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Statutes: Maryland

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Current through legislation effective July 1, 2019, from the 2019 Regular Session of the General Assembly. You can find these and other statutes online at the General Assembly of Maryland website.

Family Law

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Title 4. Spouses

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Subtitle 5. Domestic Violence

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Part I. Definitions; General Provisions

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 4-501. Definitions

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In general

(a) In this subtitle the following words have the meanings indicated.

Abuse

(b)(1) “Abuse” means any of the following acts:

(i) an act that causes serious bodily harm;

(ii) an act that places a person eligible for relief in fear of imminent serious bodily harm;

(iii) assault in any degree;

(iv) rape or sexual offense under § 3-303, § 3-304, § 3-307, or § 3-308 of the Criminal Law Article or attempted rape or sexual offense in any degree;

(v) false imprisonment;

(vi) stalking under § 3-802 of the Criminal Law Article; or

(vii) revenge porn under § 3-809 of the Criminal Law Article.

(2)(i) If the person for whom relief is sought is a child, “abuse” may also include abuse of a child, as defined in Title 5, Subtitle 7 of this article.

(ii) Nothing in this subtitle shall be construed to prohibit reasonable punishment, including reasonable corporal punishment, in light of the age and condition of the child, from being performed by a parent or stepparent of the child.

(3) If the person for whom relief is sought is a vulnerable adult, “abuse” may also include abuse of a vulnerable adult, as defined in Title 14, Subtitle 1 of this article.

Child care provider

(c) “Child care provider” means a person that provides supervision and care for a minor child.

Cohabitant

(d) “Cohabitant” means a person who has had a sexual relationship with the respondent and resided with the respondent in the home for a period of at least 90 days within 1 year before the filing of the petition.

Commissioner

(e) “Commissioner” means a District Court Commissioner appointed in accordance with Article IV, § 41G of the Maryland Constitution.

Court

(f) “Court” means the District Court or a circuit court in this State.

Emergency family maintenance

(g) “Emergency family maintenance” means a monetary award given to or for a person eligible for relief to whom the respondent has a duty of support under this article based on:

(1) the financial needs of the person eligible for relief; and

(2) the resources available to the person eligible for relief and the respondent.

Executive Director

(h) “Executive Director” means the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention.

Final protective order

(i) “Final protective order” means a protective order issued under § 4-506 of this subtitle.

Home

(j) “Home” means the property in this State that:

(1) is the principal residence of a person eligible for relief; and

(2) is owned, rented, or leased by the person eligible for relief or respondent or, in a petition alleging child abuse or abuse of a vulnerable adult, an adult living in the home at the time of a proceeding under this subtitle.

Interim protective order

(k) “Interim protective order” means an order that a Commissioner issues under this subtitle pending a hearing by a judge on a petition.

Local department

(l) “Local department” means the local department that has jurisdiction in the county:

(1) where the home is located; or

(2) if different, where the abuse is alleged to have taken place.

Person eligible for relief

(m) “Person eligible for relief” includes:

(1) the current or former spouse of the respondent;

(2) a cohabitant of the respondent;

(3) a person related to the respondent by blood, marriage, or adoption;

(4) a parent, stepparent, child, or stepchild of the respondent or the person eligible for relief who resides or resided with the respondent or person eligible for relief for at least 90 days within 1 year before the filing of the petition;

(5) a vulnerable adult;

(6) an individual who has a child in common with the respondent; or

(7) an individual who has had a sexual relationship with the respondent within 1 year before the filing of the petition.

Pet

(n)(1) “Pet” means a domesticated animal.

(2) “Pet” does not include livestock.

Petitioner

(o)(1) “Petitioner” means an individual who files a petition.

(2) “Petitioner” includes:

(i) a person eligible for relief; or

(ii) the following persons who may seek relief from abuse on behalf of a minor or vulnerable adult:

1. the State’s Attorney for the county where the child or vulnerable adult lives, or, if different, where the abuse is alleged to have taken place;

2. the department of social services that has jurisdiction in the county where the child or vulnerable adult lives, or, if different, where the abuse is alleged to have taken place;

3. a person related to the child or vulnerable adult by blood, marriage, or adoption; or

4. an adult who resides in the home.

