

(c) Any supporting spouse who, while living with a dependent spouse, shall willfully neglect to provide adequate support for that dependent spouse shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished according to subsection (f).

(d) Any parent who shall willfully neglect or refuse to provide adequate support for that parent's child, whether natural or adopted, and whether or not the parent abandons the child, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished according to subsection (f). Willful neglect or refusal to provide adequate support of a child shall constitute a continuing offense and shall not be barred by any statute of limitations until the youngest living child of the parent shall reach the age of 18 years.

(e) Upon conviction for an offense under this section, the court may make such order as will best provide for the support, as far as may be necessary, of the abandoned spouse or child, or both, from the property or labor of the defendant. If the court requires the payment of child support, the amount of the payments shall be determined as provided in G.S. 50-13.4(c). For child support orders initially entered on or after January 1, 1994, the immediate income withholding provisions of G.S. 110-136.5(c1) shall apply.

(f) A first offense under this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor. A second or subsequent offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Article 52. Miscellaneous Police Regulations

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

14-394. Anonymous or threatening letters, mailing or transmitting

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation, or any association of persons in this State, under whatever name styled, to write and transmit any letter, note, or writing, whether written, printed, or drawn, without signing his, her, their, or its true name thereto, threatening any person or persons, firm or corporation, or officers thereof with any personal injury or violence or destruction of property of such individuals, firms, or corporations, or using therein any language or threats of any kind or nature calculated to intimidate or place in fear any such persons, firms or corporations, or officers thereof, as to their personal safety or the safety of their property, or using vulgar or obscene language, or using such language which if published would bring such persons into public contempt and disgrace, and any person, firm, or corporation violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Article 53B. Firearm Regulation

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

14-409.39. Definitions

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

The following definitions apply in this Article:

(1) Dealer.--Any person licensed as a dealer pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 921, et seq., or G.S. 105-80.

(2) Firearm.--A handgun, shotgun, or rifle which expels a projectile by action of an explosion.

(3) Handgun.--A pistol, revolver, or other gun that has a short stock and is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand.

Article 54a. The Felony Firearms Act

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

14-415.1. Possession of firearms, etc., by felon prohibited

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person who has been convicted of a felony to purchase, own, possess, or have in his custody, care, or control any firearm or any weapon of mass death and destruction as defined in G.S. 14-288.8(c). For the purposes of this section, a firearm is (i) any weapon, including a starter gun, which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive, or its frame or receiver, or (ii) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer. This section does not apply to an antique firearm, as defined in G.S. 14-409.11.

Every person violating the provisions of this section shall be punished as a Class G felon.

(b) Prior convictions which cause disentitlement under this section shall only include:

(1) Felony convictions in North Carolina that occur before, on, or after December 1, 1995; and

(2) Repealed by Session Laws 1995, c. 487, s. 3, effective December 1, 1995.

(3) Violations of criminal laws of other states or of the United States that occur before, on, or after December 1, 1995, and that are substantially similar to the crimes covered in subdivision (1) which are punishable where committed by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.

When a person is charged under this section, records of prior convictions of any offense, whether in the courts of this State, or in the courts of any other state or of the United States, shall be admissible in evidence for the purpose of proving a violation of this section. The term “conviction” is defined as a final judgment in any case in which felony punishment, or imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, as the case may be, is authorized, without regard to the plea entered or to the sentence imposed. A judgment of a conviction of the defendant or a plea of guilty by the defendant to such an offense certified to a superior court of this State from the custodian of records of any state or federal court shall be prima facie evidence of the facts so certified.

(c) The indictment charging the defendant under the terms of this section shall be separate from any indictment charging him with other offenses related to or giving rise to a charge under this section. An indictment which charges the person with violation of this section must set forth the date that the prior offense was committed, the type of offense and the penalty therefor, and the date that the defendant was convicted or plead guilty to such offense, the identity of the court in which the conviction or plea of guilty took place and the verdict and judgment rendered therein.

(d) This section does not apply to a person who, pursuant to the law of the jurisdiction in which the conviction occurred, has been pardoned or has had his or her firearms rights restored if such restoration of rights could also be granted under North Carolina law.

(e) This section does not apply and there is no disentitlement under this section if the felony conviction is a violation under the laws of North Carolina, another state, or the United States that pertains to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, or restraints of trade.

Chapter 15A. Criminal Procedure Act

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Subchapter XIII. Disposition of Defendants

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Article 81D. Permanent No Contact Order Against Convicted Sex Offender

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

15A-1340.50. Permanent no contact order prohibiting future contact by convicted sex offender with crime victim

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) The following definitions apply in this Article:

(1) Permanent no contact order.--A permanent injunction that prohibits any contact by a defendant with the victim of the sex offense for which the defendant is convicted. The duration of the injunction is the lifetime of the defendant.

(2) Sex offense.--Any criminal offense that requires registration under Article 27A of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes.

(3) Victim.--The person against whom the sex offense was committed.

(b) When sentencing a defendant convicted of a sex offense, the judge, at the request of the district attorney, shall determine whether to issue a permanent no contact order. The judge shall order the defendant to show cause why a permanent no contact order shall not be issued and shall hold a show cause hearing as part of the sentencing procedures for the defendant.

(c) The victim shall have a right to be heard at the show cause hearing.

(d) The judge sentencing the defendant is the trier of fact regarding the show cause hearing.

(e) At the conclusion of the show cause hearing the judge shall enter a finding for or against the defendant. If the judge determines that reasonable grounds exist for the victim to fear any future contact with the defendant, the judge shall issue the permanent no contact order. The judge shall enter written findings of fact and the grounds on which the permanent no contact order is issued. The no contact order shall be incorporated into the judgment imposing the sentence on the defendant for the conviction of the sex offense.

(f) The court may grant one or more of the following forms of relief in a permanent no contact order under this Article:

(1) Order the defendant not to threaten, visit, assault, molest, or otherwise interfere with the victim.

(2) Order the defendant not to follow the victim, including at the victim's workplace.

(3) Order the defendant not to harass the victim.

(4) Order the defendant not to abuse or injure the victim.

(5) Order the defendant not to contact the victim by telephone, written communication, or electronic means.

(6) Order the defendant to refrain from entering or remaining present at the victim's residence, school, place of employment, or other specified places at times when the victim is present.

(7) Order other relief deemed necessary and appropriate by the court.

(g) A permanent no contact order entered pursuant to this Article shall be enforced by all North Carolina law enforcement agencies without further order of the court. A law enforcement officer shall arrest and take a person into custody, with or without a warrant or other process, if the officer has probable cause to believe that the person knowingly has violated a permanent no contact order. A person who knowingly violates a permanent no contact order is guilty of a Class A1 misdemeanor.

(h) At any time after the issuance of the order, the State, at the request of the victim, or the defendant may make a motion to rescind the permanent no contact order. If the court determines that reasonable grounds for the victim to fear any future contact with the defendant no longer exist, the court may rescind the permanent no contact order.

(i) The remedy provided by this Article is not exclusive but is in addition to other remedies provided under law.

Chapter 42. Landlord and Tenant

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Article 5. Residential Rental Agreements

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

42-42.2. Victim protection - nondiscrimination

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

A landlord shall not terminate a tenancy, fail to renew a tenancy, refuse to enter into a rental agreement, or otherwise retaliate in the rental of a dwelling based substantially on: (i) the tenant, applicant, or a household member's status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking; or (ii) the tenant or applicant having terminated a rental agreement under G.S. 42-45.1. Evidence provided to the landlord of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking may include any of the following:

(1) Law enforcement, court, or federal agency records or files.

(2) Documentation from a domestic violence or sexual assault program.

(3) Documentation from a religious, medical, or other professional.

42-42.3. Victim protection - change locks

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) If the perpetrator of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking is not a tenant in the same dwelling unit as the protected tenant, a tenant of a dwelling may give oral or written notice to the landlord that a protected tenant is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking and may request that the locks to the dwelling unit be changed. A protected tenant is not required to provide documentation of the domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking to initiate the changing of the locks, pursuant to this subsection. A landlord who receives a request under this subsection shall change the locks to the protected tenant's dwelling unit or give the protected tenant permission to change the locks within 48 hours.

(b) If the perpetrator of the domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking is a tenant in the same dwelling unit as the victim, any tenant or protected tenant of a dwelling unit may give oral or written notice to the landlord that a protected tenant is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking and may request that the locks to the dwelling unit be changed. In these circumstances, the following shall apply:

(1) Before the landlord or tenant changes the locks under this subsection, the tenant must provide the landlord with a copy of an order issued by a court that orders the perpetrator to stay away from the dwelling unit.

(2) Unless a court order allows the perpetrator to return to the dwelling to retrieve personal belongings, the landlord has no duty under the rental agreement or by law to allow the perpetrator access to the dwelling unit, to provide keys to the perpetrator, or to provide the perpetrator access to the perpetrator's personal property within the dwelling unit once the landlord has been provided with a court order requiring the perpetrator to stay away from the dwelling. If a landlord complies with this section, the landlord is not liable for civil damages, to a perpetrator excluded from the dwelling unit, for loss of use of the dwelling unit or loss of use or damage to the perpetrator's personal property.

(3) The perpetrator who has been excluded from the dwelling unit under this subsection remains liable under the lease with any other tenant of the dwelling unit for rent or damages to the dwelling unit.

A landlord who receives a request under this subsection shall change the locks to the protected tenant's dwelling unit or give the protected tenant permission to change the locks within 72 hours.

(c) The protected tenant shall bear the expense of changing the locks. If a landlord fails to act within the required time, the protected tenant may change the locks without the landlord's permission. If the protected tenant changes the locks, the protected tenant shall give a key to the new locks to the landlord within 48 hours of the locks being changed.

42-45.1. Early termination of rental agreement by victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) Any protected tenant may terminate his or her rental agreement for a dwelling unit by providing the landlord with a written notice of termination to be effective on a date stated in the notice that is at least 30 days after the landlord's receipt of the notice. The notice to the landlord shall be accompanied by either: (i) a copy of a valid order of protection issued by a court pursuant to Chapter 50B or 50C of the General Statutes, other than an ex parte order, (ii) a criminal order that restrains a person from contact with a protected tenant, or (iii) a valid Address Confidentiality Program card issued pursuant to G.S. 15C-4 to the victim or a minor member of the tenant's household. A victim of domestic violence or sexual assault must submit a copy of a safety plan with the notice to terminate. The safety plan, dated during the term of the tenancy to be terminated, must be provided by a domestic violence or sexual assault program which substantially complies with the requirements set forth in G.S. 50B-9 and must recommend relocation of the protected tenant.

(b) Upon termination of a rental agreement under this section, the tenant who is released from the rental agreement pursuant to subsection (a) of this section is liable for the rent due under the rental agreement prorated to the effective date of the termination and payable at the time that would have been required by the terms of the rental agreement. The tenant is not liable for any other rent or fees due only to the early termination of the tenancy. If, pursuant to this section, a tenant terminates the rental agreement 14 days or more before occupancy, the tenant is not subject to any damages or penalties.

(c) Notwithstanding the release of a protected tenant from a rental agreement under subsection (a) of this section, or the exclusion of a perpetrator of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking by court order, if there are any remaining tenants residing in the dwelling unit, the tenancy shall continue for those tenants. The perpetrator who has been excluded from the dwelling unit under court order remains liable under the lease with any other tenant of the dwelling unit for rent or damages to the dwelling unit.

(d) The provisions of this section may not be waived or modified by agreement of the parties.

Chapter 50. Divorce and Alimony

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Article 1. Divorce, Alimony, and Child Support, Generally

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

50-5.1. Grounds for absolute divorce in cases of incurable insanity

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

In all cases where a husband and wife have lived separate and apart for three consecutive years, without cohabitation, and are still so living separate and apart by reason of the incurable insanity of one of them, the court may grant a decree of absolute divorce upon the petition of the sane spouse: Provided, if the insane spouse has been released on a trial basis to the custody of his or her respective spouse such shall not be considered as terminating the status of living “separate and apart” nor shall it be considered as constituting “cohabitation” for the purpose of this section nor shall it prevent the granting of a divorce as provided by this section. Provided further, the evidence shall show that the insane spouse is suffering from incurable insanity, and has been confined or examined for three consecutive years next preceding the bringing of the action in an institution for the care and treatment of the mentally disordered or, if not so confined, has been examined at least three years preceding the institution of the action for divorce and then found to be incurably insane as hereinafter provided. Provided further, that proof of incurable insanity be supported by the testimony of two reputable physicians, one of whom shall be a staff member or the superintendent of the institution where the insane spouse is confined, and one regularly practicing physician in the community wherein such husband and wife reside, who has no connection with the institution in which said insane spouse is confined; and provided further that a sworn statement signed by said staff member or said superintendent of the institution wherein the insane spouse is confined or was examined shall be admissible as evidence of the facts and opinions therein stated as to the mental status of said insane spouse and as to whether or not said insane spouse is suffering from incurable insanity, or the parties according to the laws governing depositions may take the deposition of said staff member or superintendent of the institution wherein the insane spouse is confined; and provided further that incurable insanity may be proved by the testimony of one or more licensed physicians who are members of the staff of one of this State's accredited four-year medical schools or a state-supported mental institution, supported by the testimony of one or more other physicians licensed by the State of North Carolina, that each of them examined the allegedly incurable insane spouse at least three years preceding the institution of the action for divorce and then determined that said spouse was suffering from incurable insanity and that one or more of them examined the allegedly insane spouse subsequent to the institution of the action and that in his or their opinion the said allegedly insane spouse was continuously incurably insane throughout the full period of three years prior to the institution of the said action.

In lieu of proof of incurable insanity and confinement for three consecutive years next preceding the bringing of the action in an institution for the care and treatment of the mentally disordered prescribed in the preceding paragraph, it shall be sufficient if the evidence shall show that the allegedly insane spouse was adjudicated to be insane more than three years preceding the institution of the action for divorce, that such insanity has continued without interruption since such adjudication and that such person has not been adjudicated to be sane since such adjudication of insanity; provided, further, proof of incurable insanity existing after the institution of the action for divorce shall be furnished by the testimony of two reputable, regularly practicing physicians, one of whom shall be a psychiatrist.

In lieu of proof of incurable insanity and confinement for three consecutive years next preceding the bringing of the action in an institution for the care and treatment of the mentally disordered, or the adjudication of insanity, as prescribed in the preceding paragraphs, it shall be sufficient if the evidence shall show that the insane spouse was examined by two or more members of the staff of one of this State's accredited four-year medical schools, both of whom are medical doctors, at least three years preceding the institution of the action for divorce with a determination at that time by said staff members that said spouse is suffering from incurable insanity, that such insanity has continued without interruption since such determination; provided, further, that sworn statements signed by the staff members of the accredited medical school who examined the insane spouse at least three years preceding the commencement of the action shall be admissible as evidence of the facts and opinions therein stated as to the mental status of said insane spouse as to whether or not said insane spouse was suffering from incurable insanity; provided, further, that proof of incurable insanity under this section existing after the institution of the action for divorce shall be furnished by the testimony of two reputable physicians, one of whom shall be a psychiatrist on the staff of one of the State's accredited four-year medical schools, and one a physician practicing regularly in the community wherein such insane person resides.

In all decrees granted under this subdivision in actions in which the insane defendant has insufficient income and property to provide for his or her own care and maintenance, the court shall require the plaintiff to provide for the care and maintenance of the insane defendant for the defendant's lifetime, based upon the standards set out in G.S. 50-16.5(a). The trial court will retain jurisdiction of the parties and the cause, from term to term, for the purpose of making such orders as equity may require to enforce the provisions of the decree requiring plaintiff to furnish the necessary funds for such care and maintenance.

Service of process shall be held upon the regular guardian for said defendant spouse, if any, and if no regular guardian, upon a duly appointed guardian ad litem and also upon the superintendent or physician in charge of the institution wherein the insane spouse is confined. Such guardian or guardian ad litem shall make an investigation of the circumstances and notify the next of kin of the insane spouse or the superintendent of the institution of the action and whenever practical confer with said next of kin before filing appropriate pleadings in behalf of the defendant.

In all actions brought under this subdivision, if the jury finds as a fact that the plaintiff has been guilty of such conduct as has conduced to the unsoundness of mind of the insane defendant, the relief prayed for shall be denied.

The plaintiff or defendant must have resided in this State for six months next preceding institution of any action under this section.

