Individuals who face an imminent threat from a spouse, former spouse or another threatening individual may file for a protective order. The requirements for a protective order differ from a peace order in several regards.
The steps for filing a protective order require a series of actions.
Begin with paperwork and forms
Information from the Maryland Courts website provides many details on applying for a protective or peace order. The protective order process begins with getting the petition forms from any court or District Court clerk or District Court Commissioner or finding the forms online at Maryland Courts. Once completed, the individual can bring the form to the courts in person or can file electronically from approved locations.
Continues with formal hearings
The next step involves meeting with a judge either in person or virtually by video conference. The order goes into effect when the judge finds reasonable cause and a law officer serves the respondent. This results in a temporary order that lasts for seven days.
The final hearing occurs soon after and could include both the petitioner and the person who has made threatening actions. If approved, the order goes into effect. A Final Protective Order lasts for up to one year or, in certain situations, for two years.
In some cases, a threatened individual can apply for a Permanent Protective Order. This usually involves the presence of a previous protective order or the former conviction of the respondent to a prison term for abuse.
A protective order requires the proper filling out of forms as well as hearings. When accomplished, the order provides enhanced legal measures to protect a person from harm.