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Legal Information: Maryland

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of November 27, 2023

What types of peace orders are there? How long do they last?

There are three types of peace orders.  Each can be issued if the judge believes that you have been abused by the person you are filing against and that the abuser is likely to abuse you again in the future.1

Interim peace orders. If you wish to file for a peace order but the district court clerk’s office is closed, you can file for an interim order by going to the nearest District Court commissioner.2  The interim peace order lasts until:

  • a judge holds a temporary peace order hearing on the first or second day on which a District Court judge is working after the order is issued; or
  • the end of the second business day that the court clerk’s office is open after the order is issued, whichever comes sooner.3  

Note: Even if you are denied an interim peace order, you can still apply for a temporary or final peace order.4

Temporary peace orders. When you go to court during normal court hours to file for a final peace order, you can ask for a temporary peace order, which can be issued the same day without the abuser present (ex parte).5  The order is effective when it is served.6  The temporary order is in effect for up to seven days after service of the order. (If the court is closed on the day on which the temporary peace order is due to expire, it is effective until the second day on which the court is open, by which time the court should hold a final peace order hearing.)  However, the judge may extend the temporary order to allow for service of the order or for another good reason, but not to more than 30 days.7 Note: If the respondent is at the hearing, the judge may go ahead and hold a hearing for a final peace order instead of a temporary one if you and the respondent agree to this.8

Final peace orders. The respondent has the opportunity to be present at the final peace order hearing to object to the order - and each of you can present evidence, testimony, witnesses, etc., to prove your case.  The order can last for up to six months but can be extended.9  See Can I modify, cancel or extend my peace order? for more information.

1 MD Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. §§ 3-1503.1(b); 3-1504(a)(1); 3-1505(c)(1)(ii)
2 MD Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 3-1503.1(a); “Peace and Protective Orders” Brochure, MD Judiciary
3 MD Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 3-1503.1(g), (d)(1)(ii)
4 MD Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 3-1503.1(h)
5 MD Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 3-1504(a)(1)
6 See generally MD Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 3-1504(b); “Peace and Protective Orders” Brochure, MD Judiciary
7 MD Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 3-1504(c)
8 MD Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 3-1504(d)
9 MD Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. §§ 3-1505(a),(c)(1)(ii),(f); 3-1506(a)(2)