Step 1: Get the petition.
You can get a “petition for protection,” as it is called, from the court clerk at any circuit or district court, or from a district court commissioner in your city/county during regular court hours. District court commissioners are available anytime if the courts are closed. If you want a temporary order, you may want to express this to the clerk when you get the forms. Alternatively, you can file for a temporary protective order electronically from any of the following locations:
- a domestic violence prevention or assistance program;
- a sexual assault prevention or assistance program;
- a human trafficking prevention or assistance program;
- a child advocacy center;
- a vulnerable adult program;
- a hospital where you are currently receiving medical treatment; or
- another location approved by the court.1
To find the courthouse closest to you, go to the MD Courthouse Locations page. To find a district court commissioner in your area you can visit the District Court of MD Commissioner Directory.
You can ask the court clerk to provide you with a “notification request form” to fill out if you would like to be notified once the temporary and final orders are served on the abuser.2 By law, the clerk is supposed to provide this form to you.3 If you complete this form, law enforcement would notify the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services within two hours of serving the abuser and the Department has one hour to notify you of the service.4
1 MD Code Ann., Fam. Law §§ 4-504(d)(1); 4-505.1(b)
2 MD Code Ann., Fam. Law §§ 4-504(d)(1)
3 MD Code Ann., Fam. Law § 4-504(d)(3)
4 MD Code Ann., Fam. Law, §§ 4-504.1(g)(3); 4-505(b)(1)(ii)