Dear Carolyn,

If my DVPO was filed in Wake County and it has expired, but I currently live in Guilford County, can I file my motion to return in Guilford County, or do I have to file in Wake County where the order originated?


Carolyn Answers,

First, let me translate this question for readers.

DVPO means domestic violence protective order related to a 50B. A DVPO expires one year from the date of the DVPO, unless the judge has ordered a period shorter than a year (which rarely happens). So, let’s assume this reader had a Wake County District Court judge issued DVPO, which expired at the end of a year. This DVPO can be renewed in Wake County for additional time if you apply to the same court (Wake County) within the year and before expiration. This reader did not apply apparently within the one year for an extension.

A DVPO cannot be revitalized after the end of one year, so this reader’s DVPO cannot be renewed. In this case, the application for extension must be in Wake County District Court, as the original DVPO was issued in Wake County. With a DVPO, the county is not so crucial as the DVPO is registered in the National Crime Information System, so police anywhere in the U.S. can access the DVPO.

Then, this reader moves to Guilford County. The only thing that can be done in Guilford County District Court is to apply for a brand new DVPO, and the reader needs new acts of violence that are current, along with the history of domestic violence. Be sure to put the domestic violence history in the new Guilford County District Court complaint. The Family Justice Center, 201 South Greene St., Greensboro, can help you assess your situation and help you apply for a new 50B DVPO. There are also justice centers in other cities in the Triad, such as High Point, Asheboro and Burlington.

N.C. Gen.Stat. § 50B–3(b) provides that for the renewal of a one-year DVPO, the motion for renewal must be filed before the expiration of the existing Order. Rudder v. Rudder, 759 S.E.2d 321 (N.C. App. 2014). The Rudder Court further stated (in dicta) that after expiration, nothing is stopping a plaintiff from applying for a new DVPO but will need some new/additional act of domestic violence.



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