Residence

(p) “Residence” includes the yard, grounds, outbuildings, and common areas surrounding the residence.

Respondent

(q) “Respondent” means the person alleged in the petition to have committed the abuse.

Temporary protective order

(r) “Temporary protective order” means a protective order issued under § 4-505 of this subtitle.

Victim

(s) “Victim” includes a person eligible for relief.

Vulnerable adult

(t) “Vulnerable adult” has the meaning provided in § 14-101(q) of this article.

§ 4-502. Duties of law enforcement officers

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Help of a local law enforcement unit

(a)(1) Any person who alleges to have been a victim of abuse and who believes there is a danger of serious and immediate personal harm may request the help of a local law enforcement unit.

(2) A local law enforcement officer who responds to the request for help shall:

(i) protect the person from harm when responding to the request; and

(ii) accompany the person to the family home so that the person may remove the following items, regardless of who paid for the items:

1. the personal clothing of the person and of any child in the care of the person; and

2. the personal effects, including medicine or medical devices, of the person and of any child in the care of the person that the person or child needs immediately.

Immunity from liability

(b) A law enforcement officer who responds to a request described in subsection (a) of this section has the immunity from liability described under § 5-610 of the Courts Article.

§ 4-503. Notice of victim's rights to victim

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Victim’s rights notice

(a) A law enforcement officer who responds to a request for help under § 4-502 of this Part I of this subtitle shall give the victim a written notice that:

(1) includes the telephone number of a local domestic violence program that receives funding from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention; and

(2) states that:

(i) the victim may request that a District Court commissioner file a criminal charging document against the alleged abuser;

(ii) if the commissioner declines to charge the alleged abuser, the victim may request that the State’s Attorney file a criminal charging document against the alleged abuser;

(iii) the victim may file in the District Court or a circuit court or, when neither the office of the clerk of the circuit court nor the Office of the District Court Clerk is open, with a commissioner, a petition under this subtitle; and

(iv) the victim may obtain a copy of the incident report, as provided under § 4-503.1 of this Part I of this subtitle.

Immunity from liability

(b) A law enforcement officer may not be held liable in a civil action that arises from the officer’s failure to provide the notice required under subsection (a) of this section.

§ 4-503.1. Report of abuse to Department of State Police and victim

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Distribution of report

(a) If an incident report is filed when a law enforcement officer responds to a request for help under § 4-502 of this Part I of this subtitle, the law enforcement unit shall provide a copy of the report to the victim on request.

Subpoena not needed

(b) The victim need not obtain a subpoena to receive a copy of the incident report.

Part II. Household Violence

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 4-504. Petition for relief from abuse

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

(a)(1) A petitioner may seek relief from abuse by filing with a court, or with a commissioner under the circumstances specified in § 4-504.1(a) of this subtitle, a petition that alleges abuse of any person eligible for relief by the respondent.

(2) A petition may be filed under this subtitle if:

(i) the abuse is alleged to have occurred in the State; or

(ii) the person eligible for relief is a resident of the State, regardless of whether the abuse is alleged to have occurred in the State.

Contents of petition

(b)(1) The petition shall:

(i) be under oath; and

(ii) include any information known to the petitioner of:

1. the nature and extent of the abuse for which the relief is being sought, including information known to the petitioner concerning previous injury resulting from abuse by the respondent;

2. each previous action between the parties in any court;

3. each pending action between the parties in any court;

4. the whereabouts of the respondent, if known;

5. if financial relief is requested, information known to the petitioner regarding the financial resources of the respondent; and

6. in a case of alleged child abuse or alleged abuse of a vulnerable adult, the whereabouts of the child or vulnerable adult and any other information relating to the abuse of the child or vulnerable adult.

