Where there is violence between intimate partners, one party may file a Protective Order against the other. A Protective Order is a form of relief and a type of restraining order for victims of domestic violence. The person filing the Protective Order is referred to as the “Petitioner” and the person against whom the Protective Order is filed is referred to as the “Respondent.”
Eligibility for a Protective Order in Maryland
In Maryland, the Petitioner is eligible to file for a Protective Order so long as he or she has one of the following relationships with the Respondent:
- 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. If the Petitioner does not have any of the relationships outlined above, then he or she is not eligible to file for a Protective Order and it will be denied.
Proving the Need for a Maryland Protective Order
Once the relationship requirement is met, to obtain a Protective Order, the Petitioner 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 the Judge grants a Final Protective Order, they 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
Rockville Attorney for Protective Orders in Maryland Domestic Violence Matters
Attorney Dana Whitten represents clients in obtaining and defending Protective Orders in courts in most Maryland counties, including Montgomery County, where our Rockville office is conveniently located near the courthouse.
We invite you to contact us at (301)762-2528 or to use our online contact form to schedule a consultation. We look forward to helping you with your Maryland domestic violence concerns.
Frequently Asked Questions About Maryland Protective Orders