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 Washington Grove and you are being harassed or threatened by a friend or acquaintance, a neighbor, or even a total stranger, you might need a restraining order for your own safety and peace of mind.  Peace orders are a type of restraining order that requires a person who is not related to or living with you to stay away and to leave you alone.  The party seeking an order is known as the “petitioner” and the party being served with 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

If the court issues a temporary order, local law enforcement is given a copy of the order to be served on the respondent. The order becomes effective once it is served, and it prohibits the respondent from contacting the petitioner or going near the petitioner.  A final hearing is scheduled a week later when both parties can make their case in front of 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 file a petition for a peace order or a protective order, the petitioner needs to go to the District Court of Maryland, fill out and file a petition and provide a few minutes of testimony to a judge or a commissioner. Based on the testimony and any other evidence provided, the 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: 30 days for peace orders, no stated time limit for most protective orders.

Quick Tips

If the respondent caused any physical injuries, you should provide the judge with evidence of the nature and extent of your injuries.  This can include photographs, medical reports or other documentation.  You should also preserve any electronic evidence which is relevant to your case such as voicemail or text messages, videos and emails.

Respondents

Respondents in a peace or protective order case need to be mindful of their rights and obligations in peace order and protective order cases.  It is important to understand that you could also be facing criminal charges for the conduct alleged in the petition.  You could also face criminal charges if you violate the order.  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;
  • Washington Gove landlords may be unwilling to rent to you if you are the respondent in a peace or protective order;
  • Employers in the DC area 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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