Can a minor file for an order?
The law says that any “person who is eligible for relief” can file for a protective order.1 Therefore, a minor who meets the criteria in explained in Am I eligible for a protective order? Who can file the petition? should be able to file his/her own petition. However, to be certain that the court in your county interprets the law in this way to allow a minor to file his/her own petition, you may want to ask the court clerk or a lawyer in your county ahead of time. To find courthouse contact information and attorney referrals, you can go to our MD Places that Help page.
In addition, the following people can file on the minor’s behalf:
- a person related to the minor child by blood, marriage or adoption;
- an adult who lives with the minor child;
- the state attorney (a lawyer working for the government) for the county where the minor child lives or where the abuse took place; or
- the Department of Social Services in the county where the minor child lives or where the abuse took place.2
1 MD Code Family Law § 4-501(m),(o)(2)(i)
2 MD Code Family Law § 4-501(o)(2)(ii)