50-6. Divorce after separation of one year on application of either party

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Marriages may be dissolved and the parties thereto divorced from the bonds of matrimony on the application of either party, if and when the husband and wife have lived separate and apart for one year, and the plaintiff or defendant in the suit for divorce has resided in the State for a period of six months. A divorce under this section shall not be barred to either party by any defense or plea based upon any provision of G.S. 50-7, a plea of res judicata, or a plea of recrimination. Notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 50-11, or of the common law, a divorce under this section shall not affect the rights of a dependent spouse with respect to alimony which have been asserted in the action or any other pending action.

Whether there has been a resumption of marital relations during the period of separation shall be determined pursuant to G.S. 52-10.2. Isolated incidents of sexual intercourse between the parties shall not toll the statutory period required for divorce predicated on separation of one year.

50-7. Grounds for divorce from bed and board

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

The court may grant divorces from bed and board on application of the party injured, made as by law provided, in the following cases if either party:

(1) Abandons his or her family.

(2) Maliciously turns the other out of doors.

(3) By cruel or barbarous treatment endangers the life of the other. In addition, the court may grant the victim of such treatment the remedies available under G.S. 50B-1, et seq.

(4) Offers such indignities to the person of the other as to render his or her condition intolerable and life burdensome.

(5) Becomes an excessive user of alcohol or drugs so as to render the condition of the other spouse intolerable and the life of that spouse burdensome.

(6) Commits adultery.

50-8. Contents of complaint; verification; venue and service in action by nonresident; certain divorces validated

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

In all actions for divorce the complaint shall be verified in accordance with the provisions of Rule 11 of the Rules of Civil Procedure [FN1] and G.S. 1-148. The plaintiff shall set forth in his or her complaint that the complainant or defendant has been a resident of the State of North Carolina for at least six months next preceding the filing of the complaint, and that the facts set forth therein as grounds for divorce, except in actions for divorce from bed and board, have existed to his or her knowledge for at least six months prior to the filing of the complaint: Provided, however, that if the cause for divorce is one-year separation, then it shall not be necessary to allege in the complaint that the grounds for divorce have existed for at least six months prior to the filing of the complaint; it being the purpose of this proviso to permit a divorce after such separation of one year without awaiting an additional six months for filing the complaint: Provided, further, that if the complainant is a nonresident of the State action shall be brought in the county of the defendant's residence, and summons served upon the defendant personally or service of summons accepted by the defendant personally in the manner provided in G.S. 1A-1, Rule 4(j)(1). Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, any suit or action for divorce heretofore instituted by a nonresident of this State in which the defendant was personally served with summons or in which the defendant personally accepted service of the summons and the case was tried and final judgment entered in a court of this State in a county other than the county of the defendant's residence, is hereby validated and declared to be legal and proper, the same as if the suit or action for divorce had been brought in the county of the defendant's residence.

In all divorce actions the complaint shall set forth the name and age of any minor child or children of the marriage, and in the event there are no minor children of the marriage, the complaint shall so state.

In all prior suits and actions for divorce heretofore instituted and tried in the courts of this State where the averments of fact required to be contained in the affidavit heretofore required by this section are or have been alleged and set forth in the complaint in said suits or actions and said complaints have been duly verified as required by Rule 11 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, said allegations so contained in said complaints shall be deemed to be, and are hereby made, a substantial compliance as to the allegations heretofore required by this section to be set forth in any affidavit; and all such suits or actions for divorce, as well as the judgments or decrees issued and entered as a result thereof, are hereby validated and declared to be legal and proper judgments and decrees of divorce.

In all suits and actions for divorce heretofore instituted and tried in this State on and subsequent to the 5th day of April, 1951, wherein the statements, averments, or allegations in the verification to the complaint in said suits or actions are not in accordance with the provisions of Rule 11 of the Rules of Civil Procedure and G.S. 1-148 or the requirements of this section as to verification of complaint or the allegations, statements or averments in the verification contain the language that the facts set forth in the complaint are true “to the best of affiant's knowledge and belief” instead of the language “that the same is true to his (or her) own knowledge” or similar variation in language, said allegations, statements and averments in said verifications as contained in or attached to said complaint shall be deemed to be, and are hereby made, a substantial compliance as to the allegations, averments or statements required by this section to be set forth in any such verifications; and all such suits or actions for divorce, as well as the judgments or decrees issued and entered as a result thereof, are hereby validated and declared to be legal and proper judgments and decrees of divorce.

50-13.1. Action or proceeding for custody of minor child

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) Any parent, relative, or other person, agency, organization or institution claiming the right to custody of a minor child may institute an action or proceeding for the custody of such child, as hereinafter provided. Any person whose actions resulted in a conviction under G.S. 14-27.21, G.S. 14-27.22, G.S. 14-27.23, or G.S. 14-27.24 and the conception of the minor child may not claim the right to custody of that minor child. Unless a contrary intent is clear, the word “custody” shall be deemed to include custody or visitation or both.

(a1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person instituting an action or proceeding for custody ex parte who has been convicted of a sexually violent offense as defined in G.S. 14-208.6(5) shall disclose the conviction in the pleadings.

(b) Whenever it appears to the court, from the pleadings or otherwise, that an action involves a contested issue as to the custody or visitation of a minor child, the matter, where there is a program established pursuant to G.S. 7A-494, shall be set for mediation of the unresolved issues as to custody and visitation before or concurrent with the setting of the matter for hearing unless the court waives mediation pursuant to subsection (c). Issues that arise in motions for contempt or for modifications as well as in other pleadings shall be set for mediation unless mediation is waived by the court. Alimony, child support, and other economic issues may not be referred for mediation pursuant to this section. The purposes of mediation under this section include the pursuit of the following goals:

(1) To reduce any acrimony that exists between the parties to a dispute involving custody or visitation of a minor child;

(2) The development of custody and visitation agreements that are in the child's best interest;

(3) To provide the parties with informed choices and, where possible, to give the parties the responsibility for making decisions about child custody and visitation;

(4) To provide a structured, confidential, nonadversarial setting that will facilitate the cooperative resolution of custody and visitation disputes and minimize the stress and anxiety to which the parties, and especially the child, are subjected; and

(5) To reduce the relitigation of custody and visitation disputes.

(c) For good cause, on the motion of either party or on the court's own motion, the court may waive the mandatory setting under Article 39A of Chapter 7A of the General Statutes of a contested custody or visitation matter for mediation. Good cause may include, but is not limited to, the following: a showing of undue hardship to a party; an agreement between the parties for voluntary mediation, subject to court approval; allegations of abuse or neglect of the minor child; allegations of alcoholism, drug abuse, or domestic violence between the parents in common; or allegations of severe psychological, psychiatric, or emotional problems. A showing by either party that the party resides more than fifty miles from the court may be considered good cause.

(d) Either party may move to have the mediation proceedings dismissed and the action heard in court due to the mediator's bias, undue familiarity with a party, or other prejudicial ground.

(e) Mediation proceeding shall be held in private and shall be confidential. Except as provided in this Article, all verbal or written communications from either or both parties to the mediator or between the parties in the presence of the mediator made in a proceeding pursuant to this section are absolutely privileged and inadmissible in court. The mediator may assess the needs and interests of the child, and may interview the child or others who are not parties to the proceedings when he or she thinks appropriate.

(f) Neither the mediator nor any party or other person involved in mediation sessions under this section shall be competent to testify to communications made during or in furtherance of such mediation sessions; provided, there is no privilege as to communications made in furtherance of a crime or fraud. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as permitting an individual to obtain immunity from prosecution for criminal conduct or as excusing an individual from the reporting requirements of Article 3 of Chapter 7B of the General Statutes or G.S. 108A-102.

(g) Any agreement reached by the parties as a result of the mediation shall be reduced to writing, signed by each party, and submitted to the court as soon as practicable. Unless the court finds good reason not to, it shall incorporate the agreement in a court order and it shall become enforceable as a court order. If some or all of the issues as to custody or visitation are not resolved by mediation, the mediator shall report that fact to the court.

(h) If an agreement that results from mediation and is incorporated into a court order is referred to as a “parenting agreement” or called by some similar name, it shall nevertheless be deemed to be a custody order or child custody determination for purposes of Chapter 50A of the General Statutes, G.S. 14-320.1, G.S. 110-139.1, or other places where those terms appear.

(i) If the child whose custody is the subject of an action under this Chapter also is the subject of a juvenile abuse, neglect, or dependency proceeding pursuant to Subchapter 1 of Chapter 7B of the General Statutes, then the custody action under this Chapter is stayed as provided in G.S. 7B-200.

50-13.2. Who entitled to custody; terms of custody; visitation rights of grandparents; taking child out of State; consideration of parent's military service

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) An order for custody of a minor child entered pursuant to this section shall award the custody of such child to such person, agency, organization or institution as will best promote the interest and welfare of the child. In making the determination, the court shall consider all relevant factors including acts of domestic violence between the parties, the safety of the child, and the safety of either party from domestic violence by the other party. An order for custody must include written findings of fact that reflect the consideration of each of these factors and that support the determination of what is in the best interest of the child. Between the parents, whether natural or adoptive, no presumption shall apply as to who will better promote the interest and welfare of the child. Joint custody to the parents shall be considered upon the request of either parent.

(b) An order for custody of a minor child may grant joint custody to the parents, exclusive custody to one person, agency, organization, or institution, or grant custody to two or more persons, agencies, organizations, or institutions. Any order for custody shall include such terms, including visitation, as will best promote the interest and welfare of the child. If the court finds that domestic violence has occurred, the court shall enter such orders that best protect the children and party who were the victims of domestic violence, in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 50B-3(a1)(1), (2), and (3). If a party is absent or relocates with or without the children because of an act of domestic violence, the absence or relocation shall not be a factor that weighs against the party in determining custody or visitation. Absent an order of the court to the contrary, each parent shall have equal access to the records of the minor child involving the health, education, and welfare of the child.

(b1) An order for custody of a minor child may provide visitation rights for any grandparent of the child as the court, in its discretion, deems appropriate. As used in this subsection, “grandparent” includes a biological grandparent of a child adopted by a stepparent or a relative of the child where a substantial relationship exists between the grandparent and the child. Under no circumstances shall a biological grandparent of a child adopted by adoptive parents, neither of whom is related to the child and where parental rights of both biological parents have been terminated, be entitled to visitation rights.

(b2) Any order for custody, including visitation, may, as a condition of such custody or visitation, require either or both parents, or any other person seeking custody or visitation, to abstain from consuming alcohol and may require submission to a continuous alcohol monitoring system, of a type approved by the Division of Adult Correction of the Department of Public Safety, to verify compliance with this condition of custody or visitation. Any order pursuant to this subsection shall include an order to the monitoring provider to report any violation of the order to the court and each party to the action. Failure to comply with this condition shall be grounds for civil or criminal contempt.

(c) An order for custody of a minor child may provide for such child to be taken outside of the State, but if the order contemplates the return of the child to this State, the judge may require the person, agency, organization or institution having custody out of this State to give bond or other security conditioned upon the return of the child to this State in accordance with the order of the court.

(d) If, within a reasonable time, one parent fails to consent to adoption pursuant to Chapter 48 of the General Statutes or parental rights have not been terminated, the consent of the other consenting parent shall not be effective in an action for custody of the child.

(e) An order for custody of a minor child may provide for visitation rights by electronic communication. In granting visitation by electronic communication, the court shall consider the following:

(1) Whether electronic communication is in the best interest of the minor child.

(2) Whether equipment to communicate by electronic means is available, accessible, and affordable to the parents of the minor child.

(3) Any other factor the court deems appropriate in determining whether to grant visitation by electronic communication.

The court may set guidelines for electronic communication, including the hours in which the communication may be made, the allocation of costs between the parents in implementing electronic communication with the child, and the furnishing of access information between parents necessary to facilitate electronic communication. Electronic communication with a minor child may be used to supplement visitation with the child. Electronic communication may not be used as a replacement or substitution for custody or visitation. The amount of time electronic communication is used shall not be a factor in calculating child support or be used to justify or support relocation by the custodial parent out of the immediate area or the State. Electronic communication between the minor child and the parent may be subject to supervision as ordered by the court. As used in this subsection, “electronic communication” means contact, other than face-to-face contact, facilitated by electronic means, such as by telephone, electronic mail, instant messaging, video teleconferencing, wired or wireless technologies by Internet, or other medium of communication.

(f) In a proceeding for custody of a minor child of a service member, a court may not consider a parent's past deployment or possible future deployment as the only basis in determining the best interest of the child. The court may consider any significant impact on the best interest of the child regarding the parent's past or possible future deployment.

50-13.2A. Action for visitation of an adopted grandchild

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

A biological grandparent may institute an action or proceeding for visitation rights with a child adopted by a stepparent or a relative of the child where a substantial relationship exists between the grandparent and the child. Under no circumstances shall a biological grandparent of a child adopted by adoptive parents, neither of whom is related to the child and where parental rights of both biological parents have been terminated, be entitled to visitation rights. A court may award visitation rights if it determines that visitation is in the best interest of the child. An order awarding visitation rights shall contain findings of fact which support the determination by the judge of the best interest of the child. Procedure, venue, and jurisdiction shall be as in an action for custody.

50-13.3. Enforcement of order for custody

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) An order providing for the custody of a minor child is enforceable by proceedings for civil contempt, and its disobedience may be punished by proceedings for criminal contempt, as provided in Chapter 5A, Contempt, of the General Statutes.

Notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 1-294, an order pertaining to child custody which has been appealed to the appellate division is enforceable in the trial court by proceedings for civil contempt during the pendency of the appeal. Upon motion of an aggrieved party, the court of the appellate division in which the appeal is pending may stay any order for civil contempt entered for child custody until the appeal is decided, if justice requires.

(b) Any court of this State having jurisdiction to make an award of custody of a minor child in an action or proceeding therefor, shall have the power of injunction in such action or proceeding as provided in Article 37 of Chapter 1 of the General Statutes and G.S. 1A-1, Rule 65.

(c) Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (b) of this section, a warrant to take physical custody of a child issued by a court pursuant to G.S. 50A-311 is enforceable throughout this State.

50-13.4. Action for support of minor child

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) Any parent, or any person, agency, organization or institution having custody of a minor child, or bringing an action or proceeding for the custody of such child, or a minor child by his guardian may institute an action for the support of such child as hereinafter provided.

(b) In the absence of pleading and proof that the circumstances otherwise warrant, the father and mother shall be primarily liable for the support of a minor child. In the absence of pleading and proof that the circumstances otherwise warrant, parents of a minor, unemancipated child who is the custodial or noncustodial parent of a child shall share this primary liability for their grandchild's support with the minor parent, the court determining the proper share, until the minor parent reaches the age of 18 or becomes emancipated. If both the parents of the child requiring support were unemancipated minors at the time of the child's conception, the parents of both minor parents share primary liability for their grandchild's support until both minor parents reach the age of 18 or become emancipated. If only one parent of the child requiring support was an unemancipated minor at the time of the child's conception, the parents of both parents are liable for any arrearages in child support owed by the adult or emancipated parent until the other parent reaches the age of 18 or becomes emancipated. In the absence of pleading and proof that the circumstances otherwise warrant, any other person, agency, organization or institution standing in loco parentis shall be secondarily liable for such support. Such other circumstances may include, but shall not be limited to, the relative ability of all the above-mentioned parties to provide support or the inability of one or more of them to provide support, and the needs and estate of the child. The judge may enter an order requiring any one or more of the above-mentioned parties to provide for the support of the child as may be appropriate in the particular case, and if appropriate the court may authorize the application of any separate estate of the child to his support. However, the judge may not order support to be paid by a person who is not the child's parent or an agency, organization or institution standing in loco parentis absent evidence and a finding that such person, agency, organization or institution has voluntarily assumed the obligation of support in writing. The preceding sentence shall not be construed to prevent any court from ordering the support of a child by an agency of the State or county which agency may be responsible under law for such support.

The judge may order responsible parents in a IV-D establishment case to perform a job search, if the responsible parent is not incapacitated. This includes IV-D cases in which the responsible parent is a noncustodial mother or a noncustodial father whose affidavit of parentage has been filed with the court or when paternity is not at issue for the child. The court may further order the responsible parent to participate in work activities, as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 607, as the court deems appropriate.

(c) Payments ordered for the support of a minor child shall be in such amount as to meet the reasonable needs of the child for health, education, and maintenance, having due regard to the estates, earnings, conditions, accustomed standard of living of the child and the parties, the child care and homemaker contributions of each party, and other facts of the particular case. Payments ordered for the support of a minor child shall be on a monthly basis, due and payable on the first day of each month. The requirement that orders be established on a monthly basis does not affect the availability of garnishment of disposable earnings based on an obligor's pay period.