(2) If the petition states that disclosure of the address of a person eligible for relief would risk further abuse of a person eligible for relief, or reveal the confidential address of a shelter for domestic violence victims, that address may be omitted from all documents filed with a commissioner or filed with, or transferred to, a court. If disclosure is necessary to determine jurisdiction or consider any venue issue, it shall be made orally and in camera and may not be disclosed to the respondent.

Cost

(c) The petitioner may not be required to pay a filing fee or costs for the issuance or service of:

(1) an interim protective order;

(2) a temporary protective order;

(3) a final protective order; or

(4) a witness subpoena.

Notification of service

(d)(1) If a petitioner has requested notification of the service of a protective order, the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services shall:

(i) notify the petitioner of the service on the respondent of an interim or a temporary protective order within one hour after a law enforcement officer electronically notifies the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services of the service; and

(ii) notify the petitioner of the service on the respondent of a final protective order within one hour after knowledge of service of the order on the respondent.

(2) The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services shall develop a notification request form and procedures for notification under this subsection.

(3) The court clerk or Commissioner shall provide the notification request form to a petitioner.

§ 4-504.1. Interim protective orders

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

When petition filed with commissioner

(a) A petition under this subtitle may be filed with a commissioner when neither the office of the clerk of the circuit court nor the Office of the District Court Clerk is open for business.

Issuance of interim protective order

(b) If a petition is filed with a commissioner and the commissioner finds that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the respondent has abused a person eligible for relief, the commissioner may issue an interim protective order to protect a person eligible for relief.

Scope of interim protective order

(c) An interim protective order may:

(1) order the respondent to refrain from further abuse or threats of abuse of a person eligible for relief;

(2) order the respondent to refrain from contacting, attempting to contact, or harassing a person eligible for relief;

(3) order the respondent to refrain from entering the residence of a person eligible for relief;

(4) if a person eligible for relief and the respondent are residing together at the time of the alleged abuse:

(i) order the respondent to vacate the home immediately;

(ii) award to a person eligible for relief custody of any child of the person eligible for relief and respondent then residing in the home; and

(iii) subject to the limits as to a nonspouse specified in § 4-505(a)(2)(iv) of this subtitle, award temporary use and possession of the home to the person eligible for relief;

(5) in a case alleging abuse of a child, award temporary custody of a minor child of the respondent and a person eligible for relief;

(6) in a case alleging abuse of a vulnerable adult, subject to the limits as to a nonspouse specified in § 4-505(a)(2)(iv) of this subtitle, award temporary use and possession of the home to an adult living in the home;

(7) order the respondent to remain away from the place of employment, school, or temporary residence of a person eligible for relief;

(8) order the respondent to remain away from the residence of any family member of a person eligible for relief; or

(9) award temporary possession of any pet of the person eligible for relief or the respondent.

Temporary custody awards

(d) If the commissioner awards temporary custody of a minor child under subsection (c)(4)(ii) or (5) of this section, the commissioner may order a law enforcement officer to use all reasonable and necessary force to return the minor child to the custodial parent after service of the interim protective order.

Contents of interim protective order

(e)(1)(i) An interim protective order shall state the date, time, and location for the temporary protective order hearing and a tentative date, time, and location for a final protective order hearing.

(ii) Except as provided in subsection (h) of this section, or unless the judge continues the hearing for good cause, a temporary protective order hearing shall be held on the first or second day on which a District Court judge is sitting after issuance of the interim protective order.

(2) An interim protective order shall include in at least 10-point bold type:

(i) notice to the respondent that:

1. the respondent must give the court written notice of each change of address;

2. if the respondent fails to appear at the temporary protective order hearing or any later hearing, the respondent may be served with any orders or notices in the case by first-class mail at the respondent’s last known address;

3. the date, time, and location of the final protective order hearing is tentative only, and subject to change; and

4. if the respondent does not attend the temporary protective order hearing, the respondent may call the Office of the Clerk of the District Court at the number provided in the order to find out the actual date, time, and location of any final protective order hearing;

(ii) a statement of all possible forms and duration of relief that a temporary protective order or final protective order may contain;

(iii) notice to the petitioner and respondent that, at the hearing, a judge may issue a temporary protective order that grants any or all of the relief requested in the petition or may deny the petition, whether or not the respondent is in court;

(iv) a warning to the respondent that violation of an interim protective order is a crime and that a law enforcement officer shall arrest the respondent, with or without a warrant, and take the respondent into custody if the officer has probable cause to believe that the respondent has violated any provision of the interim protective order; and

(v) the phone number of the Office of the District Court Clerk.

