How To File for A Maryland Protective Order
According to the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, in 2018, there were 46 deaths linked directly to domestic violence in the state of Maryland. Getting a Maryland protective order can be the first step in stopping domestic violence in your life or the life of someone you know. Read on for everything you need to know about filing a protective order in Maryland.
What is a Protective Order?
A protective order is one of two methods in which a court can legally protect a person facing domestic violence. The other method is a peace order which may protect those who do not qualify for a protective order. A protective order is a form of legal protection which orders one person to stop committing certain abusive acts on another person which are causing harm or a fear that harm will occur. In Maryland, protective orders cover a large group of individuals including spouses and children.
How to Get a Maryland Protective Order
The first step in seeking a protective order in Maryland is to go to your local District court. This is where you will file a Petition for Protection Against Domestic Violence. The Petition for Protection Against Domestic Violence can be retrieved from Maryland’s judicial website. If the court is closed, then the petition may be filed in the Commissioner’s Office of the District Court which remains open 24 hours. During court business hours the petition must be filed within the court. Ensure that the Petition is thoroughly reviewed and that all relevant sections are completed. Most importantly make sure to select what option you would like the court to take in enforcing the Petition. Within the Petition, you will need to include specific acts of abuse as defined by Maryland law. You will want to include dates, the nature of the incident, and the injuries that occurred. Further, it is also important to include whether the individual you are seeking protection from has any firearms.
What to Expect after Filing a Petition
After the Petition is filed the next step will be a hearing in front of a judge at a Temporary Protective Order hearing where proof will be submitted providing proof of any abusive acts. The judge will examine all the presented evidence and determine whether the court should enter an order. If the judge decides in the affirmative, a Temporary Protective Order will be granted. The order will last until a hearing on a Final Protective Order can take place. At the hearing for the Final Protective Order, the burden of proof is increased. Proof will need to show that the abuse occurred and a Final Protective Order should be issued in order to avoid any future abuse. If the Final Protective Order is granted, then any violation may lead to criminal prosecution for a period of up to one year.
Get the Legal Help You Need!
While an attorney is not required to get a Maryland protective order, people often feel more comfortable by having family law legal guidance and representation. For additional legal help and assistance contact us today.