Legal Information: Maryland

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
November 13, 2017

How can an interim protective order help me?

An interim protective order can do the following:

  • order the abuser to not abuse or threaten to abuse you or anyone else listed in the order;
  • order the abuser to not contact, try to contact, or harass you or anyone else listed in the order;
  • order the abuser to not enter your home;
  • order the abuser to stay away from you and/or your child(ren)’s work place, school, temporary residence (such as a shelter), or other family members’ homes;
  • order the abuser to move out of the house (if you shared it) and give you (the victim) temporary use and possession of the home -- if the victim is an abused child or vulnerable adult, the temporary use and possession of the home can be given to an adult living in the home. Note: This temporary use/possession of the home can only be granted to a non-spouse if his/her name is on the lease/deed or if s/he shared the home with the abuser for at least 90 days during the 1-year period before the protective order was filed;
  • give you temporary possession of any pet owned by you or the respondent; and
  • give you temporary custody of any children you have with the abuser.*

In addition, if the other parent has the child, the judge can order that the child be returned to you and can order law enforcement to use reasonable and necessary force to return the child to you.**

Note: Even without a protective order, if you have been the victim of abuse and you believe that you are in danger of immediate harm, you can request the help of local law enforcement to accompany you to the "family home" to remove the following items (regardless of who paid for the items):  

  • the personal clothing of you and of any child in your care; and
  • the personal belongings, including medicine or medical devices, of you and of any child in your care.***

* MD Code Ann., Fam. Law § 4-504.1(c)
** MD Code Ann., Fam. Law § 4-504.1(d)
*** MD Code Ann., Fam. Law § 4-502(a)(2)