Peace Order

peace order

Maryland Peace Order Lawyer

Have you filed for a peace order or has someone else filed a peace order against you in Maryland, if the answer is yes, then you need a Maryland peace order lawyer. Call the Law Office of Randolph Rice today to schedule a free peace order consultation (410) 288-2900. Speak with Maryland peace order lawyer Randolph Rice about how to prevent a peace order from being issued or how to get a peace order issued by the Court.

Attorney Randolph Rice is a Maryland attorney that helps individuals file for peace orders and defend peace orders. If you have filed or want to file a peace order or you have a peace order filed against you, contact the office today for immediate legal help. Also, if you have been charged with violating a peace order, contact the office to schedule a free consultation.

What is a Peace Order (“PO”)?

A peace order in Maryland is a petition filed with the Court asking the Court to order the respondent from committing certain acts against the petitioner. Peace orders are also referred to as restraining order or restraining orders.

What is a Petition for Peace Order?

A petition is the form filed with the Court or commissioner detailing the acts that were committed against the petitioner and the relief sought by the petitioner.

Do you want a lawyer to appear with you in Court during your peace order? Contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice to schedule a free consultation at 410.288.2900.

Maryland Peace Order Laws

The Maryland peace order laws are found in Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings 13-1501 through 13-1510. The penalties for violation of a PO can be found in Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings 3-1508.

What is a Respondent?

A respondent in a peace order is the person the PO has been filed against. The Court and forms will refer to the person that has been filed against for a peace order as a respondent.

What is a Petitioner?

A petitioner is the person that is seeking relief from the peace order. The petitioner is the person that files the PO. The petitioner must prove to the court

How to File a Peace Order?

Peace order petition Maryland
Peace order petition Maryland

To file a peace order, a petitioner should go to a District Court in Maryland or a Circuit Court in Maryland. If the Court is closed, the petitioner can file a PO petition with the District Court Commissioner. The petitioner completes the PO form and files with the Court commissioner or Court clerk.

Do you want a lawyer to appear with you in Court during your peace order? Contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice to schedule a free consultation at 410.288.2900.

Should I File for a Peace Order or Protective Order?

To determine if you should file for a peace or protective order, review the list below and if you answer yes to any of the questions, then you should file for a protective order. If you do not answer yes to any of these questions, then you should file a PO.

  • I am the current or former spouse of the respondent.
  • I have had a sexual relationship with the respondent and have resided with the respondent in the home for a period of at least 90 days within the last year.
  • I am related to the respondent by blood, marriage, or adoption.
  • I am the parent, stepparent, child, or stepchild of the respondent or person eligible for relief, and I have resided with the respondent for 90 days during the past year.
  • I have a child in common with the respondent.
  • I have had a sexual relationship with the respondent within one (1) year before the filing of the Petition.

Peace Order for a Minor Child

If you want to file for a peace order for a minor child then answer the following questions. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, then you should file for a protective order.

  • The minor child is the current or former spouse of the respondent.
  • The minor child has had a sexual relationship with the respondent and has resided with the respondent in the home for a period of at least 90 days within the last year.
  • The minor child is related to the respondent by blood, marriage, or adoption.
  • The minor child is the stepparent, child, or stepchild of the respondent or person eligible for relief, and has resided with the respondent for 90 days during the past year.
  • The minor child has a child in common with the respondent.
  • The minor child has had a sexual relationship with the respondent within one (1) year before the filing of the Petition.

Where Do I File for a Peace Order?

A peace order can be filed in either a District Court of Circuit Court in Maryland. It is advised that peace orders are filed in the District Court as they are the Court that can better handle and are more efficient at handling a PO petition.

When Can I file a Peace Order?

You can file a peace order 24 hours a day. If the Courts are closed, you can file a PO with the commissioner. The commissioner can issue an interim PO. A petitioner must return on the next business day to appear before a Judge for a temporary PO hearing.

Do you want a lawyer to appear with you in Court during your peace order? Contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice to schedule a free consultation at 410.288.2900.

