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?

If you are being threatened or harassed by a friend, acquaintance, neighbor or complete stranger in Garrett Park, you may wish to file for a peace order.  Peace orders are a type of restraining order that requires a person who is not related to or living with the person filing in court to stay away from that person. The party seeking an order is known as the “petitioner” and the party receiving an order is known as the “respondent”.

Protective orders are a similar type of restraining order; but protective orders are issued against 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

Once the the court issues a temporary order, it is given to local law enforcement to be served on the respondent immediately.  The order becomes effective as soon as it is served, and it prohibits the respondent from contacting the petitioner.  A final hearing is normally scheduled a week later.  At that hearing 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 is required to apply in person at the District Court and provide a few minutes of testimony to a judge or a commissioner. This judge or commissioner will decide whether or not a temporay 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. Be aware that in a peace order case, the acts which you are complaining about must have occurred within 30 days of the filing date under Maryland law.  For protective orders there is no stated time limit in the relevant statutes.

Quick Tips

It is very helpful to provide the court with any evidence you might have of harassment or injury.  If you have photographs or medical reports of your injuries, it is important to show those to the judge or commissioner to show the extent to which the person injured you. In addition, you should preserve any electronic evidence, like emails or text messages which could be relevant to your case.

Respondents

If you have been named as a respondent in a peace or protective order case, it is important to understand that you could also be facing criminal charges for the same acts. You also need to be aware that if the police attempt to interview you, they may well use whatever information or explanations you give them against you in either the criminal or restraining order 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;
  • Many landlords may be unwilling to rent to you in Garrett Park if you are the respondent in a peace or protective order;
  • Some 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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