Legal Information: Maryland

Restraining Orders

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November 13, 2017

How do I change or extend my protective order?

Extending your order
You may apply to the court to have your order extended and the judge could grant this after the abuser is given notice and after a hearing in front of a judge. The hearing must take place within 30 days after you file the motion. If the hearing is scheduled after the original expiration date of the final protective order, the order will be extended until the hearing.1 A judge can extend the protective order (without any new incidents of abuse) for 6 months beyond the time it is supposed to end if you can show "good cause" (a good reason) why it should be extended.2 The order can be extended for up to 2 years if you can prove that during the term of your protective order, the abuser committed a new act of abuse against you or if the abuser consents to the extension.3 To determine how long this extension based on new abuse should be, the judge will consider the following factors:

  • what the new abusive act was and how severe (serious) it was;
  • the history and severity of abuse in the relationship between the abuser and you (or anyone named in your order);
  • the type of any pending criminal charges against the respondent; and
  • the nature and seriousness of any injury or risk of injury caused by the respondent.3

Lastly, you can petition for a new final protective order with no end date (lasts forever) if:

  • you had a final protective order against the abuser; and
  • s/he was convicted and sentenced to serve at least 5 years in prison (and actually served at least 12 months of that sentence) for an incident of abuse against you that was the basis for that prior final protective order or for conspiracy or solicitation to commit murder.4

Changing your order
You can file to change or withdraw your order. The judge could grant this after the abuser is given notice and after a hearing in front of a judge.5

1 MD Code, Fam. Law § 4-507(a)(2),(a)(4)
2 MD Code, Fam. Law § 4-507(a)(2)
3 MD Code, Fam. Law § 4-507(a)(3)
4 MD Code, Fam. Law § 4-506(k)(1),(3)
5 MD Code, Fam. Law § 4-507(a)(1)