A 50C is a civil no contact restraining order in NC that protects victims of stalking or nonconsensual sexual conduct. The North Carolina legislature created the 50C in 2004 to allow victims to seek protection similar to that of a 50B Domestic Violence Protective Order (“DVPO”) for those not in a familial or dating relationship with the defendant, as required by a DVPO. A typical 50B is taken out against a spouse or boyfriend whereas a typical 50C is taken out against a neighbor or co-worker. Another important distinction is that violation of a 50C does not subject a defendant to immediate arrest like a 50B. That being said violation can lead to a finding of contempt of Court that may eventually result in incarceration.
A 50C is generally granted on a temporary basis (usually 10 days or less) until the defendant is noticed for a full hearing at which time the Order may be extended for up to a year. At the full hearing the Plaintiff is required to testify why they are seeking a restraining order and present any evidence and/or call witnesses as to the unlawful conduct of the defendant. At this hearing, the defendant has the right to confront and question his or her accuser and call any witnesses or present evidence to show why an Order of protection should not be granted.
For a plaintiff/victim to qualify for a 50C:
Stalking has been defined by statute as on more than one occasion, following or otherwise harassing, another person without legal purpose with the intent to do any of the following:
Stalking may even include cyber-stalking as well. It is important to realize that a 50C is simply a civil restraining Order and does not constitute criminal charges and the right to a Court appointed lawyer for defense or the district attorney for prosecution. You will have to represent yourself in Court unless you elect to hire private counsel to attend the hearing with you. The forms to obtain a 50C are provided below if you feel you qualify and believe a Court Order would stop the unlawful conduct. Be aware you may also be entitled to seek criminal charges in addition to a 50C, but that would require you to contact the police or magistrate. If you are a defendant who has been served with a 50C you should strongly consider seeking legal counsel to protect your reputation as any Order of protection against you would be in the public record and could pose long term risks related to employment.
50C Restraining Order Complaint: