High profile NASCAR driver Kurt Busch is currently caught in a [blank] battle with his ex-girlfriend. Every day, many North Carolina citizens find themselves facing a similar kind of proceeding – commonly known as a “50B” hearing – where one current or former spouse, significant other, or family member is seeking the court’s protection from another. With incredible stakes for both parties, it’s unsurprising that “creative” arguments are sometimes used on both sides, but some represent major missteps that ought to be avoided.
1. “It was just one time.”
Under North Carolina law, this doesn’t matter, provided the behavior and its impact on the other party or children was significant enough. Think twice before admitting any act that could be viewed as domestic violence under oath – whether you’re the one seeking protection or defending a questionable claim.
2. “I haven’t [blank] in [this long].”
Similar to number one, admitting to past behavior that a judge might consider domestic violence isn’t the smartest move. If you’re being accused, things that are too remote in time should really be objected to by your attorney, but if you volunteer it, it becomes fair game. If you’re looking to the court for help, admitting you’ve acted similarly in the past may undermine a judge’s sense that you need it.
3. “It’s no big deal.”
Judges in 50B hearings are used to this claim, surprisingly from both sides. If plaintiffs are dismissive of past incidents, it can set the defense up for an opportunity to claim that the proceeding is retaliation for something, rather than based on actual wrongdoing. If defendants are dismissive – let’s just say a judge will probably appreciate you making their decision that much easier.
4. “I have the emails/messages/pictures at home.”
If you have evidence that can prove your case or even cast doubt on the case being brought against you, a judge will want to hear or see it. If you don’t have it, it’s often better not to mention it because the judge may question your credibility. After all, if it was so important, why isn’t it here? Does it really exist?
5. “We also have a [blank] civil case going on.”
Because of what they hear day-in-day-out, judges can turn skeptical of your motives quickly. You very well may have such a case going on, and it very well may come out in your favor. But unless it’s an associated criminal charge, the judge hearing your 50B doesn’t care about that. Bringing it up can make them wonder why you’re really here – even if it is for the right reasons.
We can probably also safely add calling your [blank] a trained assassin.
Need representation for a 50B? Have related [this long] charges? Call the experienced attorneys at [blank] today!