Seeking a Peace or Protective Order?

Or Has Someone Wrongfully Filed a Peace or Protective Order Against You?

We can walk you through the process of securing a peace order or protective order from a District Court judge, District Court commissioner, or Circuit Court judge. But those who have become involved in the peace or protective order process should know the potential traps they may face in Court as well as the effect these orders can have on their immigration status or with their top secret and secret security clearances.

If you’re looking for an attorney with extensive experience in handling peace orders or protective orders in Rockville or Silver Spring, or in the surrounding counties of Prince George’s, Frederick, or Howard Counties, please call us today.

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Call (301) 762-7007 now or click the button below.

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eBook - The Guide to Protective Orders in MD PDF
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eBook - The Guide to Protective Orders in MD PDF
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What are Peace Orders and Protective Orders in Maryland?

Peace orders are a type of restraining order that can be filed against people who do not live with and are not related to the person who is filing, such as friends, acquaintances, neighbors or complete strangers.  The party seeking an order is known as the “petitioner” and the party receiving an order is known as the “respondent”.  The order would require the person to stay away from individual who requested the order.

Protective orders are a similar type of restraining order; but these restraining orders are issued to people who are relatives of, or who live with, the petitioner. Protective orders are also used when the matter concerns married people or those involved in other types of romantic relationships.

The Court Process

If a temporary order is issued, local law enforcement receives it from the court to be served on the respondent.  The order becomes effective once it is served, and it prohibits the respondent from contacting the petitioner whether at home in Chevy Chase, at work or school, or anywhere else.  A final hearing is scheduled a week later where the parties’ case is then heard by a judge who makes a final decision.  If the judge finds by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent committed assault or other acts, made threats, stalked, or harassed the petitioner, then a final order is issued.

Petitioners

To get a peace order or protective order, a petitioner needs to go to a District Court and provide a few minutes of testimony to a judge or a commissioner. That judicial officer will decide whether or not a temporary order should be issued. Before applying for one these orders, you should review the relevant statutes (laws) (§3-1501, Courts and Judicial Proceedings, or §4-501, Family Law Article) to determine whether you are entitled to receive these types of orders. In addition, make sure that you provide the judge with the specific facts about happened to you. Also, be sure that in the case of a peace order, the acts which you are complaining about occurred within the previous 30 days as required by the statute.

Quick Tips

It is important to provide photographs or medical reports of your injuries to the judge if you have been injured by the act of someone else.  In addition, you should preserve any electronic evidence which is relevant to your case such as text messages or emails.

Respondents

If you have been named as a respondent in a peace or protective order case, remember that you could also be facing criminal charges for the same acts. In addition, if the police attempt to interview you, be mindful that whatever information or explanations you give them may be used against you in either restraining order or the criminal case.

There are many things that a respondent should know before attempting to handle a peace or protective order on his or her own:

  • Maryland Courts are required to post both peace order and protective order cases on the Maryland case search. Case search is a public database that lists all cases pending in Maryland courts;
  • Any security clearance you have will be affected by the filing of either a peace or protective order against you;
  • Landlords in the Chevy Chase area may be unwilling to rent to you if you are the respondent in a peace or protective order;
  • Employers may be reluctant to hire you;
  • Banks may choose not to extend credit to you;
  • If you are a party in a domestic relations case, any custody arrangement with your child could be jeopardized;
  • Peace orders could have immigration consequences;
  • All statements you make in the peace order or protective order case will be used against you if police later charge you with a crime in the same matter or related matter.

Quick Tip

There are many situations in which you can create a private agreement between yourself and the petitioner. These agreements can help you avoid the many risks that come about from the public disclosure of your peace or protective order matter.

If you want to consult with me about your case, schedule a consultation.

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