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Legal Information: Maryland

Restraining Orders

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November 27, 2023

Who can file for an extreme risk protective order?

The person filing for an extreme risk protective order is known as the petitioner. The person who the order is filed against is called the respondent.

You can file for an extreme risk protective order if the respondent shows an immediate and present danger of causing personal injury to him/herself, you, or others by having firearms, and you are:

  1. the respondent’s:
    • spouse;
    • “cohabitant;”
    • relative by blood, marriage, or adoption;
    • co-parent;
    • current dating or intimate partner;
    • current or former legal guardian; or
  2. any of the following professionals:
  • a law enforcement officer; or
  • a medical professional who has examined the respondent, which includes a physician, psychologist, clinical social worker, licensed clinical professional counselor, clinical nurse specialist in psychiatric and mental health nursing, psychiatric nurse practitioner, licensed clinical marriage or family therapist, or health officer or designee of a health officer who has examined the individual.1

Note: The law generally defines a cohabitant as a person who is in a relationship and living with the respondent but is not married to the respondent.2

1 MD Code, Public Safety § 5-601(e)
2 See Ricketts v. Ricketts, 903 A.2d 857 (MD 2006)