Stalking and Civil No-Contact Orders
A Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO) can only be issued when the parties involved have had a present or past relationship with each other. However, harassment can occur between unrelated persons, such as a spouse and the new girlfriend or boyfriend of the other spouse. In those situations, a person can obtain a Civil No Contact Order, also known as a 50C. Like a DVPO, a Civil No Contact Order is a civil action, which means that the abusive party will not have a criminal record. However, the party can be arrested for any violations of the order.
The process to obtain a 50C is similar to the 50b process and involves filing a Complaint with the Court. The form for filing a complaint under 50C is AOC-CV-520 through 524. Please note that a 50C is specific to one person and you cannot bring an action in your name if the Defendant’s actions have not been towards you, but towards a family member. A person must show the court that he/she has been stalked or otherwise harassed on more than one occasion by someone with the intent to be placed in reasonable fear for his/her safety or to suffer substantial emotional distress. Harassment includes non-consensual sexual conduct (one act is sufficient) and actions over the telephone, including cell phones. Although the North Carolina courts recognize cyber-stalking as a form of harassment under this statute, without proof of intent to cause fear or substantial emotional distress, a person cannot obtain a 50C Order for such acts.
While a 50C action is a civil action, many times such conduct is criminal in nature. If you are in fear of repeated conduct as set out in the statute for 50C, make sure you are safe and consider if you need to bring the conduct to the attention of the police. If you are unsure, we urge you to contact a domestic violence organization such as Interact in Wake County (Raleigh). No one should have to live in fear of repeated offensive conduct.