Orders of Protection
Commonly referred to as protective orders or restraining orders.
People who are experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking are eligible for Civil Protective Orders. These protective orders prohibit people from having contact with an individual at their home, workplace, school, and other frequently visited places. They also stipulate the required distance when individuals cross paths, as well as other factors, such as: whether or not a person can own a firearm, custody of children, division of property, etc. Orders of Protection are for people who feel that their safety is in danger. Orders are enforced by the police department, which means that you need to call the police in order for the violation to be documented and addressed by the police. If a person violates the order, they can receive a criminal charge.
50 B: Domestic Violence
You are eligible for a 50B, if the person you want protection from is:
- A current or former spouse
- Domestic partners of the opposite sex who are not married but live together or have lived together
- Someone you have a child in common with
- A child, parent, grandparent, grandchild
- A current or former household member (roommate)
- A current or former dating partner of the opposite sex
50 C: Sexual Assault and Stalking
You are eligible for a 50C if the person you want protection from is:
- A stranger or acquaintance
- A distant relative (uncle, cousin, etc.)
- A less serious dating partner
- A same sex dating partner who do not/did not live with
- A co-worker, teacher, classmate, etc.
How do I obtain an order of protection?
Call the director of the RISE Project, for more detailed information and to receive support in the process. The basic outline is below:
- Go to the courthouse in downtown Asheville. First time Protective Order Cases are only heard first thing in the morning and first thing after lunch. If you go at any other time, they won’t hear your case, unless you can prove you are in imminent danger.
- Go to the Clerk of Court’s Office on the First Floor (not the ground floor) and request the paperwork for a 50B or 50C, depending on what you are eligible for).
- Complete the paperwork with as much detail as possible. On most days, there will be an advocate from Helpmate walking around & that person can answer your questions.
- Once you turn the paperwork in, you will be required to swear it is the truth with the Notary.
- You will wait until someone, mostly likely the Helpmate advocate, says it is time to go upstairs. You will travel to the 4th floor, which is where Orders of Protection are heard.
- Most, though not all, of the time, when you first apply for the order, the Judge will talk with you in Chambers. Sometimes, it does happen in the courtroom. At this time, the judge will question you and you will provide as much detailed information as possible. Most often, the Judge grants people’s request for an Emergency Order (called an Ex Parte). The Emergency Order is good for 10 days, during which time the person you filed the order against will be served.
- If you are granted the Protective Order, you will need to return to court in ten days for a hearing. The person you filed the order against will also be in court. If they agree to the order, then the judge will determine the stipulations based on your input. If they contest it (don’t agree to it), then both of you will have to testify. You can also call witnesses at this time. From here, there are many different ways this can go: order is granted for one year, order is denied, case is continued (for a number of reasons such as witnesses not available).
*Note: It is important that you show up for court and are on time. If not, they will dismiss your case.
*Also, this process is easier, but not easy, if you have folks present to support you and sit with you in court. The director of the RISE Project would be glad to drive with you to court and be present throughout the process.