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Legal Information: Maryland

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
August 13, 2019

How do I get an extreme risk protective order?

The steps to get an extreme risk protective order are similar to the steps to get a domestic violence restraining order, but you will fill out different forms. In your petition, you should:

  • write any information you know about how the respondent presents an immediate danger of hurting himself/herself, you, or others if s/he has a firearm;
  • describe the respondent’s behaviors and any statements s/he made about hurting himself/herself or others;
  • provide a description of the number, types, and the location of the respondent’s firearms; and
  • include any supporting documents and evidence that you may have regarding:
    • the respondent’s unlawful, reckless, or negligent use, display, storage, possession, or waving (brandishing) of a firearm;
    • the respondent’s act of violence or threat of violence against another person even if the threat does not involve a firearm;
    • any violation of a protective order or a peace order; and
    • any abuse of drugs (controlled substances) or alcohol, including any information about the respondent’s convictions for crimes involving a drugs or alcohol.1

1 MD Code, Public Safety § 5-602(a)(1)

How will a judge make a decision about whether or not to grant the order?

The judge may grant an interim, temporary, or final extreme risk protective if the respondent shows an immediate and present danger of causing personal injury to him/herself, you, or others by having firearms. When deciding whether the respondent is a risk of immediate and present danger, the judge will consider factors such as:

  • alarming behavior and statements;
  • unlawful firearm possession;
  • reckless or negligent firearm use;
  • violence or threats of violence to him/herself or others;
  • violating peace or protective orders;
  • drug and/or alcohol abuse; and/or
  • information contained in health records.1

1 MD Code, Public Safety § 5-602(a)(1); Maryland Courts website, “Extreme Risk Protective Orders”

Can I extend an extreme risk protective order?

You can file a motion to extend an extreme risk protective order while the order is in effect. The judge will schedule a hearing on your motion within 30 days.1 A judge may extend an extreme risk protective order after:

  • notice to the respondent and any other person who would be affected by an extension; and
  • a hearing where the judge finds “good cause” to extend the order.2

If the hearing on your motion to extend the order is scheduled for a date after the order expires, the judge will extend the order until the hearing on your motion.3

1 MD Code, Public Safety § 5-602(a)(3)(i)
2 MD Code, Public Safety § 5-602(a)(2)
3 MD Code, Public Safety § 5-602(a)(3)(ii)

What happens if the respondent violates the order?

Violating an extreme risk protective order is a misdemeanor. For the first offense, the judge could sentence the respondent to:

  • pay a fine of up to $1,000;
  • go to jail for up to 90 days; or
  • both.

For any additional offense of violating an extreme risk protective order, the judge could sentence the respondent to:

  • pay a fine of up to $2,500;
  • go to jail for up to one year; or
  • both.

1 MD Code, Public Safety § 5-610(a)(1)
2 MD Code, Public Safety § 5-610(a)(2)