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, neighbors or complete strangers, whether they live in Montgomery Village or in another area. The Court calls the person seeking the order  as the “petitioner” and the person an order is served on is known as the “respondent”.

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.

First Steps in the Process

Local law enforcement serves the temporary order on the respondent as soon as one is issued.  The order becomes effective once it is served, prohibiting the respondent from contacting the petitioner.  Violating the order could result in criminal charges being filed against the respondent.  A final hearing is usually scheduled a week later.  Both parties have the opportunity to present their case in front of a judge.  The judge makes a final decision based on the testimony and other evidence offered in court.  If the judge finds by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent committed an assault or other acts, made threats, stalked, or harassed the petitioner, then a final order is issued.

Petitioners

To apply for a peace order or protective order, a petitioner must go to a District Courthouse and provide a few minutes of testimony to a judge, or if you go outside of regular business hours, to a commissioner.  After the judge or commissioner reads your complaint and hears your reasons for asking for an order, he or she 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. If you go to court to request an order, it is important to provide the judge or commissioner with specific facts about happened to you.  You also need to 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 act of someone else, you should 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

If you have been named as a respondent in a peace or protective order case, it is important to attend all court hearings and to abide by any orders issued by the Court.  In addition, you could also be facing criminal charges for the actions that were the basis of the order, or for anything you might do to violate the order after it is issued.  It is also important to understand that if the police attempt to interview you, they may well use whatever information or explanations you give them against you in court.  This could be true 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 protective order and peace order cases on the 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;
  • Landlords around Montgomery Village 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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