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Legal Statutes: Maryland

UPDATED April 19, 2017

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Subtitle 3. Enforcement

back to top§ 9.5-311. Warrant to take physical custody of child

In general

(a) On the filing of a petition seeking enforcement of a child custody determination, the petitioner may file a verified application for the issuance of a warrant to take physical custody of the child if the child is immediately likely to suffer serious physical harm or be removed from this State.


Issue warrant; hearing


(b)(1) If the court, on the testimony of the petitioner or other witness, finds that the child is imminently likely to suffer serious physical harm or be removed from this State, it may issue a warrant to take physical custody of the child.

(2)(i) The petition shall be heard on the next judicial day after the warrant is executed unless that date is impossible.
(ii) In that event, the court shall hold the hearing on the first judicial day possible.
(3) The application for the warrant shall include the statements required by § 9.5-308(b) of this subtitle.

Contents of warrant

(c) A warrant to take physical custody of a child shall:

(1) recite the facts on which a conclusion of imminent serious physical harm or removal from the jurisdiction is based;
(2) direct law enforcement officers to take physical custody of the child immediately; and
(3) provide for the placement of the child pending final relief.

Respondent served with warrant

(d) The respondent shall be served with the petition, warrant, and order immediately after the child is taken into physical custody.


Enforcement of warrant


(e)(1) A warrant to take physical custody of a child is enforceable throughout this State.

(2) If the court finds on the basis of the testimony of the petitioner or other witness that a less intrusive remedy is not effective, the court may authorize law enforcement officers to enter private property to take physical custody of the child.
(3) If required by exigent circumstances of the case, the court may authorize law enforcement officers to make a forcible entry at any hour.

Conditions on placement of child

(f) The court may impose conditions on placement of a child to ensure the appearance of the child and the child's custodian.
Added by Acts 2004, c. 502, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 2004.