Judicial Systems Advocacy is support by non-lawyer staff members and trained volunteers throughout the court process but not involving the preparation of legal documents, the giving of legal advice, or other matters involving the practice of law.
OASIS staff provides information, referrals, advocacy and support for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault within the court system. OASIS staff will support survivors of domestic violence throughout the court process, including steering survivors to available resources, providing the blank forms to allow survivors to apply for domestic violence protective orders, accompanying survivor clients to the magistrate and courthouse to file criminal charges or seek civil orders, introducing survivor clients to law enforcement and court personnel, and being present with clients on their scheduled court dates. OASIS, Inc. does not have attorneys on staff, so we cannot provide legal advice or speak in court. We can, however, make referrals for legal services and screen survivor clients for financial eligibility for free legal representation.
Orders of Protection
Sometimes survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault seek protection through the court system. In cases of domestic violence survivors can apply for a domestic violence protective order, also referred to as a DVPO, DVO, restraining order, protective order or 50B. An emergency temporary order can be obtained at any time by going before a judge, if one is available, or going to the magistrate. Obtaining a permanent order of protection, which lasts for one year and can be renewed for up to two additional years, often requires several days in court. Survivors of domestic violence may be eligible for free representation through Legal Aid of NC (1-866-219-5262).
Survivors of sexual assault and stalking may be eligible for another kind of protective order, often referred to as a 50C. There is a similar process as the 50B and frequently requires several days in court.
OASIS staff is available to talk with survivors 24 hours a day about their options and safety planning when seeking protection through the court system. OASIS staff recognizes that seeking a protective order is not always the safest option and will support each survivor in making that decision for him or herself. Please contact us for advocacy, support, information and safety planning regarding court matters.
If you are a victim in a criminal matter or wish to press criminal charges, OASIS staff can assist you both in and out of court so that you understand the criminal process, know your resources in the court system, and have your case prosecuted as successfully as possible.
Victims in criminal cases do not need an attorney to represent them in court. The District Attorney is representing the state of North Carolina, and in a way, you. There should be a victims’ assistant at the DA’s office to work with you on your case, review your testimony and prepare you for testifying, if that is needed, to prosecute your case.
OASIS staff is available to attend court with you for support, information, advocacy, safety planning, and referrals. Please call us if you would like advocacy for court matters (828-264-1532 or 828-262-5035).