Domestic violence victims in Mecklenburg County now have a modern, safer way to file protective orders.
The County has launched an eCourt Civil Domestic Violence System in conjunction with Safe Alliance. The new system gives victims access to district court resources at a domestic violence service agency — separate from the courthouse — while going through the protective order filing process.
“Domestic violence eFiling removes a barrier for Mecklenburg County residents by providing a safer and more efficient experience,” said Elisa Chinn-Gary, Mecklenburg County clerk of superior court, in a statement.
Under the new system, the applicant files the petition, is heard by the judge, and receives signed orders and notification regarding the defendant. The process is completed electronically and through live video feeds with judges, clerks and law enforcement. Victims receive services from the domestic violence agency, such as housing and child care.
“The system follows in the Judicial Branch’s vision for eCourts and modernizing court technology systems statewide,” said McKinley Wooten, interim director of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts.
According to data compiled by the county during the 2017 fiscal year, 8,845 police incident reports with a domestic violence relationship were filed while Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office served 3,447 protective orders.
Mecklenburg County joins 11 other counties in North Carolina operating the domestic eFiling system, which started in Alamance County in 2013.