North Carolina Temporary Restraining Order & Preliminary Injunction Laws

Cases of domestic violence in North Carolina can often take months to reach a verdict, even in cases where there is an urgent need to file protective orders for certain victims who are in dangerous and life-threatening circumstances. However, there are a number of ways for individuals to obtain temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions in North Carolina, also referred to as injunctive relief.

These orders provide a way for North Carolina residents to protect themselves and their personal property until they are able to complete their domestic violence case. To learn more about preliminary injunctions and temporary restraining orders, whether as a plaintiff or defendant, the office of King Law in North Carolina can answer your questions and ensure that both you and your rights are protected.

When Are Restraining Orders Issued in North Carolina?

Reports from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) show that 43.9% of women living in North Carolina and 19.3% of men experience some form of intimate partner abuse such as physical violence, sexual violence, and/or stalking in their lifetimes. For cases that involve a victim’s safety, courts are prepared to issue protective orders such as restraining orders or preliminary injunctions. These orders typically last for one year, but a victim may request an extension of an additional two years.

To obtain one of these protective legal documents, the victim must have experienced certain threats from their abuser. These threats may include:

  • Physical harm or an attempt at it
  • Being placed in imminent serious bodily injury
  • Continued harassment that causes emotional distress for the victim
  • Sexual assault

North Carolina offers help to threatened individuals through Domestic Violence Service Providers, which are available in each county. Depending on the county, some victims have the opportunity to file for their protective order from one of the service agencies and communicate with a legal professional through video conferencing instead of in court. In most North Carolina counties, victims must visit their clerk of court’s office at their local courthouse to fill out the necessary protective paperwork.

What is a Protective Order?

Many people know protective orders by their more common name  “restraining orders.” These are legally restrictive orders that aim to protect victims of stalking, harassment, abuse, and other forms of violence. When a protective order is filed in North Carolina, the aggrieved party obtains legal protection for one year. After this time, the threatened individual can choose to renew the protective order for an additional year.

If a person chooses to violate the terms of their restraining order by pursuing, threatening, harassing, or interacting with their victim against their will, the abusive plaintiff will be charged with a Class A1 misdemeanor. In the state of North Carolina, Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

What is a Temporary Restraining Order in North Carolina?

Victims of domestic abuse or violence living in North Carolina can file for a temporary restraining order during their family law case. This is known as an “ex parte temporary protective order,” which is designed to protect the victim from further harm or harassment. In many circumstances that involve violent or abusive relationships, victims are not seeking imprisonment for their abusers, or compensation for the damage they have done, but rather a form of protection from them. Many cases of temporary restraining orders involve the safety of a child or a minor still in their parent’s custody. These are referred to as Domestic Violence Protective Orders (DVPO).

DVPO protection can be renewed after one year but, unlike a standard protective order, it can be renewed multiple times if the court finds that there is good cause to do so. If the threatened individual has continued to experience instances of harassment, a court will be more likely to agree to the extension of their protective order. Any person who violates a DVPO can face a Class A1 misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the actions taken by the defendant when they acted against the protective order.

What are Preliminary Injunctions?

For cases of domestic abuse or domestic violence in North Carolina, a preliminary injunction is one that is granted either before or during the trial to maintain the “status quo” before a court passes its final judgment. These injunctions last until further order of the court, which is often used as a way to protect plaintiffs during legal proceedings.

For a preliminary injunction to be granted for a victim, the plaintiff must prove that they would suffer irreparable harm unless the court orders the injunction. Judges weigh the public and private interests of each party, as well as the amount of damage that a person would suffer if they did not have a preliminary injunction in place to protect them from the defendant, before making their decision on whether or not to grant it.

Both parties may appeal to the judge based on whether or not they choose to move forward with a preliminary injunction. This means that, if you are currently facing a potential injunction against you, there is a possibility of fighting against it. Regardless of your position in the protective order case, you will need the help of a trusted legal professional on your side to ensure that your rights are secured.

Contact Our Temporary Restraining Order Lawyers in North Carolina

When you need to file for a protective order to ensure your own safety, you want a temporary restraining order attorney on your side who can help you every step of the way. Here at King Law, we are proud to serve clients all over North Carolina and work with them to ensure their protection while they take action against domestic violence. Our community involvement and passionate approach to legal representation have made us one of the most trusted award-winning law firms in the state.

To get started on your case today, call the office of King Law at (888) 748-5464 or fill out our contact form here to schedule a consultation with one of our renowned North Carolina domestic violence attorneys.