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What Exactly Is A Restraining Order?


In Maryland, a restraining order is a civil order issued by the judge that mandates a person to refrain from committing certain acts against another person. There are two types of restraining orders in Maryland: peace orders and protective orders.

What Are The Differences Between Protective Orders And Peace Orders In Maryland?

The difference between protective orders and peace orders has to do with the relationship between the two parties. Protective orders are generally used in domestic relationships, whereas peace orders apply to all remaining people; a person cannot qualify for both.

What Are The Reasons For Which The Court Will Issue A Peace Order?

There are several reasons a court might issue a peace order. An act that causes serious bodily harm, places a person in serious imminent threat of bodily harm, assault, rape, sexual offense, false imprisonment, harassment, stalking, trespassing, malicious destruction of property, telephone misuse, revenge porn, and criminal visual surveillance are all bases on which peace orders can be obtained.

What Does A Peace Order Do In Maryland?

In Maryland, a peace order can afford protections. Specifically, a judge can order that the defendant refrain from committing or threatening to commit any act against the alleged victim, refrain from contacting or harassing them, and order that they stay away from the alleged victim’s residence, place of work, school, or temporary home. In addition, the court can even direct the respondent to participate in counselling programs, mediation, and pay the filing fees and costs associated with the peace order proceedings.

What Is An Emergency Order? What is the Difference And The Cause For Such?

An emergency peace order is a way to obtain protection when the courts are closed. If a person can’t actually go into a courthouse during normal business hours, they can file a peace order or protective order petition with the District Court Commissioner’s Office, which is open 24/7. They would grant the individual a court order in emergency circumstances that would be valid until they see a judge.

What Is The Interim Peace Order?

An interim peace order is synonymous with an emergency peace order in the sense that it’s what a person will get from the commissioner when the courts are closed. Once the commissioner orders protections for someone, they forward the interim peace order to a law enforcement agency to be served in the district court. These orders expire at the end of the second business day after issuance; if the district court is closed that day, then it will expire the next day that the court is open.

What Is The Temporary Peace Order?

Once someone has gotten an interim peace order, they will get a temporary peace order. This is the first type of order that will be issued if the judge finds reasonable grounds supporting the alleged event. It would be the second step in the process if the person went to the commissioner first and received an emergency or interim peace order. Once someone has an interim, they will have to attend the temporary hearings before a judge in the courthouse in order to extend the length and scope of the protection in the interim peace order.

Are All Temporary Peace Orders Made Final?

Not all temporary peace orders are made final because the burden changes. During the temporary phase, a judge just has to find reasonable grounds, which is a very low burden. The temporary interim only lasts for one week, after which the person will have to go before a judge. In order to get long-term protection, a person would have to get to the final peace order stage. The burden at that proceeding on the petitioner rises to what’s called preponderance of the evidence. The petitioner also has to prove that this conduct is likely to continue in the future if no protection is put into place, so it’s a two-pronged analysis in the final peace order stage.

How Long Are Those Orders Generally Good For?

In general, peace orders are valid for six months from the date of issuance.

What Happens After Six Months?

After six months, a peace order will expire. If an individual still needs protection, then they can file for an extension. After notice to all parties and a hearing before a judge, if a judge finds good cause, a peace order can be extended for an additional six months.

For more information on Restraining Orders In Maryland State, a free case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (301) 662-2911 today.

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