The court shall determine the amount of child support payments by applying the presumptive guidelines established pursuant to subsection (c1) of this section. However, upon request of any party, the Court shall hear evidence, and from the evidence, find the facts relating to the reasonable needs of the child for support and the relative ability of each parent to provide support. If, after considering the evidence, the Court finds by the greater weight of the evidence that the application of the guidelines would not meet or would exceed the reasonable needs of the child considering the relative ability of each parent to provide support or would be otherwise unjust or inappropriate the Court may vary from the guidelines. If the court orders an amount other than the amount determined by application of the presumptive guidelines, the court shall make findings of fact as to the criteria that justify varying from the guidelines and the basis for the amount ordered.

Payments ordered for the support of a child shall terminate when the child reaches the age of 18 except:

(1) If the child is otherwise emancipated, payments shall terminate at that time;

(2) If the child is still in primary or secondary school when the child reaches age 18, support payments shall continue until the child graduates, otherwise ceases to attend school on a regular basis, fails to make satisfactory academic progress towards graduation, or reaches age 20, whichever comes first, unless the court in its discretion orders that payments cease at age 18 or prior to high school graduation.

(3) If the child is enrolled in a cooperative innovative high school program authorized under Part 9 of Article 16 of Chapter 115C of the General Statutes, then payments shall terminate when the child completes his or her fourth year of enrollment or when the child reaches the age of 18, whichever occurs later.

In the case of graduation, or attaining age 20, payments shall terminate without order by the court, subject to the right of the party receiving support to show, upon motion and with notice to the opposing party, that the child has not graduated or attained the age of 20.

If an arrearage for child support or fees due exists at the time that a child support obligation terminates, payments shall continue in the same total amount that was due under the terms of the previous court order or income withholding in effect at the time of the support obligation. The total amount of these payments is to be applied to the arrearage until all arrearages and fees are satisfied or until further order of the court.

(c1) Effective July 1, 1990, the Conference of Chief District Judges shall prescribe uniform statewide presumptive guidelines for the computation of child support obligations, including retroactive support obligations, of each parent as provided in Chapter 50 or elsewhere in the General Statutes and shall develop criteria for determining when, in a particular case, application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate. The purpose of the guidelines and criteria shall be to ensure that payments ordered for the support of a minor child are in such amount as to meet the reasonable needs of the child for health, education, and maintenance, having due regard to the estates, earnings, conditions, accustomed standard of living of the child and the parties, the child care and homemaker contributions of each party, and other facts of the particular case. The guidelines shall include a procedure for setting child support, if any, in a joint or shared custody arrangement which shall reflect the other statutory requirements herein.

Periodically, but at least once every four years, the Conference of Chief District Judges shall review the guidelines to determine whether their application results in appropriate child support award amounts. The Conference may modify the guidelines accordingly. The Conference shall give the Department of Health and Human Services, the Administrative Office of the Courts, and the general public an opportunity to provide the Conference with information relevant to the development and review of the guidelines. Any modifications of the guidelines or criteria shall be reported to the General Assembly by the Administrative Office of the Courts before they become effective by delivering copies to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The guidelines, when adopted or modified, shall be provided to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Administrative Office of the Courts, which shall disseminate them to the public through local IV-D offices, clerks of court, and the media.

(d) In non-IV-D cases, payments for the support of a minor child shall be ordered to be paid to the person having custody of the child or any other proper person, agency, organization or institution, or to the State Child Support Collection and Disbursement Unit, for the benefit of the child. In IV-D cases, payments for the support of a minor child shall be ordered to be paid to the State Child Support Collection and Disbursement Unit for the benefit of the child.

(d1) For child support orders initially entered on or after January 1, 1994, the immediate income withholding provisions of G.S. 110-136.5(c1) shall apply.

(e) Payment for the support of a minor child shall be paid by lump sum payment, periodic payments, or by transfer of title or possession of personal property of any interest therein, or a security interest in or possession of real property, as the court may order. The court may order the transfer of title to real property solely owned by the obligor in payment of arrearages of child support so long as the net value of the interest in the property being transferred does not exceed the amount of the arrearage being satisfied. In every case in which payment for the support of a minor child is ordered and alimony or postseparation support is also ordered, the order shall separately state and identify each allowance.

(e1) In IV-D cases, the order for child support shall provide that the clerk shall transfer the case to another jurisdiction in this State if the IV-D agency requests the transfer on the basis that the obligor, the custodian of the child, and the child do not reside in the jurisdiction in which the order was issued. The IV-D agency shall provide notice of the transfer to the obligor by delivery of written notice in accordance with the notice requirements of Chapter 1A-1, Rule 5(b) of the Rules of Civil Procedure. The clerk shall transfer the case to the jurisdiction requested by the IV-D agency, which shall be a jurisdiction in which the obligor, the custodian of the child, or the child resides. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prevent a party from contesting the transfer.

<Text of (f) eff. until Oct. 1, 2015.>

(f) Remedies for enforcement of support of minor children shall be available as herein provided.

(1) The court may require the person ordered to make payments for the support of a minor child to secure the same by means of a bond, mortgage or deed of trust, or any other means ordinarily used to secure an obligation to pay money or transfer property, or by requiring the execution of an assignment of wages, salary or other income due or to become due.

(2) If the court requires the transfer of real or personal property or an interest therein as provided in subsection (e) as a part of an order for payment of support for a minor child, or for the securing thereof, the court may also enter an order which shall transfer title as provided in G.S. 1A-1, Rule 70 and G.S. 1-228.

(3) The remedy of arrest and bail, as provided in Article 34 of Chapter 1 of the General Statutes, shall be available in actions for child-support payments as in other cases.

(4) The remedies of attachment and garnishment, as provided in Article 35 of Chapter 1 of the General Statutes, shall be available in an action for child-support payments as in other cases, and for such purposes the child or person bringing an action for child support shall be deemed a creditor of the defendant. Additionally, in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 110-136, a continuing wage garnishment proceeding for wages due or to become due may be instituted by motion in the original child support proceeding or by independent action through the filing of a petition.

(5) The remedy of injunction, as provided in Article 37 of Chapter 1 of the General Statutes and G.S. 1A-1, Rule 65, shall be available in actions for child support as in other cases.

(6) Receivers, as provided in Article 38 of Chapter 1 of the General Statutes, may be appointed in action for child support as in other cases.

(7) A minor child or other person for whose benefit an order for the payment of child support has been entered shall be a creditor within the meaning of Article 3A of Chapter 39 of the General Statutes pertaining to fraudulent conveyances.

(8) Except as provided in Article 15 of Chapter 44 of the General Statutes, a judgment for child support shall not be a lien against real property unless the judgment expressly so provides, sets out the amount of the lien in a sum certain, and adequately describes the real property affected; but past due periodic payments may by motion in the cause or by a separate action be reduced to judgment which shall be a lien as other judgments and may include provisions for periodic payments.

(9) An order for the periodic payments of child support or a child support judgment that provides for periodic payments is enforceable by proceedings for civil contempt, and disobedience may be punished by proceedings for criminal contempt, as provided in Chapter 5A of the General Statutes.

Notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 1-294, an order for the payment of child support which has been appealed to the appellate division is enforceable in the trial court by proceedings for civil contempt during the pendency of the appeal. Upon motion of an aggrieved party, the court of the appellate division in which the appeal is pending may stay any order for civil contempt entered for child support until the appeal is decided, if justice requires.

(10) The remedies provided by Chapter 1 of the General Statutes, Article 28, Execution; Article 29B, Execution Sales; and Article 31, Supplemental Proceedings, shall be available for the enforcement of judgments for child support as in other cases, but amounts so payable shall not constitute a debt as to which property is exempt from execution as provided in Article 16 of Chapter 1C of the General Statutes.

(11) The specific enumeration of remedies in this section shall not constitute a bar to remedies otherwise available.

<Text of (f) eff. Oct. 1, 2015.>

(f) Remedies for enforcement of support of minor children shall be available as follows:

(1) The court may require the person ordered to make payments for the support of a minor child to secure the payments by means of a bond, mortgage or deed of trust, or any other means ordinarily used to secure an obligation to pay money or transfer property, or by requiring the execution of an assignment of wages, salary or other income due or to become due.

(2) If the court requires the transfer of real or personal property or an interest therein as provided in subsection (e) of this section as a part of an order for payment of support for a minor child, or for the securing thereof, the court may also enter an order which shall transfer title as provided in G.S. 1A-1, Rule 70 and G.S. 1-228.

(3) The remedy of arrest and bail, as provided in Article 34 of Chapter 1 of the General Statutes, shall be available in actions for child-support payments as in other cases.

(4) The remedies of attachment and garnishment, as provided in Article 35 of Chapter 1 of the General Statutes, shall be available in an action for child-support payments as in other cases, and for such purposes the child or person bringing an action for child support shall be deemed a creditor of the defendant. Additionally, in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 110-136, a continuing wage garnishment proceeding for wages due or to become due may be instituted by motion in the original child support proceeding or by independent action through the filing of a petition.

(5) The remedy of injunction, as provided in Article 37 of Chapter 1 of the General Statutes and G.S. 1A-1, Rule 65, shall be available in actions for child support as in other cases.

(6) Receivers, as provided in Article 38 of Chapter 1 of the General Statutes, may be appointed in actions for child support as in other cases.

(7) A minor child or other person for whose benefit an order for the payment of child support has been entered shall be a creditor within the meaning of Article 3A of Chapter 39 of the General Statutes pertaining to voidable transactions.

(8) Except as provided in Article 15 of Chapter 44 of the General Statutes, a judgment for child support shall not be a lien against real property unless the judgment expressly so provides, sets out the amount of the lien in a sum certain, and adequately describes the real property affected; but past due periodic payments may by motion in the cause or by a separate action be reduced to judgment which shall be a lien as other judgments and may include provisions for periodic payments.

(9) An order for the periodic payments of child support or a child support judgment that provides for periodic payments is enforceable by proceedings for civil contempt, and disobedience may be punished by proceedings for criminal contempt, as provided in Chapter 5A of the General Statutes.

Notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 1-294, an order for the payment of child support which has been appealed to the appellate division is enforceable in the trial court by proceedings for civil contempt during the pendency of the appeal. Upon motion of an aggrieved party, the court of the appellate division in which the appeal is pending may stay any order for civil contempt entered for child support until the appeal is decided, if justice requires.

(10) The remedies provided by Chapter 1 of the General Statutes, Article 28, Execution; Article 29B, Execution Sales; and Article 31, Supplemental Proceedings, shall be available for the enforcement of judgments for child support as in other cases, but amounts so payable shall not constitute a debt as to which property is exempt from execution as provided in Article 16 of Chapter 1C of the General Statutes.

(11) The specific enumeration of remedies in this section shall not constitute a bar to remedies otherwise available.

(g) An individual who brings an action or motion in the cause for the support of a minor child, and the individual who defends the action, shall provide to the clerk of the court in which the action is brought or the order is issued, the individual's social security number.

(h) Child support orders initially entered or modified on and after October 1, 1998, shall contain the name of each of the parties, the date of birth of each party, and the court docket number. The Administrative Office of the Courts shall transmit to the Department of Health and Human Services, Child Support Enforcement Program, on a timely basis, the information required to be included on orders under this subsection and the social security number of each party as required under subsection (g) of this section.

50-13.5. Procedure in actions for custody or support of minor children

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) Procedure.--The procedure in actions for custody and support of minor children shall be as in civil actions, except as provided in this section and in G.S. 50-19. In this G.S. 50-13.5 the words “custody and support” shall be deemed to include custody or support, or both.

(b) Type of Action.--An action brought under the provisions of this section may be maintained as follows:

(1) As a civil action.

(2) Repealed by Laws 1979, c. 110, § 12.

(3) Joined with an action for annulment, or an action for divorce, either absolute or from bed and board, or an action for alimony without divorce.

(4) As a cross action in an action for annulment, or an action for divorce, either absolute or from bed and board, or an action for alimony without divorce.

(5) By motion in the cause in an action for annulment, or an action for divorce, either absolute or from bed and board, or an action for alimony without divorce.

(6) Upon the court's own motion in an action for annulment, or an action for divorce, either absolute or from bed and board, or an action for alimony without divorce.

(7) In any of the foregoing the judge may issue an order requiring that the body of the minor child be brought before him.

(c) Jurisdiction in Actions or Proceedings for Child Support and Child Custody.--

(1) The jurisdiction of the courts of this State to enter orders providing for the support of a minor child shall be as in actions or proceedings for the payment of money or the transfer of property.

(2) The courts of this State shall have jurisdiction to enter orders providing for the custody of a minor child under the provisions of G.S. 50A-201, 50A-202, and 50A-204.

(3) to (6) Repealed by Laws 1979, c. 110, § 12.

(d) Service of Process; Notice; Interlocutory Orders.--

(1) Service of process in civil actions for the custody of minor children shall be as in other civil actions. Motions for support of a minor child in a pending action may be made on 10 days notice to the other parties and compliance with G.S. 50-13.5(e). Motions for custody of a minor child in a pending action may be made on 10 days notice to the other parties and after compliance with G.S. 50A-205.

(2) If the circumstances of the case render it appropriate, upon gaining jurisdiction of the minor child the court may enter orders for the temporary custody and support of the child, pending the service of process or notice as herein provided.

(3) A temporary order for custody which changes the living arrangements of a child or changes custody shall not be entered ex parte and prior to service of process or notice, unless the court finds that the child is exposed to a substantial risk of bodily injury or sexual abuse or that there is a substantial risk that the child may be abducted or removed from the State of North Carolina for the purpose of evading the jurisdiction of North Carolina courts.A temporary custody order that requires a law enforcement officer to take physical custody of a minor child shall be accompanied by a warrant to take physical custody of a minor child as set forth in G.S. 50A-311.

(e) Notice to Additional Persons in Support Actions and Proceedings; Intervention.--

(1) The parents of the minor child whose addresses are reasonably ascertainable; any person, agency, organization or institution having actual care, control, or custody of a minor child; and any person, agency, organization or institution required by court order to provide for the support of a minor child, either in whole or in part, not named as parties and served with process in an action or proceeding for the support of such child, shall be given notice by the party raising the issue of support.

(2) The notice herein required shall be in the manner provided by the Rules of Civil Procedure for the service of notices in actions. Such notice shall advise the person to be notified of the name of the child, the names of the parties to the action or proceeding, the court in which the action or proceeding was instituted, and the date thereof.

(3) In the discretion of the court, failure of such service of notice shall not affect the validity of any order or judgment entered in such action or proceeding.

(4) Any person required to be given notice as herein provided may intervene in an action or proceeding for support of a minor child by filing in apt time notice of appearance or other appropriate pleadings.

(f) Venue.--An action or proceeding in the courts of this State for custody and support of a minor child may be maintained in the county where the child resides or is physically present or in a county where a parent resides, except as hereinafter provided. If an action for annulment, for divorce, either absolute or from bed and board, or for alimony without divorce has been previously instituted in this State, until there has been a final judgment in such case, any action or proceeding for custody and support of the minor children of the marriage shall be joined with such action or be by motion in the cause in such action. If an action or proceeding for the custody and support of a minor child has been instituted and an action for annulment or for divorce, either absolute or from bed and board, or for alimony without divorce is subsequently instituted in the same or another county, the court having jurisdiction of the prior action or proceeding may, in its discretion direct that the action or proceeding for custody and support of a minor child be consolidated with such subsequent action, and in the event consolidation is ordered, shall determine in which court such consolidated action or proceeding shall be heard.

(g) Custody and Support Irrespective of Parents' Rights Inter Partes.--Orders for custody and support of minor children may be entered when the matter is before the court as provided by this section, irrespective of the rights of the wife and the husband as between themselves in an action for annulment or an action for divorce, either absolute or from bed and board, or an action for alimony without divorce.

(h) Court Having Jurisdiction.--When a district court having jurisdiction of the matter shall have been established, actions or proceedings for custody and support of minor children shall be heard without a jury by the judge of such district court, and may be heard at any time.

(i) District Court; Denial of Parental Visitation Right; Written Finding of Fact.--In any case in which an award of child custody is made in a district court, the trial judge, prior to denying a parent the right of reasonable visitation, shall make a written finding of fact that the parent being denied visitation rights is an unfit person to visit the child or that such visitation rights are not in the best interest of the child.