Duties of commissioner

(f) Whenever a commissioner issues an interim protective order, the commissioner shall:

(1) immediately forward a copy of the petition and interim protective order to the appropriate law enforcement agency for service on the respondent; and

(2) before the hearing scheduled in the interim protective order, transfer the case file and the return of service, if any, to the Office of the District Court Clerk.

Duties of law enforcement officer

(g) A law enforcement officer shall:

(1) immediately on receipt of a petition and interim protective order, serve them on the respondent named in the order;

(2) immediately after service, make a return of service to the commissioner’s office or, if the Office of the District Court Clerk is open for business, to the Clerk; and

(3) within two hours after service of the order on the respondent, electronically notify the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services of the service.

How long interim protective order effective

(h)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, an interim protective order shall be effective until the earlier of:

(i) the temporary protective order hearing under § 4-505 of this subtitle; or

(ii) the end of the second business day the Office of the Clerk of the District Court is open following the issuance of an interim protective order.

(2) If the court is closed on the day on which the interim protective order is due to expire, the interim protective order shall be effective until the next day on which the court is open, at which time the court shall hold a temporary protective order hearing.

Decision of commissioner not binding on judge

(i) A decision of a commissioner to grant or deny relief under this section is not binding on, and does not affect any power granted to or duty imposed on, a judge of a circuit court or the District Court under any law, including any power to grant or deny a petition for a temporary protective order or final protective order.

§ 4-505. Temporary protective orders

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In general

(a)(1) If, after a hearing on a petition, whether ex parte or otherwise, a judge finds that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a person eligible for relief has been abused, the judge may enter a temporary protective order to protect any person eligible for relief from abuse.

(2) The temporary protective order may order any or all of the following relief:

(i) order the respondent to refrain from further abuse or threats of abuse of a person eligible for relief;

(ii) order the respondent to refrain from contacting, attempting to contact, or harassing any person eligible for relief;

(iii) order the respondent to refrain from entering the residence of a person eligible for relief;

(iv) where the person eligible for relief and the respondent are residing together at the time of the alleged abuse, order the respondent to vacate the home immediately and award temporary use and possession of the home to the person eligible for relief or in the case of alleged abuse of a child or alleged abuse of a vulnerable adult, award temporary use and possession of the home to an adult living in the home, provided that the court may not grant an order to vacate and award temporary use and possession of the home to a nonspouse person eligible for relief unless the name of the person eligible for relief appears on the lease or deed to the home or the person eligible for relief has resided in the home with the respondent for a period of at least 90 days within 1 year before the filing of the petition;

(v) order the respondent to remain away from the place of employment, school, or temporary residence of a person eligible for relief or home of other family members;

(vi) order the respondent to remain away from a child care provider of a person eligible for relief while a child of the person is in the care of the child care provider;

(vii) award temporary custody of a minor child of the person eligible for relief and the respondent;

(viii) order the respondent to surrender to law enforcement authorities any firearm in the respondent’s possession, and to refrain from possession of any firearm, for the duration of the temporary protective order if the abuse consisted of:

1. the use of a firearm by the respondent against a person eligible for relief;

2. a threat by the respondent to use a firearm against a person eligible for relief;

3. serious bodily harm to a person eligible for relief caused by the respondent; or

4. a threat by the respondent to cause serious bodily harm to a person eligible for relief; and

(ix) award temporary possession of any pet of the person eligible for relief or the respondent.

