Frequently Asked Questions regarding Maryland Protective Orders

What is a Protective Order?

A Protective Order is a form of relief for victims of domestic violence.

Who is eligible for a Maryland Protective Order?

A victim of domestic violence is eligible to file for a Protective Order in Maryland so long as he or she:

  • Is the current or former spouse of the alleged abuser;
  • Has a child with the alleged abuser;
  • Had an intimate relationship and lived with the alleged abuser for 90 days within the last year; or
  • Is related by blood or marriage to the alleged abuser.

A Petitioner may also seek protection for a minor child or vulnerable adult who is abused or threatened with abuse by a household member.

What does the victim have to prove happened in order to obtain a Protective Order?

The alleged victim must prove one or more of the following acts occurred:

  • An act that caused serious bodily harm or that placed the victim in fear of imminent serious bodily harm;
  • An assault of any degree;
  • Rape or sexual offense or attempted rape or sexual offense;
  • False imprisonment;
  • Child abuse; or
  • Stalking.

If a Judge grants a Final Protective Order, what can the Judge order?

If a Final Protective Order is granted, the Judge can:

  • Order the Respondent not to abuse, threaten to abuse, or contact the Petitioner
  • Order the Respondent not to enter the residence of the Petitioner
  • Order the Respondent to vacate the home
  • Order the Respondent to stay away from the Petitioner’s place of employment
  • Order the Respondent to stay away from the minor child’s childcare provider
  • Grant custody and access of the minor children
  • Order the Respondent to pay emergency family maintenance
  • Award use and possession of a vehicle jointly owned by the parties
  • Award use and possession of a pet
  • Order the Respondent into counseling
  • Order the Respondent to turn over firearms

If a Final Protective Order is granted, how long does it last?

A Final Protective Order is effective for up to one year. However, the court can extend a Final Protective Order for an additional six (6) months for good cause, after notice to the parties and a hearing.

If you would like more information, or have a question that was not answered here, we invite you to contact us at (301)637-6070 or using our online contact form to schedule a consultation.