A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT TO AMEND PROCEDURES, CLARIFY COSTS AND ATTORNEYS' FEES PROVISIONS APPLICABLE WHEN RELIEF IS NOT ORDERED IN CHAPTER 50B PROTECTIVE ORDER AND CHAPTER 50C NO CONTACT ORDER CASES, AND TO PROVIDE FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES UPON THE GRANT OF RELIEF IN CHAPTER 50C CASES.
House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition.
Changes the short and long titles.
Amends subsection (a) of GS 50B-2, Institution of civil action; motion for emergency relief; temporary orders; temporary custody, establishing that, except as provided for in subsection (e), no court costs or attorney's fees can be assessed for the filing, issuance, registration, or service of a protective order or petition for a protective order or witness subpoena. Establishes that the purpose of the subsection is to comply with federal law which would preclude the state from receiving federal funds if certain costs or penalties were assessed for bringing a claim or action under GS Chapter 50B.
Enacts new GS 50B-2(e), establishing that no court costs can be assessed against a party for the filing or service of a civil action or the filing of a motion in any existing action filed under GS Chapter 50, or for the service of any orders. Also provides that no attorneys' fees can be assessed against the party unless prior to the assessment of cost or fees, the court finds from evidence that the person (1) was not a victim or filing on behalf of a victim of unlawful conduct, (2) filed the action knowing that he or she was not a victim or filed the action knowing that the person upon whose behalf the filing was made was not a victim of unlawful conduct, and (3) initiated the action for an improper purpose to harass the defendant. Provides that failure to comply with the procedural requirements in GS Chapter 50B cannot be the basis for a finding that the party was not a victim.
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