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 live in Olney and you are being harassed by a neighbor, or even threatened, you may need to petition for a peace order.  Peace orders are a type of restraining order against a person who is not related to or living with the person making the request to stay away from the person who filed the petition with the court. A petition for a peace order can be filed against 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”.

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

A decision is made whether to issue a temporary order or not the day you take your petition to court.  Once the temporary order is issued, the court will provide a copy to local law enforcement and instruct them to serve it on the respondent. The order becomes effective as soon as it is served, and it prohibits the respondent from contacting the petitioner. 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 is required to go to a District Court, to fill out a petition and provide a few minutes of testimony to a judge or a commissioner. Based on the information you provide, a judge or commissioner will determine whether or not an order should be issued. Before applying for one these orders, it is important to 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. Make 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.  It is also very important that you provide the judge with the specific facts about happened to you.

Quick Tips

If you have been injured by the actions of another person, you should provide photographs, medical reports or any other documentation of your injuries to the judge.  You should also preserve any electronic evidence which is relevant to your case.  This could include videos, voicemails, 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 without an attorney:

  • 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 may be unwilling to rent to you in Olney 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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