How Long Do I Have to file a peace order?

A peace order must be filed within 30 days of the acts described within the petition. In other words, the Court will not consider acts that occurred longer than 30 days before you filed the petition.

What Must Be Proved at a Peace Order Hearing?

There are various phases of a peace order. They can start with an interim PO with a commissioner. After that, a petitioner appears before a Judge for a temporary PO hearing. Once complete, the last stage is the final PO order.

Temporary Peace Order Hearing

For a petitioner to receive a temporary peace order, the judge must find that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the respondent has committed, and is likely to commit in the future one of the following acts:

  • An act that causes serious bodily harm;
  • An act that places the petitioner in fear of imminent serious bodily harm;
  • Assault in any degree;
  • Rape or sexual offense under §§ 3-303 through 3-308 of the Criminal Law Article or attempted rape or sexual offense in any degree;
  • False imprisonment;
  • Harassment under § 3-803 of the Criminal Law Article;
  • Stalking under § 3-802 of the Criminal Law Article;
  • Trespass under Title 6, Subtitle 4 of the Criminal Law Article; or
  • Malicious destruction of property under § 6-301 of the Criminal Law Article.

Do you want a lawyer to appear with you in Court during your peace order? Contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice to schedule a free consultation at 410.288.2900.

Final Peace Order Hearing

For a petitioner to receive a final protective order, the Judge must find by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent has committed, and is likely to commit in the future one of the following acts:

  • An act that causes serious bodily harm;
  • An act that places the petitioner in fear of imminent serious bodily harm;
  • Assault in any degree;
  • Rape or sexual offense under §§ 3-303 through 3-308 of the Criminal Law Article or attempted rape or sexual offense in any degree;
  • False imprisonment;
  • Harassment under § 3-803 of the Criminal Law Article;
  • Stalking under § 3-802 of the Criminal Law Article;
  • Trespass under Title 6, Subtitle 4 of the Criminal Law Article; or
  • Malicious destruction of property under § 6-301 of the Criminal Law Article.

Can a Respondent Consent to a Final Peace Order?

Yes, a respondent can consent to a peace order. The consent must be free and voluntary.

What Happens If the Petitioner Fails to Appear at a Peace Order Hearing?

Once filed, if the petitioner fails to appear at one of the peace order hearings, either the temporary or final hearing, then the Court will dismissed the petition for PO.

What Can the Peace Order Do for Me?

If a Judge finds clear and convincing evidence, then the Judge may order the following conditions upon the Respondent:

  1. Order the respondent to refrain from committing or threatening to commit an act specified in § 3-1503(a) of this subtitle against the petitioner;
  2. Order the respondent to refrain from contacting, attempting to contact, or harassing the petitioner;
  3. Order the respondent to refrain from entering the residence of the petitioner;
  4. Order the respondent to remain away from the place of employment, school, or temporary residence of the petitioner;
  5. Direct the respondent or petitioner to participate in professionally supervised counseling or, if the parties are amenable, mediation; and
  6. Order either party to pay filing fees and costs of a proceeding under this subtitle.

How long does a Peace Order Last?

A Judge can order that a PO last for up to 6 months. The Judge can order the PO for a shorter period of time. A Judge can also extend a PO for up to 6 months.

Do you want a lawyer to appear with you in Court during your peace order? Contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice to schedule a free consultation at 410.288.2900.

Violation of a Peace Order

What happens if a peace order was issued and the respondent violates one of the conditions of the PO. If this occurs, the petitioner can ask the Court, police, or State’s attorney to file criminal charges against the respondent. If one of those agencies decides to file criminal charges, then the respondent could be facing a misdemeanor charge of Violation of a Peace/Protective Order. If convicted of violating a PO, the penalties are:

  • Violation of peace order 1st offense: 90 days in jail and or $1000.00 fine. Violation of a PO is classified as a misdemeanor.
  • Violation of peace order 2nd or subsequent offense: 1 year in jail and or $2,500.00 fine. Violation of a peace order is classified as a misdemeanor.