(j) Custody and Visitation Rights of Grandparents.--In any action in which the custody of a minor child has been determined, upon a motion in the cause and a showing of changed circumstances pursuant to G.S. 50-13.7, the grandparents of the child are entitled to such custody or visitation rights as the court, in its discretion, deems appropriate. As used in this subsection, “grandparent” includes a biological grandparent of a child adopted by a stepparent or a relative of the child where a substantial relationship exists between the grandparent and the child. Under no circumstances shall a biological grandparent of a child adopted by adoptive parents, neither of whom is related to the child and where parental rights of both biological parents have been terminated, be entitled to visitation rights.

50-13.6. Counsel fees in actions for custody and support of minor children

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

In an action or proceeding for the custody or support, or both, of a minor child, including a motion in the cause for the modification or revocation of an existing order for custody or support, or both, the court may in its discretion order payment of reasonable attorney's fees to an interested party acting in good faith who has insufficient means to defray the expense of the suit. Before ordering payment of a fee in a support action, the court must find as a fact that the party ordered to furnish support has refused to provide support which is adequate under the circumstances existing at the time of the institution of the action or proceeding; provided however, should the court find as a fact that the supporting party has initiated a frivolous action or proceeding the court may order payment of reasonable attorney's fees to an interested party as deemed appropriate under the circumstances.

50-13.7. Modification of order for child support or custody

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) Except as otherwise provided in G.S. 50-13.7A, an order of a court of this State for support of a minor child may be modified or vacated at any time, upon motion in the cause and a showing of changed circumstances by either party or anyone interested subject to the limitations of G.S. 50-13.10. Subject to the provisions of G.S. 50A-201, 50A-202, and 50A-204, an order of a court of this State for custody of a minor child may be modified or vacated at any time, upon motion in the cause and a showing of changed circumstances by either party or anyone interested.

(b) When an order for support of a minor child has been entered by a court of another state, a court of this State may, upon gaining jurisdiction, and upon a showing of changed circumstances, enter a new order for support which modifies or supersedes such order for support, subject to the limitations of G.S. 50-13.10. Subject to the provisions of G.S. 50A-201, 50A-202, and 50A-204, when an order for custody of a minor child has been entered by a court of another state, a court of this State may, upon gaining jurisdiction, and a showing of changed circumstances, enter a new order for custody which modifies or supersedes such order for custody.

50-13.9. Procedure to insure payment of child support

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) Upon its own motion or upon motion of either party, the court may order at any time that support payments be made to the State Child Support Collection and Disbursement Unit for remittance to the party entitled to receive the payments. For child support orders initially entered on or after January 1, 1994, the immediate income withholding provisions of G.S. 110-136.5(c1) apply.

(b) After entry of an order by the court under subsection (a) of this section, the State Child Support Collection and Disbursement Unit shall transmit child support payments that are made to it to the custodial parent or other party entitled to receive them, unless a court order requires otherwise.

(b1) In a IV-D case:

(1) The designated child support enforcement agency shall have the sole responsibility and authority for monitoring the obligor's compliance with all child support orders in the case and for initiating any enforcement procedures that it considers appropriate.

(2) The clerk of court shall maintain all official records in the case.

(3) The designated child support enforcement agency shall maintain any other records needed to monitor the obligor's compliance with or to enforce the child support orders in the case, including records showing the amount of each payment of child support received from or on behalf of the obligor, along with the dates on which each payment was received. In any action establishing, enforcing, or modifying a child support order, the payment records maintained by the designated child support agency shall be admissible evidence, and the court shall permit the designated representative to authenticate those records.

(b2) In a non-IV-D case:

(1) Repealed by S.L. 2005-389, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2007.

(2) The clerk of court shall maintain all official records and all case data concerning child support matters previously enforced by the clerk of court.

(3) Repealed by S.L. 2005-389, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2007.

(c) In a IV-D case, the parties affected by the order shall inform the designated child support enforcement agency of any change of address or other condition that may affect the administration of the order. The court may provide in the order that a party failing to inform the court or, as appropriate, the designated child support enforcement agency, of a change of address within a reasonable period of time may be held in civil contempt.

(d) Upon affidavit of an obligee, the clerk or a district court judge may order the obligor to appear and show cause why the obligor should not be subjected to income withholding or adjudged in contempt of court, or both. The order shall require the obligor to appear and show cause why the obligor should not be subjected to income withholding or adjudged in contempt of court, or both, and shall order the obligor to bring to the hearing records and information relating to the obligor's employment, the obligor's licensing privileges, and the amount and sources of the obligor's disposable income. The order shall state:

(1) That the obligor is under a court order to provide child support, the name of each child for whose benefit support is due, and information sufficient to identify the order;

(2) That the obligor is delinquent and the amount of overdue support;

(2a) That the court may order the revocation of some or all of the obligor's licensing privileges if the obligor is delinquent in an amount equal to the support due for one month;

(3) That the court may order income withholding if the obligor is delinquent in an amount equal to the support due for one month;

(4) That income withholding, if implemented, will apply to the obligor's current payors and all subsequent payors and will be continued until terminated pursuant to G.S. 110-136.10;

(5) That failure to bring to the hearing records and information relating to his employment and the amount and sources of his disposable income will be grounds for contempt;

(6) That if income withholding is not an available or appropriate remedy, the court may determine whether the obligor is in contempt or whether any other enforcement remedy is appropriate.

The order may be signed by the clerk or a district court judge, and shall be served on the obligor pursuant to G.S. 1A-1, Rule 4, Rules of Civil Procedure. On motion of the person to whom support is owed in a non-IV-D case, with the approval of the district court judge, if the district court judge finds it is in the best interest of the child, no order shall be issued.

(e) Repealed by S.L. 2005-389, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2007.

(f) Repealed by S.L. 2005-389, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2007.

(g) Nothing in this section shall preclude the independent initiation by a party of proceedings for civil contempt or for income withholding.

50-13.11. Orders and agreements regarding medical support and health insurance coverage for minor children

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) The court may order a parent of a minor child or other responsible party to provide medical support for the child, or the parties may enter into a written agreement regarding medical support for the child. An order or agreement for medical support for the child may require one or both parties to pay the medical, hospital, dental, or other health care related expenses.

(a1) The court shall order the parent of a minor child or other responsible party to maintain health insurance for the benefit of the child when health insurance is available at a reasonable cost. If health insurance is not presently available at a reasonable cost, the court shall order the parent of a minor child or other responsible party to maintain health insurance for the benefit of the child when health insurance becomes available at a reasonable cost. As used in this subsection, health insurance for the benefit of the child is considered reasonable in cost if the coverage for the child is available at a cost to the parent that does not exceed five percent (5%) of the parent's gross income. In applying this standard, the cost is the cost of (i) adding the child to the parent's existing coverage, (ii) child-only coverage, or (iii) if new coverage must be obtained, the difference between the cost of self-only and family coverage. The court may require one or both parties to maintain dental insurance.

(b) The party ordered or under agreement to provide health insurance shall provide written notice of any change in the applicable insurance coverage to the other party.

(c) The employer or insurer of the party required to provide health, hospital, and dental insurance shall release to the other party, upon written request, any information on a minor child's insurance coverage that the employer or insurer may release to the party required to provide health, hospital, and dental insurance.

(d) When a court order or agreement for health insurance is in effect, the signature of either party shall be valid authorization to the insurer to process an insurance claim on behalf of a minor child.

(e) If the party who is required to provide health insurance fails to maintain the insurance coverage for the minor child, the party shall be liable for any health, hospital, or dental expenses incurred from the date of the court order or agreement that would have been covered by insurance if it had been in force.

(f) When a noncustodial parent ordered to provide health insurance changes employment and health insurance coverage is available through the new employer, the obligee shall notify the new employer of the noncustodial parent's obligation to provide health insurance for the child. Upon receipt of notice from the obligee, the new employer shall enroll the child in the employer's health insurance plan.

50-13.12. Forfeiture of licensing privileges for failure to pay child support or for failure to comply with subpoena issued pursuant to child support or paternity establishment proceedings

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) As used in this section, the term:

(1) “Licensing board” means a department, division, agency, officer, board, or other unit of state government that issues hunting, fishing, trapping, drivers, or occupational licenses or licensing privileges.

(2) “Licensing privilege” means the privilege of an individual to be authorized to engage in an activity as evidenced by hunting, fishing, or trapping licenses, regular and commercial drivers licenses, and occupational, professional, and business licenses.

(3) “Obligee” means the individual or agency to whom a duty of support is owed or the individual's legal representative.

(4) “Obligor” means the individual who owes a duty to make child support payments under a court order.

(5) “Occupational license” means a license, certificate, permit, registration, or any other authorization issued by a licensing board that allows an obligor to engage in an occupation or profession.

(b) Upon a finding by the district court judge that the obligor is willfully delinquent in child support payments equal to at least one month's child support, or upon a finding that a person has willfully failed to comply with a subpoena issued pursuant to a child support or paternity establishment proceeding, and upon findings as to any specific licensing privileges held by the obligor or held by the person subject to the subpoena, the court may revoke some or all of such privileges until the obligor shall have paid the delinquent amount in full, or, as applicable, until the person subject to the subpoena has complied with the subpoena. The court may stay any such revocation pertaining to the obligor upon conditions requiring the obligor to make full payment of the delinquency over time. Any such stay shall further be conditioned upon the obligor's maintenance of current child support. The court may stay the revocation pertaining to the person subject to the subpoena upon a finding that the person has complied with or is no longer subject to the subpoena. Upon an order revoking such privileges of an obligor that does not stay the revocation, the clerk of superior court shall notify the appropriate licensing board that the obligor is delinquent in child support payments and that the obligor's licensing privileges are revoked until such time as the licensing board receives proof of certification by the clerk that the obligor is no longer delinquent in child support payments.

Upon an order revoking such privileges of a person subject to the subpoena that does not stay the revocation, the clerk of superior court shall notify the appropriate licensing board that the person has failed to comply with the subpoena issued pursuant to a child support or paternity establishment proceeding and that the person's licensing privileges are revoked until such time as the licensing board receives proof of certification by the clerk that the person is in compliance with or no longer subject to the subpoena.

(c) An obligor may file a request with the clerk of superior court for certification that the obligor is no longer delinquent in child support payments upon submission of proof satisfactory to the clerk that the obligor has paid the delinquent amount in full. A person whose licensing privileges have been revoked under subsection (b) of this section because of a willful failure to comply with a subpoena may file a request with the clerk of superior court for certification that the person has met the requirements of or is no longer subject to the subpoena. The clerk shall provide a form to be used for a request for certification. If the clerk finds that the obligor has met the requirements for reinstatement under this subsection, then the clerk shall certify that the obligor is no longer delinquent and shall provide a copy of the certification to the obligor. Upon request of the obligor, the clerk shall mail a copy of the certification to the appropriate licensing board. If the clerk finds that the person whose licensing privileges have been revoked under subsection (b) of this section for failure to comply with a subpoena has complied with or is no longer subject to the subpoena, then the clerk shall certify that the person has met the requirements of or is no longer subject to the subpoena and shall provide a copy of the certification to the person. Upon request of the person, the clerk shall mail a copy of the certification to the appropriate licensing board.

(d) If licensing privileges are revoked under this section, the obligor may petition the district court for a reinstatement of such privileges. The court may order the privileges reinstated conditioned upon full payment of the delinquency over time. Any order allowing license reinstatement shall additionally require the obligor's maintenance of current child support. If the licensing privileges of a person other than the obligor are revoked under this section for failure to comply with a subpoena, the person may petition the district court for reinstatement of the privileges. The court may order the privileges reinstated if the person has complied with or is no longer subject to the subpoena that was the basis for revocation. Upon reinstatement under this subsection, the clerk of superior court shall certify that the obligor is no longer delinquent and provide a copy of the certification to the obligor. Upon request of the obligor, the clerk shall mail a copy of the certification to the appropriate licensing board. Upon reinstatement of the person whose licensing privileges were revoked based on failure to comply with a subpoena, the clerk of superior court shall certify that the person has complied with or is no longer subject to the subpoena. Upon request of the person whose licensing privileges are reinstated, the clerk shall mail a copy of the certification to the appropriate licensing board.

(e) An obligor or other person whose licensing privileges are reinstated under this section may provide a copy of the certification set forth in either subsection (c) or (d) to each licensing agency to which the obligor or other person applies for reinstatement of licensing privileges. Upon request of the obligor or other person, the clerk shall mail a copy of the certification to the appropriate licensing board. Upon receipt of a copy of the certification, the licensing board shall reinstate the license.

(f) Upon receipt of notification by the clerk that an obligor's or other person's licensing privileges are revoked pursuant to this section, the board shall note the revocation on its records and take all necessary steps to implement and enforce the revocation. These steps shall not include the board's independent revocation process pursuant to Chapter 150B of the General Statutes, the Administrative Procedure Act, which process is replaced by the court process prescribed by this section. The revocation pertaining to an obligor shall remain in full force and effect until the board receives certification under this section that the obligor is no longer delinquent in child support payments. The revocation pertaining to the person whose licensing privileges were revoked on the basis of failure to comply with a subpoena shall remain in full force and effect until the board receives certification of reinstatement under subsection (d) of this section.

Chapter 50A. Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Article 2. Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Part 1. General Provisions

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

50A-102. Definitions

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

In this Article:

(1) “Abandoned” means left without provision for reasonable and necessary care or supervision.

(2) “Child” means an individual who has not attained 18 years of age.

(3) “Child-custody determination” means a judgment, decree, or other order of a court providing for the legal custody, physical custody, or visitation with respect to a child. The term includes a permanent, temporary, initial, and modification order. The term does not include an order relating to child support or other monetary obligation of an individual.

(4) “Child-custody proceeding” means a proceeding in which legal custody, physical custody, or visitation with respect to a child is an issue. The term includes a proceeding for divorce, separation, neglect, abuse, dependency, guardianship, paternity, termination of parental rights, and protection from domestic violence in which the issue may appear. The term does not include a proceeding involving juvenile delinquency, contractual emancipation, or enforcement under Part 3 of this Article.

(5) “Commencement” means the filing of the first pleading in a proceeding.

(6) “Court” means an entity authorized under the law of a state to establish, enforce, or modify a child-custody determination.

(7) “Home state” means the state in which a child lived with a parent or a person acting as a parent for at least six consecutive months immediately before the commencement of a child-custody proceeding. In the case of a child less than six months of age, the term means the state in which the child lived from birth with any of the persons mentioned. A period of temporary absence of any of the mentioned persons is part of the period.

(8) “Initial determination” means the first child-custody determination concerning a particular child.

(9) “Issuing court” means the court that makes a child-custody determination for which enforcement is sought under this Article.

(10) “Issuing state” means the state in which a child-custody determination is made.

(11) “Modification” means a child-custody determination that changes, replaces, supersedes, or is otherwise made after a previous determination concerning the same child, whether or not it is made by the court that made the previous determination.

(12) “Person” means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, government; governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality; public corporation; or any other legal or commercial entity.

(13) “Person acting as a parent” means a person, other than a parent, who:

a. Has physical custody of the child or has had physical custody for a period of six consecutive months, including any temporary absence, within one year immediately before the commencement of a child-custody proceeding; and

b. Has been awarded legal custody by a court or claims a right to legal custody under the law of this State.

(14) “Physical custody” means the physical care and supervision of a child.

(15) “State” means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

(16) “Tribe” means an Indian tribe or band, or Alaskan Native village, which is recognized by federal law or formally acknowledged by a state.

(17) “Warrant” means an order issued by a court authorizing law enforcement officers to take physical custody of a child.

Part 2. Jurisdiction

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

50A-201. Initial child-custody jurisdiction

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) Except as otherwise provided in G.S. 50A-204, a court of this State has jurisdiction to make an initial child-custody determination only if:

(1) This State is the home state of the child on the date of the commencement of the proceeding, or was the home state of the child within six months before the commencement of the proceeding, and the child is absent from this State but a parent or person acting as a parent continues to live in this State;

(2) A court of another state does not have jurisdiction under subdivision (1), or a court of the home state of the child has declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that this State is the more appropriate forum under G.S. 50A-207 or G.S. 50A-208, and:

a. The child and the child's parents, or the child and at least one parent or a person acting as a parent, have a significant connection with this State other than mere physical presence; and

b. Substantial evidence is available in this State concerning the child's care, protection, training, and personal relationships;

(3) All courts having jurisdiction under subdivision (1) or (2) have declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that a court of this State is the more appropriate forum to determine the custody of the child under G.S. 50A-207 or G.S. 50A-208; or

(4) No court of any other state would have jurisdiction under the criteria specified in subdivision (1), (2), or (3).

(b) Subsection (a) is the exclusive jurisdictional basis for making a child-custody determination by a court of this State.

