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
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.