Maryland Civil Protection Orders

If you are being subjected to domestic abuse from an ex, family member, spouse, or partner, you may feel uncertain about what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones. Maryland civil protection orders can offer a measure of safety to individuals in abusive circumstances and put a legal barrier between you and your abuser. It is advisable to hire a knowledgeable family violence attorney if you intend to file for a civil protection order.

Maryland law imposes a burden of proof for individuals seeking ongoing or permanent protection. Even if you have obtained a temporary protective order, you will still have to provide evidence of the abuse per Maryland law in order to obtain a final protective order. An attorney from our firm can help you file a petition for a civil protection order, prepare you for the final hearing, and effectively present your case before the judge.

Timeline for Civil Protection Order Cases in Maryland

The first stage in a civil protection order case is to prepare the petition to submit to the court or the commissioner. A person can petition for a civil protection order with the state court as long as they live in Maryland, or if the abuse occurred in the State of Maryland. A local attorney can provide someone with much needed representation at their final protective order hearing in order to admit before the court the supporting evidence and documentation that will be needed or defend against a spurious protective order petition that has been filed against them.

Once the petition is filed, and an interim or temporary protective order is granted, the final protective order will be held within seven days.  At this hearing, the presiding judge will decide whether there is evidence to warrant a final protective order. If so, the respondent will be barred from contacting the petitioner.

To obtain a final protective order in Maryland, the petitioner must establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the statutory criteria for a protective order have been met and the allegations made are substantiated to obtain legal protection. The alleged abuser would have an opportunity to refute the allegations and argue against the need for a civil protection order, or in some circumstances, with the help of an experienced counsel, the respondent may actually consent to the protective order without a finding of abuse by the court. If the court grants a final order, it may be valid for 12 months.

A final protective order may contain a long list of directives to the abuser, barring them from engaging in certain types of conduct or from contacting the petitioner. For instance, a final protective order in Maryland may direct the perpetrator to refrain from trying to reach the petitioner at home or their workplace or order them to move out of the shared residence.

If the abuser owns firearms, the firearms will have to be turned over to law enforcement. If the petitioner has children with their abuser, the court may grant custody to the petitioner if there are allegations of abuse against the children or potential abuse.

Obtaining a Permanent Civil Protection Order

Many survivors of abuse find themselves concerned about what will happen after their final protection order expires. An individual may file to extend or modify their protection order before it expires if the facts warrant such a modification. An experienced attorney can help with this filing. There are also situations where someone can petition the court for a permanent civil protection order in Maryland. If the abuser was incarcerated for a minimum of five years for their conduct, the survivor can request that the court grant a permanent protective order.

Book a Consultation with a Maryland Civil Protection Order Attorney

Maryland civil protection orders can help safeguard you from present and future abuse and remove you and your children from a harmful or life-threatening environment. If you need help petitioning a local family court for a civil protection order, please do not hesitate to contact a lawyer from our firm.

An attorney with a broad range of experience in protective order cases can help you understand your rights and fight to keep you and your loved ones safe from abuse. Call now to arrange your case evaluation.