(c) Physical presence of, or personal jurisdiction over, a party or a child is not necessary or sufficient to make a child-custody determination.

50A-204. Temporary emergency jurisdiction

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) A court of this State has temporary emergency jurisdiction if the child is present in this State and the child has been abandoned or it is necessary in an emergency to protect the child because the child, or a sibling or parent of the child, is subjected to or threatened with mistreatment or abuse.

(b) If there is no previous child-custody determination that is entitled to be enforced under this Article and a child-custody proceeding has not been commenced in a court of a state having jurisdiction under G.S. 50A-201 through G.S. 50A-203, a child-custody determination made under this section remains in effect until an order is obtained from a court of a state having jurisdiction under G.S. 50A-201 through G.S. 50A-203. If a child-custody proceeding has not been or is not commenced in a court of a state having jurisdiction under G.S. 50A-201 through G.S. 50A-203, a child-custody determination made under this section becomes a final determination if it so provides, and this State becomes the home state of the child.

(c) If there is a previous child-custody determination that is entitled to be enforced under this Article, or a child-custody proceeding has been commenced in a court of a state having jurisdiction under G.S. 50A-201 through G.S. 50A-203, any order issued by a court of this State under this section must specify in the order a period that the court considers adequate to allow the person seeking an order to obtain an order from the state having jurisdiction under G.S. 50A-201 through G.S. 50A-203. The order issued in this State remains in effect until an order is obtained from the other state within the period specified or the period expires.

(d) A court of this State which has been asked to make a child-custody determination under this section, upon being informed that a child-custody proceeding has been commenced in, or a child-custody determination has been made by, a court of a state having jurisdiction under G.S. 50A-201 through G.S. 50A-203 shall immediately communicate with the other court. A court of this State which is exercising jurisdiction pursuant to G.S. 50A-201 through G.S. 50A-203, upon being informed that a child-custody proceeding has been commenced in, or a child-custody determination has been made by, a court of another state under a statute similar to this section shall immediately communicate with the court of that state to resolve the emergency, protect the safety of the parties and the child, and determine a period for the duration of the temporary order.

50A-207. Inconvenient forum

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) A court of this State which has jurisdiction under this Article to make a child-custody determination may decline to exercise its jurisdiction at any time if it determines that it is an inconvenient forum under the circumstances, and that a court of another state is a more appropriate forum. The issue of inconvenient forum may be raised upon motion of a party, the court's own motion, or request of another court.

(b) Before determining whether it is an inconvenient forum, a court of this State shall consider whether it is appropriate for a court of another state to exercise jurisdiction. For this purpose, the court shall allow the parties to submit information and shall consider all relevant factors, including:

(1) Whether domestic violence has occurred and is likely to continue in the future and which state could best protect the parties and the child;

(2) The length of time the child has resided outside this State;

(3) The distance between the court in this State and the court in the state that would assume jurisdiction;

(4) The relative financial circumstances of the parties;

(5) Any agreement of the parties as to which state should assume jurisdiction;

(6) The nature and location of the evidence required to resolve the pending litigation, including testimony of the child;

(7) The ability of the court of each state to decide the issue expeditiously and the procedures necessary to present the evidence; and

(8) The familiarity of the court of each state with the facts and issues in the pending litigation.

(c) If a court of this State determines that it is an inconvenient forum and that a court of another state is a more appropriate forum, it shall stay the proceedings upon condition that a child-custody proceeding be promptly commenced in another designated state and may impose any other condition the court considers just and proper.

(d) A court of this State may decline to exercise its jurisdiction under this Article if a child-custody determination is incidental to an action for divorce or another proceeding while still retaining jurisdiction over the divorce or other proceeding.

Part 3. Enforcement

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

50A-305. Registration of child-custody determination

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) A child-custody determination issued by a court of another state may be registered in this State, with or without a simultaneous request for enforcement, by sending to the appropriate court in this State:

(1) A letter or other document requesting registration;

(2) Two copies, including one certified copy, of the determination sought to be registered, and a statement under penalty of perjury that to the best of the knowledge and belief of the person seeking registration the order has not been modified; and

(3) Except as otherwise provided in G.S. 50A-209, the name and address of the person seeking registration and any parent or person acting as a parent who has been awarded custody or visitation in the child-custody determination sought to be registered.

(b) On receipt of the documents required by subsection (a), the registering court shall:

(1) Cause the determination to be filed as a foreign judgment, together with one copy of any accompanying documents and information, regardless of their form; and

(2) Direct the petitioner to serve notice upon the persons named pursuant to subdivision (a)(3) of this section, including notice of their opportunity to contest the registration in accordance with this section.

(c) The notice required by subdivision (b)(2) must state that:

(1) A registered determination is enforceable as of the date of the registration in the same manner as a determination issued by a court of this State;

(2) A hearing to contest the validity of the registered determination must be requested within 20 days after service of notice; and

(3) Failure to contest the registration will result in confirmation of the child-custody determination and preclude further contest of that determination with respect to any matter that could have been asserted.

(d) A person seeking to contest the validity of a registered order must request a hearing within 20 days after service of the notice. At that hearing, the court shall confirm the registered order unless the person contesting registration establishes that:

(1) The issuing court did not have jurisdiction under Part 2;

(2) The child-custody determination sought to be registered has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court having jurisdiction to do so under Part 2; or

(3) The person contesting registration was entitled to notice, but notice was not given in accordance with the standards of G.S. 50A-108 in the proceedings before the court that issued the order for which registration is sought.

(e) If a timely request for a hearing to contest the validity of the registration is not made, the registration is confirmed as a matter of law, and the person requesting registration and all persons served must be notified of the confirmation.

(f) Confirmation of a registered order, whether by operation of law or after notice and hearing, precludes further contest of the order with respect to any matter that could have been asserted at the time of registration.

50A-306. Enforcement of registered determination

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) A court of this State may grant any relief normally available under the law of this State to enforce a registered child-custody determination made by a court of another state.

(b) A court of this State shall recognize and enforce, but may not modify, except in accordance with Part 2, a registered child-custody determination of a court of another state.

50A-308. Expedited enforcement of child-custody determination

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) A petition under this Part must be verified. Certified copies of all orders sought to be enforced and of any order confirming registration must be attached to the petition. A copy of a certified copy of an order may be attached instead of the original.

(b) A petition for enforcement of a child-custody determination must state:

(1) Whether the court that issued the determination identified the jurisdictional basis it relied upon in exercising jurisdiction and, if so, what the basis was;

(2) Whether the determination for which enforcement is sought has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court whose decision must be enforced under this Article and, if so, identify the court, the case number, and the nature of the proceeding;

(3) Whether any proceeding has been commenced that could affect the current proceeding, including proceedings relating to domestic violence, protective orders, termination of parental rights, and adoptions and, if so, identify the court, the case number, and the nature of the proceeding;

(4) The present physical address of a child and the respondent, if known;

(5) Whether relief in addition to the immediate physical custody of the child and attorneys' fees is sought, including a request for assistance from law enforcement officials and, if so, the relief sought; and

(6) If the child-custody determination has been registered and confirmed under G.S. 50A-305, the date and place of registration.

(c) Upon the filing of a petition, the court shall issue an order directing the respondent to appear in person with or without the child at a hearing and may enter any order necessary to ensure the safety of the parties and the child. The hearing must be held on the next judicial day after service of the order unless that date is impossible. In that event, the court shall hold the hearing on the first judicial day possible. The court may extend the date of hearing at the request of the petitioner.

(d) An order issued under subsection (c) must state the time and place of the hearing and advise the respondent that at the hearing the court will order that the petitioner may take immediate physical custody of the child and the payment of fees, costs, and expenses under G.S. 50A-312, and may schedule a hearing to determine whether further relief is appropriate, unless the respondent appears and establishes that:

(1) The child-custody determination has not been registered and confirmed under G.S. 50A-305 and that:

a. The issuing court did not have jurisdiction under Part 2;

b. The child-custody determination for which enforcement is sought has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court having jurisdiction to do so under Part 2;

c. The respondent was entitled to notice, but notice was not given in accordance with the standards of G.S. 50A-108 in the proceedings before the court that issued the order for which enforcement is sought; or

(2) The child-custody determination for which enforcement is sought was registered and confirmed under G.S. 50A-304, but has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court of a state having jurisdiction to do so under Part 2.

Chapter 50B. Domestic Violence

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

50B-1. Domestic violence; definition

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) Domestic violence means the commission of one or more of the following acts upon an aggrieved party or upon a minor child residing with or in the custody of the aggrieved party by a person with whom the aggrieved party has or has had a personal relationship, but does not include acts of self-defense:

(1) Attempting to cause bodily injury, or intentionally causing bodily injury; or

(2) Placing the aggrieved party or a member of the aggrieved party's family or household in fear of imminent serious bodily injury or continued harassment, as defined in G.S. 14-277.3A, that rises to such a level as to inflict substantial emotional distress; or

(3) Committing any act defined in G.S. 14-27.21 through G.S. 14-27.33.

(b) For purposes of this section, the term “personal relationship” means a relationship wherein the parties involved:

(1) Are current or former spouses;

(2) Are persons of opposite sex who live together or have lived together;

(3) Are related as parents and children, including others acting in loco parentis to a minor child, or as grandparents and grandchildren. For purposes of this subdivision, an aggrieved party may not obtain an order of protection against a child or grandchild under the age of 16;

(4) Have a child in common;

(5) Are current or former household members;

(6) Are persons of the opposite sex who are in a dating relationship or have been in a dating relationship. For purposes of this subdivision, a dating relationship is one wherein the parties are romantically involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship. A casual acquaintance or ordinary fraternization between persons in a business or social context is not a dating relationship.

(c) As used in this Chapter, the term “protective order” includes any order entered pursuant to this Chapter upon hearing by the court or consent of the parties.

50B-2. Institution of civil action; motion for emergency relief; temporary orders; temporary custody

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) Any person residing in this State may seek relief under this Chapter by filing a civil action or by filing a motion in any existing action filed under Chapter 50 of the General Statutes alleging acts of domestic violence against himself or herself or a minor child who resides with or is in the custody of such person. Any aggrieved party entitled to relief under this Chapter may file a civil action and proceed pro se, without the assistance of legal counsel. The district court division of the General Court of Justice shall have original jurisdiction over actions instituted under this Chapter. Any action for a domestic violence protective order requires that a summons be issued and served. The summons issued pursuant to this Chapter shall require the defendant to answer within 10 days of the date of service. Attachments to the summons shall include the complaint, notice of hearing, any temporary or ex parte order that has been issued, and other papers through the appropriate law enforcement agency where the defendant is to be served. In compliance with the federal Violence Against Women Act,no court costs or attorneys' fees shall be assessed for the filing, issuance, registration, or service of a protective order or petition for a protective order or witness subpoena, except as provided in G.S. 1A-1, Rule 11.

(b) Emergency Relief. -- A party may move the court for emergency relief if he or she believes there is a danger of serious and immediate injury to himself or herself or a minor child. A hearing on a motion for emergency relief, where no ex parte order is entered, shall be held after five days' notice of the hearing to the other party or after five days from the date of service of process on the other party, whichever occurs first, provided, however, that no hearing shall be required if the service of process is not completed on the other party. If the party is proceeding pro se and does not request an ex parte hearing, the clerk shall set a date for hearing and issue a notice of hearing within the time periods provided in this subsection, and shall effect service of the summons, complaint, notice, and other papers through the appropriate law enforcement agency where the defendant is to be served.

(c) Ex Parte Orders.--

(1) Prior to the hearing, if it clearly appears to the court from specific facts shown, that there is a danger of acts of domestic violence against the aggrieved party or a minor child, the court may enter orders as it deems necessary to protect the aggrieved party or minor children from those acts.

(2) A temporary order for custody ex parte and prior to service of process and notice shall not be entered unless the court finds that the child is exposed to a substantial risk of physical or emotional injury or sexual abuse.

(3) If the court finds that the child is exposed to a substantial risk of physical or emotional injury or sexual abuse, upon request of the aggrieved party, the court shall consider and may order the other party to (i) stay away from a minor child, or (ii) return a minor child to, or not remove a minor child from, the physical care of a parent or person in loco parentis, if the court finds that the order is in the best interest of the minor child and is necessary for the safety of the minor child.

(4) If the court determines that it is in the best interest of the minor child for the other party to have contact with the minor child or children, the court shall issue an order designed to protect the safety and well-being of the minor child and the aggrieved party. The order shall specify the terms of contact between the other party and the minor child and may include a specific schedule of time and location of exchange of the minor child, supervision by a third party or supervised visitation center, and any other conditions that will ensure both the well-being of the minor child and the aggrieved party.

(5) Upon the issuance of an ex parte order under this subsection, a hearing shall be held within 10 days from the date of issuance of the order or within seven days from the date of service of process on the other party, whichever occurs later. A continuance shall be limited to one extension of no more than 10 days unless all parties consent or good cause is shown. The hearing shall have priority on the court calendar.

(6) If an aggrieved party acting pro se requests ex parte relief, the clerk of superior court shall schedule an ex parte hearing with the district court division of the General Court of Justice within 72 hours of the filing for said relief, or by the end of the next day on which the district court is in session in the county in which the action was filed, whichever shall first occur. If the district court is not in session in said county, the aggrieved party may contact the clerk of superior court in any other county within the same judicial district who shall schedule an ex parte hearing with the district court division of the General Court of Justice by the end of the next day on which said court division is in session in that county.

(7) Upon the issuance of an ex parte order under this subsection, if the party is proceeding pro se, the Clerk shall set a date for hearing and issue a notice of hearing within the time periods provided in this subsection, and shall effect service of the summons, complaint, notice, order and other papers through the appropriate law enforcement agency where the defendant is to be served.

(c1) Ex Parte Orders by Authorized Magistrate. -- The chief district court judge may authorize a magistrate or magistrates to hear any motions for emergency relief ex parte. Prior to the hearing, if the magistrate determines that at the time the party is seeking emergency relief ex parte the district court is not in session and a district court judge is not and will not be available to hear the motion for a period of four or more hours, the motion may be heard by the magistrate. If it clearly appears to the magistrate from specific facts shown that there is a danger of acts of domestic violence against the aggrieved party or a minor child, the magistrate may enter orders as it deems necessary to protect the aggrieved party or minor children from those acts, except that a temporary order for custody ex parte and prior to service of process and notice shall not be entered unless the magistrate finds that the child is exposed to a substantial risk of physical or emotional injury or sexual abuse. If the magistrate finds that the child is exposed to a substantial risk of physical or emotional injury or sexual abuse, upon request of the aggrieved party, the magistrate shall consider and may order the other party to stay away from a minor child, or to return a minor child to, or not remove a minor child from, the physical care of a parent or person in loco parentis, if the magistrate finds that the order is in the best interest of the minor child and is necessary for the safety of the minor child. If the magistrate determines that it is in the best interest of the minor child for the other party to have contact with the minor child or children, the magistrate shall issue an order designed to protect the safety and well-being of the minor child and the aggrieved party. The order shall specify the terms of contact between the other party and the minor child and may include a specific schedule of time and location of exchange of the minor child, supervision by a third party or supervised visitation center, and any other conditions that will ensure both the well-being of the minor child and the aggrieved party. An ex parte order entered under this subsection shall expire and the magistrate shall schedule an ex parte hearing before a district court judge by the end of the next day on which the district court is in session in the county in which the action was filed. Ex parte orders entered by the district court judge pursuant to this subsection shall be entered and scheduled in accordance with subsection (c) of this section.

(c2) The authority granted to authorized magistrates to award temporary child custody pursuant to subsection (c1) of this section and pursuant to G.S. 50B-3(a)(4) is granted subject to custody rules to be established by the supervising chief district judge of each judicial district.

(d) Pro Se Forms. -- The clerk of superior court of each county shall provide to pro se complainants all forms that are necessary or appropriate to enable them to proceed pro se pursuant to this section. The clerk shall, whenever feasible, provide a private area for complainants to fill out forms and make inquiries. The clerk shall provide a supply of pro se forms to authorized magistrates who shall make the forms available to complainants seeking relief under subsection (c1) of this section.

<Text of (e) eff. Dec. 1, 2015.>

(e) All documents filed, issued, registered, or served in an action under this Chapter relating to an ex parte, emergency, or permanent domestic violence protective order may be filed electronically. Hearings held to consider ex parte relief pursuant to subsection (c) of this section may be held via video conference. Hearings held to consider emergency or permanent relief pursuant to subsections (a) or (b) of this section shall not be held via video conference.

