Allowing Magistrates to File and Process Protective and Restraining Orders.
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Objective: To raise awareness for laws that need to be revised under Chapter 50B pertaining to domestic violence and laws restricting magistrates to file Domestic Violence Protective Orders (known as DVPO) by creating an online petition to be presented to the state once enough signatures are obtained. This petition is requesting a sponsor to be an advocate of the law change that will be summarized below for your review. No monies will be requested, just the support to list as a sponsor for this cause. Request will be for Promise Place of New Bern, North Carolina.
Summary of petition:
Just as magistrates can process charges on someone for domestic violence, stalking, harassment and the like, they should be given the power to process protective orders for a temporary time. The bill to be created (to be advised as needed) would be to give them the power to process the paper work without the need to wait to go before a judge.
Listed out in this way: Victim reports to magistrate’s office with a need to file a DVPO. Just as the victim would present evidence for charges against someone (ie; bruises, cuts, text messages, voicemails, phone call records etc) they would be required to present evidence for the DVPO for the magistrate to evaluate. If the magistrate deemed it necessary to file a DVPO (or charges) he could do so without directing them to the clerk of court or Women’s Shelter for assistance. The DVPO would be listed out as follows: Temporary DVPO for 30 days with a court date for the defendant or persons accused; Defendant will be served the DVPO in the same fashion a subpoena would; Defendant would be told when served that he will not be arrested (unless charges were filed) but would be required to appear in court to present why he/she is innocent; The victim will be given a court date to go before a judge before the defendant to present the case of why the DVPO is needed; The victim will not have to be afraid to go before the person they are filing against to prevent them from backing out or dropping charges/order; Once the defendant has been heard after the victim’s case, the judge can decide whether or not an extended DVPO (6 months – 1 year) is needed for the victim and all necessary stipulations to the DVPO will be explained before the defendant and to be signed by the defendant (as are charges and negotiations for paying court costs etc..) Once they have reached the end of the order, it can be re-evaluated if an extension on the order is needed.
What a victim should have to present to the magistrate and how the magistrate should deter those that are falsifying documents out of anger:
Victims should have proof for the order to be given (ie; text messages, voicemails, phone call records, witness reports of stalking or harassment) to show that there is an imminent need for protection through our law enforcement.
Victims should be rehearsed in the same fashion the defendant will about having no contact with the opposite party and to also be told that if it is found the victim has falsified the statement given in any way, will be charged upon the decision of the judge for falsifying such order. This will be told to the victim before the order is processed, just like a warrant. This will prevent those that are acting out of anger or being vindictive against a partner or other party.
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