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 experiencing harassment or harm from someone in your household, you may need to file for a court order to stop the behavior.  Protective orders are a type of restraining order that 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.

Peace orders are another type of restraining order filed against a person who is not related to or living with the petitioner.  This individual could be a neighbor, friend, acquaintance, or even a total strangers.  The party seeking an order is known as the “petitioner” and the party receiving an order is known as the “respondent”.  The court would order the respondent to stay away from the petitioner.

The Court Process

If a temporary order is issued, the court gives it to local law enforcement to be served on the respondent whether they live in Germantown or another part of Maryland. The order becomes effective once it is served.  It prohibits the respondent from contacting the petitioner at their home, workplace or school.  Usually within a week a final hearing is scheduled 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

A petitioner has to go to the District Court in person to apply for a peace order or protective order.  The petitioner must fill out forms and provide a few minutes of testimony to a judge or a commissioner. This judge or commissioner will decide whether or not an 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 the acts which you are complaining about occurred within the time periods required for filing under the law.  The behavior alleged in a peace order case must have occurred within 30 days prior to filing.  There is no stated time limit for most protective orders.

Quick Tips

If you have been injured by the act of someone else it is important for you to provide any photographs or medical reports of your injuries in your possession to the judge. In addition, you should preserve any electronic evidence which is relevant to your case. This may include 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, 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;
  • Landlords in Germantown and surrounding areas 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, particularly if they run background checks;
  • Some 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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