50B-3. Relief

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) If the court, including magistrates as authorized under G.S. 50B-2(c1), finds that an act of domestic violence has occurred, the court shall grant a protective order restraining the defendant from further acts of domestic violence. A protective order may include any of the following types of relief:

(1) Direct a party to refrain from such acts.

(2) Grant to a party possession of the residence or household of the parties and exclude the other party from the residence or household.

(3) Require a party to provide a spouse and his or her children suitable alternate housing.

(4) Award temporary custody of minor children and establish temporary visitation rights pursuant to G.S. 50B-2 if the order is granted ex parte, and pursuant to subsection (a1) of this section if the order is granted after notice or service of process.

(5) Order the eviction of a party from the residence or household and assistance to the victim in returning to it.

(6) Order either party to make payments for the support of a minor child as required by law.

(7) Order either party to make payments for the support of a spouse as required by law.

(8) Provide for possession of personal property of the parties, including the care, custody, and control of any animal owned, possessed, kept, or held as a pet by either party or minor child residing in the household.

(9) Order a party to refrain from doing any or all of the following:

a. Threatening, abusing, or following the other party.

b. Harassing the other party, including by telephone, visiting the home or workplace, or other means.

b1. Cruelly treating or abusing an animal owned, possessed, kept, or held as a pet by either party or minor child residing in the household.

c. Otherwise interfering with the other party.

(10) Award attorney's fees to either party.

(11) Prohibit a party from purchasing a firearm for a time fixed in the order.

(12) Order any party the court finds is responsible for acts of domestic violence to attend and complete an abuser treatment program if the program is approved by the Domestic Violence Commission.

(13) Include any additional prohibitions or requirements the court deems necessary to protect any party or any minor child.

(a1) Upon the request of either party at a hearing after notice or service of process, the court shall consider and may award temporary custody of minor children and establish temporary visitation rights as follows:

(1) In awarding custody or visitation rights, the court shall base its decision on the best interest of the minor child with particular consideration given to the safety of the minor child.

(2) For purposes of determining custody and visitation issues, the court shall consider:

a. Whether the minor child was exposed to a substantial risk of physical or emotional injury or sexual abuse.

b. Whether the minor child was present during acts of domestic violence.

c. Whether a weapon was used or threatened to be used during any act of domestic violence.

d. Whether a party caused or attempted to cause serious bodily injury to the aggrieved party or the minor child.

e. Whether a party placed the aggrieved party or the minor child in reasonable fear of imminent serious bodily injury.

f. Whether a party caused an aggrieved party to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat, or duress.

g. Whether there is a pattern of abuse against an aggrieved party or the minor child.

h. Whether a party has abused or endangered the minor child during visitation.

i. Whether a party has used visitation as an opportunity to abuse or harass the aggrieved party.

j. Whether a party has improperly concealed or detained the minor child.

k. Whether a party has otherwise acted in a manner that is not in the best interest of the minor child.

(3) If the court awards custody, the court shall also consider whether visitation is in the best interest of the minor child. If ordering visitation, the court shall provide for the safety and well-being of the minor child and the safety of the aggrieved party. The court may consider any of the following:

a. Ordering an exchange of the minor child to occur in a protected setting or in the presence of an appropriate third party.

b. Ordering visitation supervised by an appropriate third party, or at a supervised visitation center or other approved agency.

c. Ordering the noncustodial parent to attend and complete, to the satisfaction of the court, an abuser treatment program as a condition of visitation.

d. Ordering either or both parents to abstain from possession or consumption of alcohol or controlled substances during the visitation or for 24 hours preceding an exchange of the minor child.

e. Ordering the noncustodial parent to pay the costs of supervised visitation.

f. Prohibiting overnight visitation.

g. Requiring a bond from the noncustodial parent for the return and safety of the minor child.

h. Ordering an investigation or appointment of a guardian ad litem or attorney for the minor child.

i. Imposing any other condition that is deemed necessary to provide for the safety and well-being of the minor child and the safety of the aggrieved party.

If the court grants visitation, the order shall specify dates and times for the visitation to take place or other specific parameters or conditions that are appropriate. A person, supervised visitation center, or other agency may be approved to supervise visitation after appearing in court or filing an affidavit accepting that responsibility and acknowledging accountability to the court.

(4) A temporary custody order entered pursuant to this Chapter shall be without prejudice and shall be for a fixed period of time not to exceed one year. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the right of the parties to a de novo hearing under Chapter 50 of the General Statutes. Any subsequent custody order entered under Chapter 50 of the General Statutes supersedes a temporary order issued pursuant to this Chapter.

(b) Protective orders entered pursuant to this Chapter shall be for a fixed period of time not to exceed one year. The court may renew a protective order for a fixed period of time not to exceed two years, including an order that previously has been renewed, upon a motion by the aggrieved party filed before the expiration of the current order; provided, however, that a temporary award of custody entered as part of a protective order may not be renewed to extend a temporary award of custody beyond the maximum one-year period. The court may renew a protective order for good cause. The commission of an act as defined in G.S. 50B-1(a) by the defendant after entry of the current order is not required for an order to be renewed. Protective orders entered, including consent orders, shall not be mutual in nature except where both parties file a claim and the court makes detailed findings of fact indicating that both parties acted as aggressors, that neither party acted primarily in self-defense, and that the right of each party to due process is preserved.

(b1) A consent protective order may be entered pursuant to this Chapter without findings of fact and conclusions of law if the parties agree in writing that no findings of fact and conclusions of law will be included in the consent protective order. The consent protective order shall be valid and enforceable and shall have the same force and effect as a protective order entered with findings of fact and conclusions of law.

(b2) Upon the written request of either party at a hearing after notice or service of process, the court may modify any protective order entered pursuant to this Chapter after a finding of good cause.

(c) A copy of any order entered and filed under this Article shall be issued to each party. Law enforcement agencies shall accept receipt of copies of the order issued by the clerk of court by electronic or facsimile transmission for service on defendants. In addition, a copy of the order shall be issued promptly to and retained by the police department of the city of the victim's residence. If the victim does not reside in a city or resides in a city with no police department, copies shall be issued promptly to and retained by the sheriff, and the county police department, if any, of the county in which the victim resides. If the defendant is ordered to stay away from the child's school, a copy of the order shall be delivered promptly by the sheriff to the principal or, in the principal's absence, the assistant principal or the principal's designee of each school named in the order.

(c1) When a protective order issued under this Chapter is filed with the Clerk of Superior Court, the clerk shall provide to the applicant an informational sheet developed by the Administrative Office of the Courts that includes:

(1) Domestic violence agencies and services.

(2) Sexual assault agencies and services.

(3) Victims' compensation services.

(4) Legal aid services.

(5) Address confidentiality services.

(6) An explanation of the plaintiff's right to apply for a permit under G.S. 14-415.15.

(d) The sheriff of the county where a domestic violence order is entered shall provide for prompt entry of the order into the National Crime Information Center registry and shall provide for access of such orders to magistrates on a 24-hour-a-day basis. Modifications, terminations, renewals, and dismissals of the order shall also be promptly entered.

50B-3.1. Surrender and disposal of firearms; violations; exemptions

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) Required Surrender of Firearms. -- Upon issuance of an emergency or ex parte order pursuant to this Chapter, the court shall order the defendant to surrender to the sheriff all firearms, machine guns, ammunition, permits to purchase firearms, and permits to carry concealed firearms that are in the care, custody, possession, ownership, or control of the defendant if the court finds any of the following factors:

(1) The use or threatened use of a deadly weapon by the defendant or a pattern of prior conduct involving the use or threatened use of violence with a firearm against persons.

(2) Threats to seriously injure or kill the aggrieved party or minor child by the defendant.

(3) Threats to commit suicide by the defendant.

(4) Serious injuries inflicted upon the aggrieved party or minor child by the defendant.

(b) Ex Parte or Emergency Hearing. -- The court shall inquire of the plaintiff, at the ex parte or emergency hearing, the presence of, ownership of, or otherwise access to firearms by the defendant, as well as ammunition, permits to purchase firearms, and permits to carry concealed firearms, and include, whenever possible, identifying information regarding the description, number, and location of firearms, ammunition, and permits in the order.

(c) Ten-Day Hearing. -- The court, at the 10-day hearing, shall inquire of the defendant the presence of, ownership of, or otherwise access to firearms by the defendant, as well as ammunition, permits to purchase firearms, and permits to carry concealed firearms, and include, whenever possible, identifying information regarding the description, number, and location of firearms, ammunition, and permits in the order.

(d) Surrender.--Upon service of the order, the defendant shall immediately surrender to the sheriff possession of all firearms, machine guns, ammunition, permits to purchase firearms, and permits to carry concealed firearms that are in the care, custody, possession, ownership, or control of the defendant. In the event that weapons cannot be surrendered at the time the order is served, the defendant shall surrender the firearms, ammunitions, and permits to the sheriff within 24 hours of service at a time and place specified by the sheriff. The sheriff shall store the firearms or contract with a licensed firearms dealer to provide storage.

(1) If the court orders the defendant to surrender firearms, ammunition, and permits, the court shall inform the plaintiff and the defendant of the terms of the protective order and include these terms on the face of the order, including that the defendant is prohibited from possessing, purchasing, or receiving or attempting to possess, purchase, or receive a firearm for so long as the protective order or any successive protective order is in effect. The terms of the order shall include instructions as to how the defendant may request retrieval of any firearms, ammunition, and permits surrendered to the sheriff when the protective order is no longer in effect. The terms shall also include notice of the penalty for violation of G.S. 14-269.8.

(2) The sheriff may charge the defendant a reasonable fee for the storage of any firearms and ammunition taken pursuant to a protective order. The fees are payable to the sheriff. The sheriff shall transmit the proceeds of these fees to the county finance officer. The fees shall be used by the sheriff to pay the costs of administering this section and for other law enforcement purposes. The county shall expend the restricted funds for these purposes only. The sheriff shall not release firearms, ammunition, or permits without a court order granting the release. The defendant must remit all fees owed prior to the authorized return of any firearms, ammunition, or permits. The sheriff shall not incur any civil or criminal liability for alleged damage or deterioration due to storage or transportation of any firearms or ammunition held pursuant to this section.

(e) Retrieval. -- If the court does not enter a protective order when the ex parte or emergency order expires, the defendant may retrieve any weapons surrendered to the sheriff unless the court finds that the defendant is precluded from owning or possessing a firearm pursuant to State or federal law or final disposition of any pending criminal charges committed against the person that is the subject of the current protective order.

(f) Motion for Return. -- The defendant may request the return of any firearms, ammunition, or permits surrendered by filing a motion with the court at the expiration of the current order or final disposition of any pending criminal charges committed against the person that is the subject of the current protective order and not later than 90 days after the expiration of the current order or final disposition of any pending criminal charges committed against the person that is the subject of the current protective order. Upon receipt of the motion, the court shall schedule a hearing and provide written notice to the plaintiff who shall have the right to appear and be heard and to the sheriff who has control of the firearms, ammunition, or permits. The court shall determine whether the defendant is subject to any State or federal law or court order that precludes the defendant from owning or possessing a firearm. The inquiry shall include:

(1) Whether the protective order has been renewed.

(2) Whether the defendant is subject to any other protective orders.

(3) Whether the defendant is disqualified from owning or possessing a firearm pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 922 or any State law.

(4) Whether the defendant has any pending criminal charges, in either State or federal court, committed against the person that is the subject of the current protective order.

The court shall deny the return of firearms, ammunition, or permits if the court finds that the defendant is precluded from owning or possessing a firearm pursuant to State or federal law or if the defendant has any pending criminal charges, in either State or federal court, committed against the person that is the subject of the current protective order until the final disposition of those charges.

(g) Motion for Return by Third-Party Owner. -- A third-party owner of firearms, ammunition, or permits who is otherwise eligible to possess such items may file a motion requesting the return to said third party of any such items in the possession of the sheriff seized as a result of the entry of a domestic violence protective order. The motion must be filed not later than 30 days after the seizure of the items by the sheriff. Upon receipt of the third party's motion, the court shall schedule a hearing and provide written notice to all parties and the sheriff. The court shall order return of the items to the third party unless the court determines that the third party is disqualified from owning or possessing said items pursuant to State or federal law. If the court denies the return of said items to the third party, the items shall be disposed of by the sheriff as provided in subsection (h) of this section.

(h) Disposal of Firearms. -- If the defendant does not file a motion requesting the return of any firearms, ammunition, or permits surrendered within the time period prescribed by this section, if the court determines that the defendant is precluded from regaining possession of any firearms, ammunition, or permits surrendered, or if the defendant or third-party owner fails to remit all fees owed for the storage of the firearms or ammunition within 30 days of the entry of the order granting the return of the firearms, ammunition, or permits, the sheriff who has control of the firearms, ammunition, or permits shall give notice to the defendant, and the sheriff shall apply to the court for an order of disposition of the firearms, ammunition, or permits. The judge, after a hearing, may order the disposition of the firearms, ammunition, or permits in one or more of the ways authorized by law, including subdivision (4), (4b), (5), or (6) of G.S. 14-269.1. If a sale by the sheriff does occur, any proceeds from the sale after deducting any costs associated with the sale, and in accordance with all applicable State and federal law, shall be provided to the defendant, if requested by the defendant by motion made before the hearing or at the hearing and if ordered by the judge.

(i) It is unlawful for any person subject to a protective order prohibiting the possession or purchase of firearms to:

(1) Fail to surrender all firearms, ammunition, permits to purchase firearms, and permits to carry concealed firearms to the sheriff as ordered by the court;

(2) Fail to disclose all information pertaining to the possession of firearms, ammunition, and permits to purchase and permits to carry concealed firearms as requested by the court; or

(3) Provide false information to the court pertaining to any of these items.

(j) Violations.--In accordance with G.S. 14-269.8, it is unlawful for any person to possess, purchase, or receive or attempt to possess, purchase, or receive a firearm, as defined in G.S. 14-409.39(2), machine gun, ammunition, or permits to purchase or carry concealed firearms if ordered by the court for so long as that protective order or any successive protective order entered against that person pursuant to this Chapter is in effect. Any defendant violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class H felony.

(k) Official Use Exemption.--This section shall not prohibit law enforcement officers and members of any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States, not otherwise prohibited under federal law, from possessing or using firearms for official use only.

(l) Nothing in this section is intended to limit the discretion of the court in granting additional relief as provided in other sections of this Chapter.

50B-4. Enforcement of orders

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) A party may file a motion for contempt for violation of any order entered pursuant to this Chapter. This party may file and proceed with that motion pro se, using forms provided by the clerk of superior court or a magistrate authorized under G.S. 50B-2(c1). Upon the filing pro se of a motion for contempt under this subsection, the clerk, or the authorized magistrate, if the facts show clearly that there is danger of acts of domestic violence against the aggrieved party or a minor child and the motion is made at a time when the clerk is not available, shall schedule and issue notice of a show cause hearing with the district court division of the General Court of Justice at the earliest possible date pursuant to G.S. 5A-23. The Clerk, or the magistrate in the case of notice issued by the magistrate pursuant to this subsection, shall effect service of the motion, notice, and other papers through the appropriate law enforcement agency where the defendant is to be served.

(b) Deleted by S.L. 1999-23, § 2, eff. Feb. 1, 2000.

(c) A valid protective order entered pursuant to this Chapter shall be enforced by all North Carolina law enforcement agencies without further order of the court.

(d) A valid protective order entered by the courts of another state or the courts of an Indian tribe shall be accorded full faith and credit by the courts of North Carolina whether or not the order has been registered and shall be enforced by the courts and the law enforcement agencies of North Carolina as if it were an order issued by a North Carolina court. In determining the validity of an out-of-state order for purposes of enforcement, a law enforcement officer may rely upon a copy of the protective order issued by another state or the courts of an Indian tribe that is provided to the officer and on the statement of a person protected by the order that the order remains in effect. Even though registration is not required, a copy of a protective order may be registered in North Carolina by filing with the clerk of superior court in any county a copy of the order and an affidavit by a person protected by the order that to the best of that person's knowledge the order is presently in effect as written. Notice of the registration shall not be given to the defendant. Upon registration of the order, the clerk shall forward a copy to the sheriff of that county for entry into the Division of Criminal Information Network pursuant to G.S. 50B-3(d).

(e) Upon application or motion by a party to the court, the court shall determine whether an out-of-state order remains in full force and effect.

(f) The term “valid protective order,” as used in subsections (c) and (d) of this section, shall include an emergency or ex parte order entered under this Chapter.