Modify, Rescind, Extend a Peace Order in Maryland

Peace orders in Maryland can be:

  • modified;
  • rescinded; or
  • extended.

If you want to modify, rescind (cancel), or extend a peace order, contact the Maryland PO lawyer Randolph Rice at 410.288.2900 for immediate legal help. Under Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings 3-1506 a PO can be modified, rescinded or extended.  If the Court find appropriate, a peace order can be extended for up to 6 months.

Appeal a Peace Order

An appeal for a peace order may be filed in Maryland. The appeal must be filed within 30 days after the final peace order is denied or granted. A PO filed in the District Court may be appealed to the Circuit Court. A PO filed in the Circuit Court may be appealed to the Circuit Court.

Shield a Peace Order

Can I shield or expunge a peace order? In Maryland, you cannot expunge a PO since it is not a criminal action, but you can file to shield a peace order. The peace order shielding laws in Maryland can be found in Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings 3-1510.

What is Peace Order Shielding?

Shielding a peace order in Maryland means removing the record to a separate secure area in the Courthouse to which people who do not have a legitimate reason for access are denied access. Shielding the electronic record of a PO is also possible. With respect to electronic information about a proceeding on the Web site maintained by the Maryland Judiciary, completely removing all information concerning the proceeding from the public Web site, including the names of the parties, case numbers, and any reference to the proceeding or any reference to the removal of the proceeding from the public Web site.

Do you want a lawyer to appear with you in Court during your peace order? Contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice to schedule a free consultation at 410.288.2900.

What Types of Peace Order Can be Shielded?

The outcome of the peace order dictates if it is eligible to be shielded. Only peace orders that were:

  • Denied peace orders;
  • Dismissed peace orders;
  • Consented to peace orders.

If the peace order was granted after a finding of facts by the Judge, in other words, there was a hearing and the Judge found by clear and convincing evidence, then the PO cannot be shielded.

If the Peace Order was denied or dismissed, the respondent must prove to have the peace order shielded:

  1. A Final Peace Order or Protective Order has not been previously issued against the Respondent in any proceeding between the Petitioner and Respondent.
  2. The Respondent has not been found guilty of a crime arising from an act described in CJ § 3-1503(a) against the Petitioner
  3. At the time of the hearing, there is not an interim or temporary peace order or protective order pending against the Respondent in a proceeding between the Petitioner and Respondent.
  4. At the time of the hearing, there are no criminal charges pending against this Respondent arising from an alleged act against the Petitioner, as described in CJ § 3-1503(a).

If the peace order was consented to by the respondent, then to shield the peace order the respondent must prove:

  1. The Respondent did not violate the Peace Order during its term;
  2. A Final Peace Order or Protective Order has not been previously issued against the Respondent in any proceeding between the Petitioner and Respondent.
  3. At the time of the hearing, there is not an interim or temporary peace order or protective order pending against the Respondent.
  4. At the time of the hearing, there are no criminal charges pending against this Respondent arising from an alleged act against the Petitioner, as described in CJ § 3-1503(a).

When Can I File a Request to Shield a Peace Order?

A respondent can file a request to shield a peace order immediately upon the completion of the PO, however the Respondent must file a Waiver and Release of all related torts must be filed. If the Respondent does not want to file the Waiver and Release, then the Respondent must wait 3 years from the conclusion of the PO.

False Information – Peace Order

An individual who knowingly provides false information in a petition for PO is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or both.

Maryland Peace Order Lawyer

All petitioners and respondents should have a peace order lawyer by their side when they appear in Court. PO attorney Randolph Rice has represented thousands of clients in Maryland. Don’t take chances with your PO, contact the office at 410.288.2900 to speak with a peace order lawyer today.

Attorney Randolph Rice is recognized as a Maryland Super Lawyer for multiple years as a rising star. He is ranked by Avvo as a 10 out of 10 Superb lawyer and is Lead Counsel Rated.

The content on this page is for information purposes only. The Maryland laws may change at any time and individuals should consult the Law Offices of Randolph Rice for any changes in the law.