On July 3, 2013, Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law a revision to the language of North Carolina General Statute 50B-3. The change to the statute, which will go into effect on October 1, 2013, removes a requirement created by the Kenton v. Kenton case; the Court could not enforce consent Domestic Violence Orders of Protection that had no Findings of Fact or Conclusions of Law. Many domestic violence cases are settled prior to trial if both parties consent to the entry of a Domestic Violence Order of Protection without specific findings of fact. Leaving out specific findings of fact can be particularly appealing to defendants who have criminal charges pending that stem from the same incident that led to the civil restraining order being entered against them.
The revised portion of the statute reads as follows: “A consent protective order may be entered pursuant to this Chapter without findings of fact and conclusions of law if the parties agree in writing that no findings of fact and conclusions of law will be included in the consent protective order. The consent protective order shall be valid and enforceable and shall have the same force and effect as a protective order entered with findings of fact and conclusions of law.”
If you or someone you know needs assistance with obtaining a domestic violence order of protection in North Carolina, please contact Miller Bowles Cushing. We have represented dozens of clients seeking restraining orders and would be honored to assist you with your case. The family law attorneys at Miller Bowles Cushing are dedicated to providing first-class service to our clients.