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Know the Laws: Maryland

UPDATED March 13, 2015

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A peace order is similar to a domestic violence protective order in that they both require you to be a victim of abuse and they both offer you similar forms of protection from the abuser. However, if your relationship to the abuser falls under the category for a domestic violence protective order, (see Who can get a protective order?), you would NOT be eligible for a peace order.

After the hearing

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

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

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

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back to topCan I modify, cancel or extend my peace order?

It may be possible to modify (change) or rescind (cancel) 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.* 

In addition, peace orders can be extended for "good cause."  A judge can extend the term of the peace order for 6 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.*

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

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back to topWhat is the penalty for violating a peace order?

If the abuser violates a valid peace order, s/he can be arrested.*  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.**

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

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