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 requires a person who is not related to or living with to stay away from the person filing with the court. These people could be friends, acquaintances, Kensington 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”.

A person who needs a restraining order to be issued against a relative or someone the person lives with needs a Protective order. Protective orders are also used when the matter concerns married people or those involved in other types of romantic relationships.

First Steps in the Process

The process begins by asking a judge or commissioner for a temporary protective order or peace order.  Once the temporary order is issued, local law enforcement serves it on the respondent. The order becomes effective once it is served, and it prohibits the respondent from contacting the petitioner at their home, workplace, school or any other venue.  A final hearing is usually scheduled a week later where the parties’ case is then heard by a judge who makes a final decision.  A final order is issued if the judge finds by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent committed assault or other acts, made threats, stalked, or harassed the petitioner.

Petitioners

A person in need of a peace order or protective order must provide a few minutes of testimony to a judge or a commissioner in a District Court.  Based on the testimony, the judge or commissioner will decide whether or not an order should be issued. Before applying for an order, 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.  It is important to 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: 30 days for peace orders, no stated time limit for most protective orders.

Quick Tips

If you have been injured by the person against whom you are seeking a protective order or peace order, it would be very helpful to provide photographs or medical reports of your injuries 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

A peace order or protective order is a civil matter.  However, if you have been named as a respondent in a peace or protective order case, you could also be facing criminal charges for the same acts if the petitioner filed criminal charges when filing the petition for the order. If the police attempt to interview you, anything you say may well be used against you in either the criminal or restraining order case.  You can also be charged criminally with violating a peace order or protective order if you fail to abide by the terms of the order.

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 Maryland Judiciary 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;
  • Kensington-are landlords 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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