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Legal Information: Maryland

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of November 27, 2023

Step 2: Carefully fill out the necessary forms.

On the petition, you are the “petitioner” and the abuser is the “respondent.”  Write briefly about the most recent incident(s) of violence, using descriptive language - words like “slapping,” “hitting,” “grabbing,” “threatening,” “choking,” etc. - that fits your situation.  Be specific.  

When giving your address, you may want to give a safe mailing address and phone number or ask the clerk if you can keep this information confidential if you don’t want the abuser to know where you are staying.  

If you need assistance filling out the forms, you may be able to ask the clerk for help.  Some courts may have an advocate that can assist you.  Another option is to find help through a local domestic violence organization – see our MD Advocates and Shelters page.  A clerk or advocate can show you which blanks to fill in, but they cannot help you decide what to write.  You will find links to the forms you will need at our MD Download Court Forms page or from the courthouse in your area.

Be sure to sign the forms in front of a notary or a clerk.  Remember to bring some form of photo identification since this may be necessary to have your petition notarized in court.