How Maryland Protective Orders Can Keep You Safe
When a family situation becomes abusive, it may be time to seek a protective order, sometimes called a restraining order. Designed to legally require that one person stop committing certain acts against another, protective orders provide a measure of safety and protection to victims of physical or sexual abuse, stalking or kidnapping.
Houlon Berman’s family law attorneys are experienced in protective order cases in Maryland. If you are in need of a protective order, call Houlon Berman immediately and let us help you through the process.
The following outlines more information on Maryland protective orders, and how our lawyers can get you the help you need.
What is a Protective Order?
A kind of civil order issued by a judge, protective orders require the alleged abuser to comply with certain requirements like:
- Leave your shared home
- Stop abusing you
- Award you custody of shared children
- Stay an explicit distance from you and your home or work
The interim (or temporary) protective order can then be rolled into a final protective order. This allows additional criteria to be added, like:
- Temporary children visitation rights
- Emergency family maintenance
- An order for the abuser to seek counseling
- An order for the abuser to surrender all firearms
When to Use a Protective Order
Protective orders should be used in cases of assault, bodily harm, or when someone intentionally frightens you or your children with the threat of serious bodily harm. Rape and attempted rape fall under this category as do sexual offenses (attempted or otherwise). Being stalked or kidnapped/having your freedom compromised by false imprisonment are also good reasons to seek court-ordered protection.
How to Get a Protective Order in Maryland
To obtain a Protective Order, you must complete a Petition for Protective Order and file it at the correct location. During court business hours, the petition should be filed with the clerk’s office of either a Circuit Court or District Court.
If the court is closed, file with the commissioner’s office of the District Court since it is open 24-hours-a-day. Be warned though, if you try to file with the commissioner during regular court business hours, you will be sent to the court instead.
When a situation calls for a protective order (restraining order), time is of the essence. Following the process correctly and efficiently is essential to getting you and your family protected as quickly as possible. An attorney can help you negotiate the challenges and nuances of filing your petition and help you convert your temporary order into a final protective order, if necessary.
If you need to speak with a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer for family law and restraining orders, contact Houlon Berman today.
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