(g) Notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 1-294, a valid protective order entered pursuant to this Chapter which has been appealed to the appellate division is enforceable in the trial court during the pendency of the appeal. Upon motion by the aggrieved party, the court of the appellate division in which the appeal is pending may stay an order of the trial court until the appeal is decided, if justice so requires.

50B-4.1. Violation of valid protective order

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) Except as otherwise provided by law, a person who knowingly violates a valid protective order entered pursuant to this Chapter or who knowingly violates a valid protective order entered by the courts of another state or the courts of an Indian tribe shall be guilty of a Class A1 misdemeanor.

(b) A law enforcement officer shall arrest and take a person into custody, with or without a warrant or other process, if the officer has probable cause to believe that the person knowingly has violated a valid protective order excluding the person from the residence or household occupied by a victim of domestic violence or directing the person to refrain from doing any or all of the acts specified in G.S. 50B-3(a)(9).

(c) When a law enforcement officer makes an arrest under this section without a warrant, and the party arrested contests that the out-of-state order or the order issued by an Indian court remains in full force and effect, the party arrested shall be promptly provided with a copy of the information applicable to the party which appears on the National Crime Information Center registry by the sheriff of the county in which the arrest occurs.

(d) Unless covered under some other provision of law providing greater punishment, a person who commits a felony at a time when the person knows the behavior is prohibited by a valid protective order as provided in subsection (a) of this section shall be guilty of a felony one class higher than the principal felony described in the charging document. This subsection shall not apply to convictions of a Class A or B1 felony or to convictions of the offenses set forth in subsection (f) or subsection (g) of this section.

(e) An indictment or information that charges a person with committing felonious conduct as described in subsection (d) of this section shall also allege that the person knowingly violated a valid protective order as described in subsection (a) of this section in the course of the conduct constituting the underlying felony. In order for a person to be punished as described in subsection (d) of this section, a finding shall be made that the person knowingly violated the protective order in the course of conduct constituting the underlying felony.

(f) Unless covered under some other provision of law providing greater punishment, any person who knowingly violates a valid protective order as provided in subsection (a) of this section, after having been previously convicted of two offenses under this Chapter, shall be guilty of a Class H felony.

(g) Unless covered under some other provision of law providing greater punishment, any person who, while in possession of a deadly weapon on or about his or her person or within close proximity to his or her person, knowingly violates a valid protective order as provided in subsection (a) of this section by failing to stay away from a place, or a person, as so directed under the terms of the order, shall be guilty of a Class H felony.

(g1) Unless covered under some other provision of law providing greater punishment, any person who is subject to a valid protective order, as provided in subsection (a) of this section, who enters property operated as a safe house or haven for victims of domestic violence, where a person protected under the order is residing, shall be guilty of a Class H felony. A person violates this subsection regardless of whether the person protected under the order is present on the property.

(h) For the purposes of this section, the term “valid protective order” shall include an emergency or ex parte order entered under this Chapter.

50B-4.2. False statement regarding protective order a misdemeanor

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

A person who knowingly makes a false statement to a law enforcement agency or officer that a protective order entered pursuant to this Chapter or by the courts of another state or Indian tribe remains in effect shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

50B-5. Emergency assistance

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) A person who alleges that he or she or a minor child has been the victim of domestic violence may request the assistance of a local law enforcement agency. The local law enforcement agency shall respond to the request for assistance as soon as practicable. The local law enforcement officer responding to the request for assistance may take whatever steps are reasonably necessary to protect the complainant from harm and may advise the complainant of sources of shelter, medical care, counseling and other services. Upon request by the complainant and where feasible, the law enforcement officer may transport the complainant to appropriate facilities such as hospitals, magistrates' offices, or public or private facilities for shelter and accompany the complainant to his or her residence, within the jurisdiction in which the request for assistance was made, so that the complainant may remove food, clothing, medication and such other personal property as is reasonably necessary to enable the complainant and any minor children who are presently in the care of the complainant to remain elsewhere pending further proceedings.

(b) In providing the assistance authorized by subsection (a), no officer may be held criminally or civilly liable on account of reasonable measures taken under authority of subsection (a).

50B-5.5. Employment discrimination unlawful

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) No employer shall discharge, demote, deny a promotion, or discipline an employee because the employee took reasonable time off from work to obtain or attempt to obtain relief under this Chapter. An employee who is absent from the workplace shall follow the employer's usual time-off policy or procedure, including advance notice to the employer, when required by the employer's usual procedures, unless an emergency prevents the employee from doing so. An employer may require documentation of any emergency that prevented the employee from complying in advance with the employer's usual time-off policy or procedure, or any other information available to the employee which supports the employee's reason for being absent from the workplace.

(b) The Commissioner of Labor shall enforce the provisions of this section according to Article 21 of Chapter 95 of the General Statutes, including the rules and regulations issued pursuant to the Article.

50B-6. Construction of Chapter

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

This Chapter shall not be construed as granting a status to any person for any purpose other than those expressly stated herein. This Chapter shall not be construed as relieving any person or institution of the duty to report to the department of social services, as required by G.S. 7B-301, if the person or institution has cause to suspect that a juvenile is abused or neglected.

50B-7. Remedies not exclusive

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

The remedies provided by this Chapter are not exclusive but are additional to remedies provided under Chapter 50 and elsewhere in the General Statutes.

50B-8. Effect upon prosecution for violation of sec. 14-184 or other offense against public morals

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

The granting of a protective order, prosecution for violation of this Chapter, or the granting of any other relief or the institution of any other enforcement proceedings under this Chapter shall not be construed to afford a defense to any person or persons charged with fornication and adultery under G.S. 14-184 or charged with any other offense against the public morals; and prosecution, conviction, or prosecution and conviction for violation of any provision of this Chapter shall not be a bar to prosecution for violation of G.S. 14-184 or of any other statute defining an offense or offenses against the public morals.

50B-9. Domestic Violence Center Fund

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) The Domestic Violence Center Fund is established within the State Treasury. The fund shall be administered by the Department of Administration, North Carolina Council for Women, and shall be used to make grants to centers for victims of domestic violence and to The North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Inc. This fund shall be administered in accordance with the provisions of the Executive Budget Act. The Department of Administration shall make quarterly grants to each eligible domestic violence center and to The North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Inc. Effective July 1, 2017, and each fiscal year thereafter, the Department of Administration shall send the contracts to grantees within 10 business days of the date the Current Operations Appropriations Act, as defined in G.S. 143C-1-1, is certified for that fiscal year.
(b) Each grant recipient shall receive the same amount. To be eligible to receive funds under this section, a domestic violence center must meet the following requirements:
(1) It shall have been in operation on the preceding July 1 and shall continue to be in operation.
(2) It shall offer all of the following services: a hotline, transportation services, community education programs, daytime services, and call forwarding during the night and it shall fulfill other criteria established by the Department of Administration.
(3) It shall be a nonprofit corporation or a local governmental entity.
(c) The North Carolina Council for Women shall report on the quarterly distributions of the grants from the Domestic Violence Center Fund to the House and Senate chairs of the General Government Appropriations Committee within five business days of distribution. The report shall include the date, amount, and recipients of the fund disbursements. The report shall also include any eligible programs which are ineligible to receive funding during the relative reporting cycle as well as the reason of the ineligibility for that relative reporting cycle.

Chapter 50C. Civil No-Contact Orders

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

50C-1. Definitions

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

The following definitions apply in this Chapter:

(1) Abuse. -- To physically or mentally harm, harass, intimidate, or interfere with the personal liberty of another.

(2) Civil no-contact order. -- An order granted under this Chapter, which includes a remedy authorized by G.S. 50C-5.

(3) Nonconsensual. -- A lack of freely given consent.

(4) Sexual conduct. -- Any intentional or knowing touching, fondling, or sexual penetration by a person, either directly or through clothing, of the sexual organs, anus, or breast of another, whether an adult or a minor, for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal. For purposes of this subdivision, the term shall include the transfer or transmission of semen.

(5) Repealed by Session Laws 2004-199, s. 50, effective August 17, 2004.

(6) Stalking.--On more than one occasion, following or otherwise harassing, as defined in G.S. 14-277.3A(b)(2), another person without legal purpose with the intent to do any of the following:

a. Place the person in reasonable fear either for the person's safety or the safety of the person's immediate family or close personal associates.

b. Cause that person to suffer substantial emotional distress by placing that person in fear of death, bodily injury, or continued harassment and that in fact causes that person substantial emotional distress.

(7) Unlawful conduct. -- The commission of one or more of the following acts by a person 16 years of age or older upon a person, but does not include acts of self-defense or defense of others:

a. Nonconsensual sexual conduct, including single incidences of nonconsensual sexual conduct.

b. Stalking.

(8) Victim. -- A person against whom an act of unlawful conduct has been committed by another person not involved in a personal relationship with the person as defined in G.S. 50B-1(b).

50C-2. Commencement of action; filing fees not permitted; assistance

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) An action is commenced under this Chapter by filing a verified complaint for a civil no-contact order in district court or by filing a motion in any existing civil action, by any of the following:

(1) A person who is a victim of unlawful conduct that occurs in this State.

(2) A competent adult who resides in this State on behalf of a minor child or an incompetent adult who is a victim of unlawful conduct that occurs in this State.

(b) No court costs or attorneys' fees shall be assessed for the filing or service of the complaint, or the service of any orders, except as provided in G.S. 1A-1, Rule 11.

(c) An action commenced under this Chapter may be filed in any county permitted under G.S. 1-82 or where the unlawful conduct took place.

(d) If the victim states that disclosure of the victim's address would place the victim or any member of the victim's family or household at risk for further unlawful conduct, the victim's address may be omitted from all documents filed with the court. If the victim has not disclosed an address under this subsection, the victim shall designate an alternative address to receive notice of any motions or pleadings from the opposing party.

(e) All documents filed, issued, registered, or served in an action under this Chapter relating to an ex parte, emergency, or permanent civil no-contact order may be filed electronically.

50C-3. Process for action for no-contact order

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) Any action for a civil no-contact order requires that a summons be issued and served. The summons issued pursuant to this Chapter shall require the respondent to answer within 10 days of the date of service. Attachments to the summons shall include the complaint for the civil no-contact order, and any temporary civil no-contact order that has been issued and the notice of hearing on the temporary civil no-contact order.

(b) Service of the summons and attachments shall be by the sheriff by personal delivery in accordance with Rule 4 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, and if the respondent cannot with due diligence be served by the sheriff by personal delivery, the respondent may be served by publication by the complainant in accordance with Rule 4(j1) of the Rules of Civil Procedure.

(c) The court may enter a civil no-contact order by default for the remedy sought in the complaint if the respondent has been served in accordance with this section and fails to answer as directed, or fails to appear on any subsequent appearance or hearing date agreed to by the parties or set by the court.

50C-4. Hearsay exception

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

In proceedings for an order or prosecutions for violation of an order under this Chapter, the prior sexual activity or the reputation of the victim is inadmissible except when it would be admissible in a criminal prosecution under G.S. 8C, Rule 412.

50C-5. Civil no-contact order; remedy

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) Upon a finding that the victim has suffered unlawful conduct committed by the respondent, the court may issue temporary or permanent civil no-contact orders as authorized in this Chapter. In determining whether or not to issue a civil no-contact order, the court shall not require physical injury to the victim.

(b) The court may grant one or more of the following forms of relief in its orders under this Chapter:

(1) Order the respondent not to visit, assault, molest, or otherwise interfere with the victim.

(2) Order the respondent to cease stalking the victim, including at the victim's workplace.

(3) Order the respondent to cease harassment of the victim.

(4) Order the respondent not to abuse or injure the victim.

(5) Order the respondent not to contact the victim by telephone, written communication, or electronic means.

(6) Order the respondent to refrain from entering or remaining present at the victim's residence, school, place of employment, or other specified places at times when the victim is present.

(7) Order other relief deemed necessary and appropriate by the court, including assessing attorneys' fees to either party.

(c) A civil no-contact order shall include the following notice, printed in conspicuous type: “A knowing violation of a civil no-contact order shall be punishable as contempt of court which may result in a fine or imprisonment.”

50C-6. Temporary civil no-contact order; court holidays and evenings

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) A temporary civil no-contact order may be granted ex parte, without evidence of service of process or notice, only if both of the following are shown:

(1) It clearly appears from specific facts shown by a verified complaint or affidavit that immediate injury, loss, or damage will result to the victim before the respondent can be heard in opposition.

(2) Either one of the following:

a. The complainant certifies to the court in writing the efforts, if any, that have been made to give the notice and the reasons supporting the claim that notice should not be required.

b. The complainant certified to the court that there is good cause to grant the remedy because the harm that the remedy is intended to prevent would likely occur if the respondent were given any prior notice of the complainant's efforts to obtain judicial relief.

(b) Every temporary civil no-contact order granted without notice shall:

(1) Be endorsed with the date and hour of issuance.

(2) Be filed immediately in the clerk's office and entered of record.

(3) Define the injury, state why it is irreparable and why the order was granted without notice.

(4) Expire by its terms within such time after entry, not to exceed 10 days.

(5) Give notice of the date of hearing on the temporary order as provided in G.S. 50C-8(a).

(c) If the respondent appears in court for a hearing on a temporary order, the respondent may elect to file a general appearance and testify. Any resulting order may be a temporary order, governed by this section. Notwithstanding the requirements of this section, if all requirements of G.S. 50C-7 have been met, the court may issue a permanent order.

(d) When the court is not in session, the complainant may file for a temporary order before any judge or magistrate designated to grant relief under this Chapter. If the judge or magistrate finds that there is an immediate and present danger of harm to the victim and that the requirements of subsection (a) of this section have been met, the judge or magistrate may issue a temporary civil no-contact order. The chief district court judge may designate for each county at least one judge or magistrate to be reasonably available to issue temporary civil no-contact orders when the court is not in session.

(e) Hearings held to consider ex parte relief pursuant to subsection (a) of this section may be held via video conference.

50C-7. Permanent civil no-contact order

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Upon a finding that the victim has suffered an act of unlawful conduct committed by the respondent, a permanent civil no-contact order may issue if the court additionally finds that process was properly served on the respondent, the respondent has answered the complaint and notice of hearing was given, or the respondent is in default. No permanent civil no-contact order shall be issued without notice to the respondent. Hearings held to consider permanent relief pursuant to this section shall not be held via video conference.

50C-8. Duration; extension of orders

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) A temporary civil no-contact order shall be effective for not more than 10 days as the court fixes, unless within the time so fixed the temporary civil no-contact order, for good cause shown, is extended for a like period or a longer period if the respondent consents. The reasons for the extension shall be stated in the temporary order. If a temporary ex parte civil no-contact order:

(1) Is granted without notice and a motion for a permanent civil no-contact order is made, it shall be set down for hearing within 10 days from the date of the motion.

(2) Is denied, the trial on the plaintiff's motion for a civil no-contact order shall be set for hearing within 30 days from the date of the denial.

When the motion for a permanent civil no-contact order comes on for hearing, the complainant may proceed with a motion for a permanent civil no-contact order, and, if the complainant fails to do so, the judge shall dissolve the temporary civil no-contact order. On two days' notice to the complainant or on such shorter notice to that party as the judge may prescribe, the respondent may appear and move its dissolution or modification. In that event the judge shall proceed to hear and determine such motion as expeditiously as the ends of justice require.

(b) A permanent civil no-contact order shall be effective for a fixed period of time not to exceed one year.

(c) Any order may be extended one or more times, as required, provided that the requirements of G.S. 50C-6 or G.S. 50C-7, as appropriate, are satisfied. The court may renew an order, including an order that previously has been renewed, upon a motion by the complainant filed before the expiration of the current order. The court may renew the order for good cause. The commission of an act of unlawful conduct by the respondent after entry of the current order is not required for an order to be renewed. If the motion for extension is uncontested and the complainant seeks no modification of the order, the order may be extended if the complainant's motion or affidavit states that there has been no material change in relevant circumstances since entry of the order and states the reason for the requested extension. Extensions may be granted only in open court and not under the provisions of G.S. 50C-6(d).

(d) Any civil no-contact order expiring on a day the court is not open for business shall expire at the close of the next court business day.

50C-9. Notice of orders

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) The clerk of court shall deliver on the same day that a civil no-contact order is issued, a certified copy of that order to the sheriff.

(b) If the respondent was not present in court when the order was issued, the respondent may be served in the manner provided for service of process in civil proceedings in accordance with Rule 4(j) of the Rules of Civil Procedure. If the summons has not yet been served upon the respondent, it shall be served with the order. Law enforcement agencies shall accept receipt of copies of the order issued by the clerk of court by electronic or facsimile transmission for service on defendants.

