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Rech Law, P.C. Rech Law, P.C.
Charlotte 704-659-0007 Monroe 704-228-4488 Cornelius 704-228-2790



Recently, Johnny Depp and Amanda Heard split after a 15-month marriage. Heard filed for divorce on May 23, 2016, and among a multitude of legal issues, domestic violence is at the top of Heard’s list. Even with Depp’s reported net worth of $400 million, the couple never made a prenuptial agreement. Originally, Heard requested $50,000 a month in spousal support from Depp. However, Heard has since filed a declaration in order to withdraw because she felt the spousal support was pulling focus from the real issue of domestic abuse.
On May 27, 2016, Heard went to court to seek a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Depp. A temporary restraining order is different than a regular restraining order because it can take effect the same day it is filed.
While “restraining order” is the commonly used term, in North Carolina the correct terminology is a domestic violence protective order (DVPO). Generally speaking and assuming you are pursuing this on your own (without the direction of council), there are six-steps to obtaining a DVPO.

  • (1) Need to go to your local courthouse and pick up the required DVPO forms
  • (2) Next, a civil complaint needs to be filled out.
  • (3) Also, a summons needs to be filled out.
  • (4) If needed, an ex parte or temporary order needs to be filed.
    • An ex parte order is an emergency order that means without the other party. This type of order takes immediate effect and can be obtained without the abuser being present.
  •  (5) A hearing must be held within ten days of filing the complaint.
    • For this hearing, both parties should be there. At the hearing, you must show the abuser committed an act of domestic violence (as defined by NC Law) against you or your children.
    • If a DVPO is administered, it can last up to one year from the date granted.
  • (6) If after the year you wish to extend or renew the order, the same steps can be taken and it can be extended for up to two years.

If the abuser violates the DVPO, he/she could be convicted of a Class 1A misdemeanor and face the possibility of up to twelve months in jail. For example, Heard alleged Depp violated the temporary restraining order when Depp had friends enter the former couple’s house to gather some of Depp’s belongings. In the TRO, Depp is ordered to stay 100 yards away from the former couple’s home, but the order includes a “move-out order” in which Depp is allowed to remove some of his personal belongings. Heard’s team believes this is “overreaching” the order since Depp is not even in the country at the moment.

Here at Rech Law, P.C., we can help you in any DVPO issues. If you have any questions concerning domestic violence, call Rech Law, P.C., today at (704) 659-0007 to schedule a consultation.

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