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Legal Information: Maryland

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of November 27, 2023

If I file for a peace order, do I still have the right to report the incident to the police?

If you file for a peace order, you are still allowed to pursue other legal options, including going to the police.1

1 MD Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 3-1502(a)

Can I modify, cancel, or extend my peace order?

It may be possible to change (modify) or cancel (rescind) a peace order before the order expires by filing in court, giving notice to the person who obtained the order and the abuser, and after holding a hearing.1 If the hearing is not held before the original expiration date of the final protective order, the order will be automatically extended until the hearing.2

In addition, peace orders can be extended for “good cause.” A judge can extend the term of the peace order for six months after holding a hearing where both the petitioner and respondent have the right to be present. The judge is supposed to hold a hearing on your motion to extend the order within 30 days after the motion is filed. If the order is set to expire within those 30 days, the judge must extend it until the hearing.1

1 MD Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 3-1506(a)
2 MD Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 3-1506(a)(3)(ii)

What is the penalty for violating a peace order?

If the abuser violates a peace order, s/he can be arrested.1 If convicted, s/he could be guilty of a misdemeanor and, for a first offense, can be fined for up to $1,000, or put in prison for up to 90 days, or both. For a second offense (or a third, fourth, etc.), s/he could be guilty of a fine of up to $2,500, put in prison for up to 1 year, or both.2

1 MD Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 3-1508(c)
2 MD Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 3-1508(a)

If I get a protection order, will it show up in an internet search?

According to federal law, which applies to all states, territories, and tribal lands, the courts are not supposed to make available publicly on the internet any information that would be likely to reveal your identity or location. This applies to all of these documents:

  • the petition you file;
  • the protection order, restraining order, or injunction that was issued by the court; or
  • the registration of an order in a different state.1

1 18 USC § 2265(d)(3)