(c) A copy of the order shall be issued promptly to and retained by the police department of the municipality of the victim's residence. If the victim's residence is not located in a municipality or in a municipality with no police department, copies shall be issued promptly to and retained by the sheriff and the county police department, if any, of the county in which the victim's residence is located.

(d) Any order extending, modifying, or revoking any civil no-contact order shall be promptly delivered to the sheriff by the clerk and served in a manner provided for service of process in accordance with the provisions of this section.

50C-10. Violation

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

A knowing violation of an order entered pursuant to this Chapter is punishable by civil or criminal contempt as provided in Chapter 5A of the General Statutes.

50C-11. Remedies not exclusive

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

The remedies provided by this Chapter are not exclusive but are additional to other remedies provided under law.

Chapter 50D. Permanent Civil No–Contact Order Against Sex Offender On Behalf of Crime Victim

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

50D-1. Definitions

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

The following definitions apply in this Chapter:

(1) Permanent civil no-contact order.--A permanent injunction that prohibits any contact by a respondent with the victim of a sex offense for which the respondent is convicted.

(2) Respondent.--The person who committed the sex offense.

(3) Sex offense.--Any criminal offense that requires registration under Article 27A of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes.

(4) Victim.--The person against whom the sex offense was committed.

50D-2. Commencement of action; filing fees not permitted; assistance

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) An action is commenced under this Chapter by filing a verified complaint for a permanent civil no-contact order in district court or by filing a motion in any existing civil action, by any of the following:

(1) A person who is the victim of a sex offense that occurs in this State.

(2) A competent adult who resides in this State on behalf of a minor child who is the victim of a sex offense that occurs in this State.

(3) A competent adult who resides in this State on behalf of an incompetent adult who is the victim of a sex offense that occurs in this State.

(b) No court costs or attorneys' fees shall be assessed for the filing or service of the complaint, or the service of any orders, except as provided in G.S. 1A-1, Rule 11.

(c) An action commenced under this Chapter may be filed in any county permitted under G.S. 1-82 or where the respondent was convicted of the sex offense.

(d) If the victim states that disclosure of the victim's address would place the victim or any member of the victim's family or household at risk for further unlawful conduct, the victim's address may be omitted from all documents filed with the court. If the victim has not disclosed an address under this subsection, the victim shall designate an alternative address to receive notice of any motions or pleadings from the opposing party.

50D-3. Process for action for permanent civil no-contact order

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) Any action for a permanent civil no-contact order requires that a summons be issued and served. The summons issued pursuant to this Chapter shall require the respondent to answer within 10 days of the date of service. Attachments to the summons shall include the complaint for the permanent civil no-contact order.

(b) Service of the summons and attachments shall be by the sheriff by personal delivery in accordance with Rule 4 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, and if the respondent cannot with due diligence be served by the sheriff by personal delivery, the respondent may be served by publication by the complainant in accordance with Rule 4(j1) of the Rules of Civil Procedure.

(c) The court may enter a permanent civil no-contact order by default for the remedy sought in the complaint if the respondent has been served in accordance with this section and fails to answer as directed, or fails to appear on any subsequent appearance or hearing date agreed to by the parties or set by the court.

50D-4. Hearsay exception

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

In proceedings for an order or prosecutions for violation of an order under this Chapter, the prior sexual activity or the reputation of the victim is inadmissible except when it would be admissible in a criminal prosecution under G.S. 8C, Rule 412.

50D-5. Remedy

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) If the court finds all of the following, the court may issue a permanent civil no-contact order:

(1) The respondent was convicted of committing a sex offense against the victim.

(2) The victim did not seek a permanent no-contact order under G.S. 15A-1340.50.

(3) Reasonable grounds exist for the victim to fear future contact with the respondent.

(4) Process was properly served on the respondent.

(5) The respondent answered the complaint and notice of hearing was given or the respondent failed to answer the complaint and is in default.

(b) The court may grant one or more of the following forms of relief in a permanent civil no-contact order under this Chapter:

(1) Order the respondent not to threaten, visit, assault, molest, or otherwise interfere with the victim.

(2) Order the respondent not to follow the victim, including at the victim's workplace.

(3) Order the respondent not to harass the victim.

(4) Order the respondent not to abuse or injure the victim.

(5) Order the respondent not to contact the victim by telephone, written communication, or electronic means.

(6) Order the respondent to refrain from entering or remaining present at the victim's residence, school, place of employment, or other specified places at times when the victim is present.

(7) Order other relief deemed necessary and appropriate by the court.

(c) No permanent civil no-contact order shall be issued under this Chapter without notice to the respondent.

50D-6. Duration

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

A permanent civil no-contact order issued pursuant to this Chapter remains effective for the lifetime of the respondent.

50D-7. Notice of orders

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) The clerk of court shall deliver, on the same day that a permanent civil no-contact order is issued, a certified copy of that order to the sheriff.

(b) If the respondent was not present in court when the order was issued, the respondent may be served in the manner provided for service of process in civil proceedings in accordance with Rule 4(j) of the Rules of Civil Procedure. If the summons has not yet been served upon the respondent, it shall be served with the order.

(c) A copy of the order shall be issued promptly to and retained by the police department of the municipality of the victim's residence. If the victim's residence is not located in a municipality or is located in a municipality with no police department, copies shall be issued promptly to and retained by the sheriff and the county police department, if any, of the county in which the victim's residence is located.

(d) Any order modifying or revoking any permanent civil no-contact order shall be promptly delivered to the sheriff by the clerk of court and served in a manner provided for service of process in accordance with the provisions of this section.

50D-8. Enforcement

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

A victim may file a motion for contempt for violation of an order entered pursuant to this Chapter.

50D-9. Rescission

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

At any time after the issuance of the order, the victim may make a motion to rescind the permanent no-contact order. If the court determines that reasonable grounds for the victim to fear any future contact with the respondent no longer exist, the court may rescind the permanent no-contact order.

50D-10. Violation

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) A person who knowingly violates an order entered pursuant to this Chapter is guilty of a Class A1 misdemeanor.

(b) A permanent civil no-contact order entered pursuant to this Chapter shall be enforced by all North Carolina law enforcement agencies without further order of the court. A law enforcement officer shall arrest and take a person into custody, with or without a warrant or other process, if the officer has probable cause to believe that the person knowingly has violated a permanent civil no-contact order.

50D-11. Remedies not exclusive

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

The remedies provided by this Chapter are not exclusive but are additional to other remedies provided under law.

Chapter 51. Marriage

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Article 1. General Provisions

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

51-3. Want of capacity; void and voidable marriages

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

All marriages between any two persons nearer of kin than first cousins, or between double first cousins, or between a male person under 16 years of age and any female, or between a female person under 16 years of age and any male, or between persons either of whom has a husband or wife living at the time of such marriage, or between persons either of whom is at the time physically impotent, or between persons either of whom is at the time incapable of contracting from want of will or understanding, shall be void. No marriage followed by cohabitation and the birth of issue shall be declared void after the death of either of the parties for any of the causes stated in this section except for bigamy. No marriage by persons either of whom may be under 16 years of age, and otherwise competent to marry, shall be declared void when the girl shall be pregnant, or when a child shall have been born to the parties unless such child at the time of the action to annul shall be dead. A marriage contracted under a representation and belief that the female partner to the marriage is pregnant, followed by the separation of the parties within 45 days of the marriage which separation has been continuous for a period of one year, shall be voidable unless a child shall have been born to the parties within 10 lunar months of the date of separation.

Chapter 52C. Uniform Interstate Family Support Act

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Article 3. Civil Provisions of General Application

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

52C-3-307. Duties of support enforcement agency

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) A support enforcement agency of this State, upon request, shall provide services to a petitioner in a proceeding under this Chapter.

(b) A support enforcement agency that is providing services to the petitioner as appropriate shall:

(1) Take all steps necessary to enable an appropriate tribunal in this State or another state to obtain jurisdiction over the respondent;

(2) Request an appropriate tribunal to set a date, time, and place for a hearing;

(3) Make a reasonable effort to obtain all relevant information, including information as to income and property of the parties;

(4) Within two days, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, after receipt of a written notice from an initiating, responding, or registering tribunal, send a copy of the notice to the petitioner;

(5) Within two days, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, after receipt of a written communication from the respondent or the respondent's attorney, send a copy of the communication to the petitioner; and

(6) Notify the petitioner if jurisdiction over the respondent cannot be obtained.

(c) This Chapter does not create or negate a relationship of attorney and client or other fiduciary relationship between a support enforcement agency or the attorney for the agency and the individual being assisted by the agency.

52C-3-308. Duty of Department

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) If the Department determines that the support enforcement agency is neglecting or refusing to provide services to an individual, the Department may order the agency to perform its duties under this Chapter or may provide those services directly to the individual.

(b) The Department may determine that a foreign country has established a reciprocal arrangement for child support with this State and take appropriate action for notification of the determination

52C-3-308.1. Private counsel

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

An individual may employ private counsel to represent the individual in proceedings authorized by this Chapter.

52C-3-311. Nondisclosure of information in exceptional circumstances

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Upon a finding, which may be made ex parte, that the health, safety, or liberty of a party or child would be unreasonably put at risk by the disclosure of identifying information, or if an existing order so provides, a tribunal shall order that the address of the child or party or other identifying information not be disclosed in a pleading or other document filed in a proceeding under this Chapter.

52C-3-312. Costs and fees

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) The petitioner shall not be required to pay a filing fee or other costs.

(b) If an obligee prevails, a responding tribunal may assess against an obligor filing fees, reasonable attorneys' fees, other costs, and necessary travel and other reasonable expenses incurred by the obligee and the obligee's witnesses. The tribunal may not assess fees, costs, or expenses against the obligee or the support enforcement agency of either the initiating or the responding state, except as provided by other law. Attorneys' fees may be taxed as costs, and may be ordered paid directly to the attorney, who may enforce the order in the attorney's own name. Payment of support owed to the obligee has priority over fees, costs, and expenses.

(c) The tribunal shall order the payment of costs and reasonable attorneys' fees if it determines that a hearing was requested primarily for delay. In a proceeding under Article 6 of this Chapter, a hearing is presumed to have been requested primarily for delay if a registered support order is confirmed or enforced without change.

Article 5. Enforcement of Order of Another State Without Registration

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

52C-5-507. Administrative enforcement of orders

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) A party seeking to enforce a support order or an income-withholding order, or both, issued by a tribunal of another state may send the documents required for registering the order to a support enforcement agency of this State.

(b) Upon receipt of the documents, the support enforcement agency, without initially seeking to register the order, shall consider and, if appropriate, use any administrative procedure authorized by the law of this State to enforce a support order or an income-withholding order, or both. If the obligor does not contest administrative enforcement, the order need not be registered. If the obligor contests the validity or administrative enforcement of the order, the support enforcement agency shall register the order pursuant to this Chapter.

Article 6. Enforcement and Modification of Support Order After Registration

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Part 1. Registration and Enforcement of Support Order

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

52C-6-602. Procedure to register order for enforcement

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) A support order or income-withholding order of another state may be registered in this State by sending the following documents and information to the tribunal for the county in which the obligor resides in this State:

(1) A letter of transmittal to the tribunal requesting registration and enforcement;

(2) Two copies, including one certified copy, of all orders to be registered, including any modification of an order;

(3) A sworn statement by the party seeking registration or a certified statement by the custodian of the records showing the amount of any arrearage;

(4) The name of the obligor and, if known:

a. The obligor's address and social security number;

b. The name and address of the obligor's employer and another other source of income of the obligor; and

c. A description and the location of property of the obligor in this State not exempt from execution; and

(5) The name and address of the obligee and, if applicable, the agency or person to whom support payments are to be remitted.

(b) On receipt of a request for registration, the registering tribunal shall cause the order to be filed as a foreign order, together with one copy of the documents and information, regardless of their form.

(c) A petition or comparable pleading seeking a remedy that must be affirmatively sought under other law of this State may be filed at the same time as the request for registration or later. The pleading must specify the grounds for the remedy sought.

Part 3. Registration and Modification of Child Support Order

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

52C-6-611. Modification of child support order of another state

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) After a child support order issued in another state has been registered in this State, the responding tribunal of this State may modify that order only if G.S. 52C-6-613 does not apply and after notice and hearing it finds that:

(1) The following requirements are met:

a. The child, the individual obligee, and the obligor do not reside in the issuing state;

b. A petitioner who is a nonresident of this State seeks modification; and

c. The respondent is subject to the personal jurisdiction of the tribunal of this State; or

(2) The child, or a party who is an individual, is subject to the personal jurisdiction of the tribunal of this State and all of the parties who are individuals have filed a written consent in the issuing tribunal for a tribunal of this State to modify the support order and assume continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over the order. However, if the issuing state is a foreign jurisdiction that has not enacted a law or established procedures substantially similar to the procedures under this act, the consent otherwise required of an individual residing in this State is not required for the tribunal to assume jurisdiction to modify the child support order.

(b) Modification of a registered child support order is subject to the same requirements, procedures, and defenses that apply to the modification of an order issued by a tribunal of this State, and the order may be enforced and satisfied in the same manner.

(c) A tribunal of this State may not modify any aspect of a child support order that may not be modified under the law of the issuing state. If two or more tribunals have issued child support orders for the same obligor and child, the order that controls and must be so recognized under G.S. 52C-2-207 establishes the aspects of the support order which are nonmodifiable.

(d) On issuance of an order modifying a child support order issued in another state, a tribunal of this State becomes the tribunal of continuing, exclusive jurisdiction.

(e) Repealed by S.L. 1997-443, § 10.12, effective Oct. 1, 1997.

Chapter 110. Child Welfare

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

Article 9. Child Support

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

110-130.1. Non-Work First services

Updated: 
November 27, 2017

(a) All child support collection and paternity determination services provided under this Article to recipients of public assistance shall be made available to any individual not receiving public assistance in accordance with federal law and as contractually authorized by the nonrecipient, upon proper application and payment of a nonrefundable application fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.00). The fee shall be reduced to ten dollars ($10.00) if the individual applying for the services is indigent. An indigent individual is an individual whose gross income does not exceed one hundred percent (100%) of the federal poverty guidelines issued each year in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “gross income” has the same meaning as defined in G.S. 105-134.1.

In the case of an individual who has never received assistance under a State program funded pursuant to Title IV-A of the Social Security Act1 and for whom the State has collected and disbursed to the family in a federal fiscal year at least five hundred dollars ($500.00) of support, the State shall impose an annual fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for each case in which services are furnished. The child support agency shall retain the fee from support collected on behalf of the individual. However, the child support agency shall not retain the fee from the first five hundred dollars ($500.00) collected. The child support agency shall use the fee to support the ongoing operation of the program.

(b) Repealed by Laws 1989, c. 490.

(b1) In cases in which a public assistance debt which accrued pursuant to G.S. 110-135 remains unrecovered, support payments shall be transmitted to the Department of Health and Human Services for appropriate distribution. When services are terminated and all costs and any public assistance debts have been satisfied, the support payment shall be redirected to the client.

(c) Actions or proceedings to establish, enforce, or modify a duty of support or establish paternity as initiated under this Article shall be brought in the name of the county or State agency on behalf of the public assistance recipient or nonrecipient client. Collateral disputes between a custodial parent and noncustodial parent, involving visitation, custody and similar issues, shall be considered only in separate proceedings from actions initiated under this Article. The attorney representing the designated representative of programs under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act shall be deemed attorney of record only for proceedings under this Article, and not for the separate proceedings. No attorney/client relationship shall be considered to have been created between the attorney who represents the child support enforcement agency and any person by virtue of the action of the attorney in providing the services required.

(c1) The Department is hereby authorized to use the electronic and print media in attempting to locate absent and deserting parents. Due diligence must be taken to ensure that the information used is accurate or has been verified. Print media shall be under no obligation or duty, except that of good faith, to anyone to verify the correctness of any information furnished to it by the Department or county departments of social services.

(d) Any fee imposed by the North Carolina Department of Revenue or the Secretary of the Treasury to cover their costs of withholding for non-Work First arrearages certified for the collection of past due support from State or federal income tax refunds or administrative offsets, as defined by 31 C.F.R. § 285.1(a), shall be borne by the client by deducting the fee from the amount collected.

Any income tax refund offset amounts or administrative offsets, as defined by 31 C.F.R. § 285.1(a), which are subsequently determined to have been incorrectly withheld and distributed to a client, and which must be refunded by the State to a responsible parent or the nondebtor spouse, shall constitute a debt to the State owed by the client.