(3) If the judge awards temporary custody of a minor child under paragraph (2)(vii) of this subsection, the judge may order a law enforcement officer to use all reasonable and necessary force to return the minor child to the custodial parent after service of the temporary protective order.

Service

(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a law enforcement officer shall:

(i) immediately serve the temporary protective order on the alleged abuser under this section; and

(ii) within two hours after service of the order on the respondent, electronically notify the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services of the service using an electronic system approved and provided by the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

(2) A respondent who has been served with an interim protective order under § 4-504.1 of this subtitle shall be served with the temporary protective order in open court or, if the respondent is not present at the temporary protective order hearing, by first-class mail at the respondent’s last known address.

(3) There shall be no cost to the petitioner for service of the temporary protective order.

Duration of temporary protective order

(c)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the temporary protective order shall be effective for not more than 7 days after service of the order.

(2) The judge may extend the temporary protective order as needed, but not to exceed 6 months, to effectuate service of the order where necessary to provide protection or for other good cause.

(3) If the court is closed on the day on which the temporary protective order is due to expire, the temporary protective order shall be effective until the second day on which the court is open, by which time the court shall hold a final protective order hearing.

Issuance of final protective order

(d) The judge may proceed with a final protective order hearing instead of a temporary protective order hearing, if:

(1)(i) the respondent appears at the hearing;

(ii) the respondent has been served with an interim protective order; or

(iii) the court otherwise has personal jurisdiction over the respondent; and

(2) the petitioner and the respondent expressly consent to waive the temporary protective order hearing.

Investigation of abuse of a child or vulnerable adult

(e)(1) Whenever a judge finds reasonable grounds to believe that abuse of a child, as defined in Title 5, Subtitle 7 of this article, or abuse of a vulnerable adult, as defined in Title 14, Subtitle 1 of this article, has occurred, the court shall forward to the local department a copy of the petition and temporary protective order.

(2) Whenever a local department receives a petition and temporary protective order from a court, the local department shall:

(i) investigate the alleged abuse as provided in:

1. Title 5, Subtitle 7 of this article; or

2. Title 14, Subtitle 3 of this article; and

(ii) by the date of the final protective order hearing, send to the court a copy of the report of the investigation.

§ 4-506. Final protective orders

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

(a) A respondent under § 4-505 of this subtitle shall have an opportunity to be heard on the question of whether the judge should issue a final protective order.

Contents of temporary protective order

(b)(1)(i) The temporary protective order shall state the date and time of the final protective order hearing.

(ii) Except as provided in § 4-505(c) of this subtitle, or unless continued for good cause, the final protective order hearing shall be held no later than 7 days after the temporary protective order is served on the respondent.

(2) The temporary protective order shall include notice to the respondent:

(i) in at least 10-point bold type, that if the respondent fails to appear at the final protective order hearing, the respondent may be served by first-class mail at the respondent’s last known address with the final protective order and all other notices concerning the final protective order;

(ii) specifying all the possible forms of relief under subsection (d) of this section that the final protective order may contain;

(iii) that the final protective order shall be effective for the period stated in the order, not to exceed 1 year or, under the circumstances described in subsection (j)(2) of this section, 2 years, unless the judge extends the term of the order under § 4-507(a)(2) of this subtitle or the court issues a permanent order under subsection (k) of this section; and

(iv) in at least 10-point bold type, that the respondent must notify the court in writing of any change of address.

Issuance of final protective order

(c)(1) If the respondent appears before the court at a protective order hearing or has been served with an interim or temporary protective order, or the court otherwise has personal jurisdiction over the respondent, the judge:

(i) may proceed with the final protective order hearing; and

(ii) if the judge finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the alleged abuse has occurred, or if the respondent consents to the entry of a protective order, the judge may grant a final protective order to protect any person eligible for relief from abuse.

(2) A final protective order may be issued only to a person who has filed a petition under § 4-504 of this subtitle.

(3)(i) Subject to the provisions of subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, in cases where both parties file a petition under § 4-504 of this subtitle, the judge may issue mutual protective orders if the judge finds by a preponderance of the evidence that mutual abuse has occurred.

