In 2015, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted N.C.G.S. Chapter 50D into law. Chapter 50D allows victims of sexual assault to obtain a permanent civil no contact order against their assailant which lasts for the life of the assailant.
There are some limitations. To begin with, the statute only applies to respondents who have been convicted of a criminal offense in North Carolina which requires he or she register as a sex offender. Additionally, the crime must have occurred in North Carolina. Lastly, the plaintiff seeking the permanent civil no contact order must have been the victim of the sexual assault crime for which the respondent was found guilty. Although, if the victim is a minor or an incompetent adult, an adult who resides in North Carolina by initiate the action on behalf of the victim.
Like a Chapter 50B action, it is free to file a complaint under Chapter 50D. Also similar to a 50B, a person who knowingly violates an order is guilty of a class A1 misdemeanor. Lastly, the statute offers the additional protection of allowing officers to arrest the respondent without a warrant if the officer believe there is probable cause he or she has violated the order.
According to the statute, the court must find the following in order to 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.
In awarding the order, the court may order the respondent:
1. Not to threaten, visit, assault, molest, or otherwise interfere with the victim;
2. Not to follow the victim, including at the victim’s workplace;
3. Not to harass the victim;
4. Not to abuse or injure the victim;
5. Not to contact the victim by telephone, written communication, or electronic means;
6. 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; and
7. Other relief deemed necessary and appropriate by the court.
If you would like to know more about your legal rights under this statute, contact a knowledgeable North Carolina attorney today.
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