Peace Order vs Protective Orders


Peace Order vs Protective Order in Maryland

 What the difference between a Peace Order and a Protective Order in the state of Maryland?

 Peace Orders and Protect Orders are both civil orders that are issued by a judge.  The purpose of the order is to order one person to refrain from committing certain acts against another.  The relationship between the parties determines which type of petitions to file.
Protective Order and Peace orders in Maryland are very similar.  There is a three-step process where one obtains a temporary protection order and then moving on to a hearing where both parties are present.

Peace Orders in Maryland

District Court in Maryland has exclusive jurisdiction for peace orders.  That means that only the District Court will hear the evidence in relation to your request for a Peace Order.  While there is no filing fee with a Protective Order, there is a $20 filing fee and $30 service fee in filing for a Peace Order.  Please note that the court may waive the filing fee if indigency is shown.  A court may not, however, waive the service fee.

Protective Orders in Maryland

In a Protective Order, both District Court and Circuit Court have jurisdictions.  To be eligible to apply for a Protection Order, you have to fall into one of the following categories:
• Current and former spouses;
•have had sexual relations with the Respondent or cohabiting for 90 days in the past 12 months;
• Related to Respondent by blood, marriage or adoption;
• A parent, stepparent or stepchild of the Respondent;
• Have a child in common with the Respondent; or
• Vulnerable adult.
Furthermore, there is no filing fee for a protective order.  Anyone who is not eligible to file for a Protection Order and who is a victim of abuse may file for a Peace Order.  To be able to file for either orders, you have to show abuse.  Abuse is defined as an act that causes serious harm, or an act that places the petition in fear of imminent serious bodily harm.  For example, assault, rape, stalking, sexual offense, false imprisonment, etc.  One may file for a Protection Order at any time after the act. However, in order to file for a Peace Order, Petition must show that the abusive act had occurred 30 days prior to filing.
A temporary (interim) protective order usually lasts for 7 days.  A judge may extend it beyond 7 days upon good cause show.  Final orders in a Protective Order last up to one year with an option for extension of 6 months.
On the contrary, final orders for Peace Order only lasts up to 6 months and may be extended for an additional 6 months.
Typical reliefs in either order may include, but not limited to the following:
•that the Respondent is refrained from committing further abuse;
•termination of all contacts by the Respondent;
•stay away from the Petitioner’s home, place of employment, worship, school or family members;
•(if the Respondent and the Petitioner live together), Respondent may be ordered to vacate their home, and temporary use and possession of the home may be awarded to the Petitioner.

Need help for a Peace Order or Protective Order in Maryland

If you are seeking protection against your (former) spouse or partner, or you have been served with a Protective Order or Peace order by your spouse, partner, child, parent, relative, neighbor, coworker, you need an attorney immediately.  You need an attorney who understands the process.
The best time to defend a Protective Order or a Peace Order is before a final order is issued.  Having been subject of a Protective Order or a Peace Order may disqualify you from many jobs.  Therefore, it is important to fight these orders before they become final.  It is also very easy to violate theseorders At Rollins & Chan, we can help you challenge an invalid Peace Order or Protective Order.  Call 202-455-5610 for an attorney consultation.
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