Domestic violence is a serious problem throughout the US, particularly when one partner is filing for divorce or going through a child custody battle. One of the ways that the legal system handles the problem is by issuing a domestic violence order. In domestic violence cases, these orders are typically issued to prohibit contact between a victim and a perpetrator.

Protection Orders v. Peace Orders in Maryland

There are two different types of domestic violence restraining orders in MD.

  • The protective order, which generally applies to victims of abuse who have or have had some type of intimate relationship with their abuser; and

    The peace order, which functions as something of a catch-all — it applies to victims who would not be eligible for a protection order (victims with no past or present intimate relationship with the defendant, for example). A Maryland peace order also applies to types of offensive behavior, such as trespassing, that would not justify the issuance of a protection order.

Although you might think of a civil protection order as a civil harassment restraining order or a harassment restraining order, it is more than a restraining order– it can be used to require the respondent to do something, not just refrain from doing something.

How to Obtain a Protection Order or a Peace Order in Maryland

To obtain a Maryland protection order or peace order, you must:

  • Complete the appropriate petition.
  • Take the petition to the clerk of the District Court and sign it under oath.
  • If you have an emergency situation, you can obtain a temporary order the same day without a court hearing.
  • Have the respondent (the defendant) served with notice of your action. You cannot do this yourself.
  • Wait for the court to notify you of a court date, and prepare your evidence.
  • Return to court on your scheduled court date. The judge will be looking for evidence of some of the type of abuse that would support the order you petitioned for.

Unless it is an emergency, before you take any of these steps you should meet with a domestic violence lawyer who will explain the process, discuss safety concerns, and help you draft the petition

Civil Protection Orders in the District of Columbia

The District of Columbia. offers temporary protective orders (TPOs) that can be issued immediately but last for only two weeks, and civil protection orders (CPOs), which require a hearing but are valid for a year.

How to Obtain a CPO

To obtain a Civil Protection Order in Maryland, you must undergo virtually the same process you would go through to obtain a protection order in Maryland. This procedure also allows you to obtain an immediate temporary order in an emergency. The main difference between the two processes is that instead of filing your petition with the clerk of the District Court, you must file it with the Domestic Violence Intake Center (DVIC).

It’s Time to Take Action

Your odds of achieving your desired outcome are far better if you retain an experienced domestic violence attorney, and Colbert Law Firm stands ready to fight for you. Telephone us at (301) 576-6200 or contact us online to schedule a consultation where we can discuss your case and examine your options.