What is a dispute resolution?

Dispute resolution is a term that refers to a number of processes that can be used to resolve a conflict, dispute, or claims.


Civil No-Contact Orders

  • What is a “civil no-contact order”? A civil no-contact order – commonly known as a 50C order – is a type of dispute resolution. A civil no-contact order is a restraining order that is designed specifically for victims of sexual assault or stalking who do not have a “personal relationship” with the offender.
    • A personal relationship means spouses, dating relationships, current or former household members or dating partners, or a parent/child. A civil no-contact order can be issued for strangers, neighbors, or acquaintances.


  • How do I file a civil-no contact order? Requests for a civil no-contact order can be filed at the Buncombe County Clerk of Court Office (60 Court Plaza, Asheville) Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Requests for temporary civil no-contact orders are heard at 9:00 a.m. Monday through Friday. You must be present with all paperwork completed before those hearing times. There is no cost to file a civil no-contact order.
    • A magistrate cannot issue a civil no-contact order.


  • How long does a civil no-contact order last? A judge can grant a civil no-contact order for up to one year from the date of your return hearing. In most circumstances, the order is granted for one year, however, if the judge feels for some reason that the order is not needed for an entire year they can issue for a lesser period of time.


  • How is a civil no-contact order enforced? Civil no-contact orders can be enforced through contempt of court. They are not enforced by law enforcement. In an emergency, always dial 911. 


Additional Resources

  • Mediation
    • Mediation is a way to work problems with the help of neutral volunteer mediators. There is no fee for most community mediations services involving individuals.
    • The Mediation Center


  • Buncombe County Family Justice Center (FJC)
    • The FJC is one location where people impacted by domestic and sexual violence or stalking can access services from several different partner agencies, including law enforcement, non-profit service providers, health care providers, and other government services.
    • Family Justice Center


  • Pisgah Legal Services
    • Pisgah Legal Services provides free civil legal help to people who cannot afford a private attorney.
    • Pisgah Legal Services


  • North Carolina Bar Association Referral Service
    • The North Carolina Bar Association Referral Service can refer you to a local private attorney for an initial consultation.
    • NC Bar Association


  • 2-1-1
    • 2-1-1 can assist in connecting to a number of additional resources. There are a number of non-governmental organizations that can be accessed through 2-1-1 that provide residents with resources and support in many different ways.
    • United Way 2-1-1


  • Criminal Charges
    • Every situation is different, and what you’re experiencing could be criminal in nature and best be handled by visiting a magistrate. You must appear, in person, at the Magistrates Office in downtown Asheville to apply for criminal charges. The magistrate will evaluate your situation and determine if a criminal act has been committed. The magistrate may choose to issue a summons for the offender to appear in court or an arrest warrant for the offender. In an emergency, always dial 911.