Protective Orders

Maryland Order of Protection Agency

There is no question that domestic violence is a problem in our society. Years ago in Maryland, an abused party would have to try and file something called a restraining order. That all changed when the Maryland Legislature created the protective order act which allowed someone to file a protective order in District Court of Maryland. So, the days of requesting a restraining order are gone.

The Law Offices of James Crawford LogoThe ability to request a PO (protective order) has evolved. Essentially, if the court determines that you are an eligible party, and if an “occurrence” defined by Maryland law is proven, then a protective order will be granted. A protective order can be filed in the district court, circuit court or even with a commissioner who is technically open 24 hours a day if the occurrence is on the weekend, that most people go to a commissioner to get a “temporary order” until a permanent order is issued.

One of the most difficult things a petitioner must do in that situation is to have the respondent served properly. The Sheriff’s office in most jurisdictions will do this task. They will, however, ask detailed questions about where and how the respondent can be served. Many times commissioners will encourage or at least bring up the fact that a petitioner can also file a criminal assault charge at the same time. The commission will look at the facts and make a determination as to whether or not eligibility exit. If in fact, the commissioner determines that a criminal assault charge should be issued as well as a protective order, the next determination is whether or not a criminal summons will be issued were a criminal warrant. To be clear, the protective order is not a criminal matter. It is a civil matter.

First, the act alleged must be one of the following (Technically, a commissioner will decide if the protective order is warranted if the petitioner claims that):

  • an assault occurred
  • an act that places a person in fear of imminent serious bodily harm
  • rape or sexual offense
  • stalking
  • an act that caused serious bodily harm
  • alleged false imprisonment or kidnapping

2nd, you must then show the commissioner or judge that you are eligible for protective order by fitting into one of the following slots:

  • the abuser is your spouse or former spouse
  • both of you are the biological parents of the child in common
  • both of you or any parent-child, or stepparent-stepchild relationship. You have resided together for at least 90 days during the past year.
  • both of you have cohabitated had been in an intimate relationship 90 days during the past 12 months
  • both have been in a sexual relationship with each other for some period of time at least one year before the filing of the petition.

Are Protective Orders Common?

If you ask any District Court judge in the State of Maryland or any State’s attorney in the State of Maryland undoubtedly they will tell you that protective orders are one of the most common types of cases District Court judges see here. As people become more aware of their ability to file for an issue a protective order, PO’s have become more prevalent. Over the years the list of requirements and ability of people to get protective orders has increased.

Are Protective Orders Abused?

Undoubtedly, many people file protective orders as a means to obtain a quick resolution to a matter. Yes, like any other legal situation some individual fabricate scenarios and totally made up situations that never occurred. When on the other hand, there are plenty of situations where a protective order is dearly needed to protect the petitioner.

What is the Time Frame Involved?

One of the biggest problems with protective orders is a time frame. Courts and commissioners are under an extreme amount of stress to protect people from abusers. Consequently, as soon as the commissioner were District Court judge issues an order is technically in effect. However, the respondent cannot be held accountable if they are not served or become aware of the war.

After the temporary hearing is concluded and if the judge finds enough evidence to issue the temporary order, then the final hearing is set usually about 7 to 10 days later. That is when both sides get to present a majority of their evidence to show whether or not the alleged offense occurred. Part of the big problem with litigating a temporary order is the fact that it occurs so fast. Witnesses are sometimes unavailable, respondents and petitioners have jobs they need to deal with and there is simply not allow time to do what needs to be done. That’s why you need an experienced trial lawyer like James E Crawford Junior who understands how to navigate and get the job done quickly.

Consequences such as being kicked out of your home for a year, paying certain bills, custody and child visitation are major issues that are decided by a District Court judge. District court judges usually do not handle domestic matters. All divorce and domestic matters are in the Circuit Court for the County upon which the individuals reside. So in essence, a District Court judge is looking at a snapshot of the situation and making major determinations that could last a long period of time. Sometimes, the case will come before the circuit court were individuals may file a petition in the Circuit Court originally if there is another matter pending. Either way, the time period and consequences can be devastating if you don’t handle it appropriately.

We Can Quickly Solve This Problem for You

Our firm’s been handling protective orders and peace orders for decades. We have our finger on the button of change regarding the delicate matters in evidence that needs to be presented in these cases quickly and efficiently. We have handled thousands of cases in Baltimore, Annapolis, Bel Air, and the rest of Maryland, helping those in need of protective orders and defending those who have been excused falsely of domestic violence.

While you’ve been the victim of abuse or you been accused of abuse falsely, call us at 443-709-9999.

The attorneys at James E. Crawford Jr. & Associates practice law and fighting for their clients throughout the entire State of Maryland, including Baltimore, Catonsville, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Kent, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Queen Anne’s counties. In our approach to representing our clients, we provide both positive results and a comprehensive education of the legal system throughout the process, guaranteeing each client a smoother and less intimidating experience during their case.

Temporary restraining orders, also known as Protective Orders, are often used in domestic violence situations. Domestic violence includes the commission of one or more proscribed acts by an adult or emancipated minor against a victim. Proscribed acts include, but are not limited to, assault, sexual assault, stalking, harassment, false imprisonment, kidnapping, criminal trespass, burglary, criminal mischief, criminal restraint, terrorist threats, criminal sexual contact, homicide, and lewdness.

Domestic violence victims can readily acquire a temporary restraining order. It is not uncommon for parties to seek entry of temporary restraining orders simultaneously against one another. It is also not uncommon for a requesting party to have to seek entry of multiple temporary restraining orders during a given period against a single offending party because of the short-term nature of the orders’ life spans.

Temporary restraining orders are entered or signed by judges at the request of a party, such as a victim of domestic violence. The order is entitled an Order of Protection and specifically mandates that the offending party follow legal requirements, setting forth the exact conduct allowed and prohibited. Protective Orders can be used to:

  • provide cessation of all contact
  • protect other family members
  • evict an abuser from the home, even if the abuser is owner
  • grant custody to the victim of the minor children
  • possibly direct the payment of child and spousal support
  • direct child visitation by the abuser so long as children are safe
  • order the abuser to pay costs stemming from abusive situations such as household bills, attorneys’ fees, moving expenses, and medical bills
  • direct the offending party’s police-supervised re-entry into the residence to remove personal effects
  • mandate that the offending party undergo professional counseling

Free Consultation with a Premiere Maryland Family Law Attorney

If you’re in need of a Family Law attorney in Maryland, you might not know where to begin. Let us help you.

If you are considering a divorce, it’s in your best interest to consult with a Maryland divorce lawyer. At James E. Crawford Jr. & Associates, we have guided our clients through divorces and legal separations since 1992. We provide compassionate advice and aggressive legal representation, ensuring that our clients receive their fair share of child custody and marital property. If you are in need of a Maryland Family Law lawyer, contact James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates at 443-709-9999 today.

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