(ii) The judge may issue mutual final protective orders only if the judge makes a detailed finding of fact that:

1. both parties acted primarily as aggressors; and

2. neither party acted primarily in self-defense.

Scope of final protective order

(d) The final protective order may include any or all of the following relief:

(1) order the respondent to refrain from abusing or threatening to abuse any person eligible for relief;

(2) order the respondent to refrain from contacting, attempting to contact, or harassing any person eligible for relief;

(3) order the respondent to refrain from entering the residence of any person eligible for relief;

(4) where the person eligible for relief and the respondent are residing together at the time of the abuse, order the respondent to vacate the home immediately and award temporary use and possession of the home to the person eligible for relief or, in the case of alleged abuse of a child or alleged abuse of a vulnerable adult, award temporary use and possession of the home to an adult living in the home, provided that the court may not grant an order to vacate and award temporary use and possession of the home to a nonspouse person eligible for relief unless the name of the person eligible for relief appears on the lease or deed to the home or the person eligible for relief has shared the home with the respondent for a period of at least 90 days within 1 year before the filing of the petition;

(5) order the respondent to remain away from the place of employment, school, or temporary residence of a person eligible for relief or home of other family members;

(6) order the respondent to remain away from a child care provider of a person eligible for relief while a child of the person is in the care of the child care provider;

(7) award temporary custody of a minor child of the respondent and a person eligible for relief;

(8) establish temporary visitation with a minor child of the respondent and a person eligible for relief on a basis which gives primary consideration to the welfare of the minor child and the safety of any other person eligible for relief. If the court finds that the safety of a person eligible for relief will be jeopardized by unsupervised or unrestricted visitation, the court shall condition or restrict visitation as to time, place, duration, or supervision, or deny visitation entirely, as needed to guard the safety of any person eligible for relief;

(9) award emergency family maintenance as necessary to support any person eligible for relief to whom the respondent has a duty of support under this article, including an immediate and continuing withholding order on all earnings of the respondent in the amount of the ordered emergency family maintenance in accordance with the procedures specified in Title 10, Subtitle 1, Part III of this article;

(10) award temporary use and possession of a vehicle jointly owned by the respondent and a person eligible for relief to the person eligible for relief if necessary for the employment of the person eligible for relief or for the care of a minor child of the respondent or a person eligible for relief;

(11) except when a protective order is issued for a person eligible for relief described in § 4-501(m)(7) of this subtitle, direct the respondent or any or all of the persons eligible for relief to participate in professionally supervised counseling or a domestic violence program;

(12) order the respondent to pay filing fees and costs of a proceeding under this subtitle;

(13) award temporary possession of any pet of the person eligible for relief or the respondent; or

(14) order any other relief that the judge determines is necessary to protect a person eligible for relief from abuse.

Review of open and shielded records

(e)(1) Before granting, denying, or modifying a final protective order under this section, the court shall review all open and shielded court records involving the person eligible for relief and the respondent, including records of proceedings under:

(i) the Criminal Law Article;

(ii) Title 3, Subtitle 15 of the Courts Article; and

(iii) this article.

(2) The court’s failure to review records under this subsection does not affect the validity of an order issued under this section.

Surrender of firearms by respondent

(f) The final protective order shall order the respondent to surrender to law enforcement authorities any firearm in the respondent’s possession, and to refrain from possession of any firearm, for the duration of the protective order.

Return of minor child to custodial parent

(g) If the judge awards temporary custody of a minor child under subsection (d)(7) of this section, the judge may order a law enforcement officer to use all reasonable and necessary force to return the minor child to the custodial parent after service of the final protective order.

Vacation of home by respondent

(h) In determining whether to order the respondent to vacate the home under § 4-505(a)(2)(iv) of this subtitle or subsection (d)(4) of this section, the judge shall consider the following factors:

(1) the housing needs of any minor child living in the home;

(2) the duration of the relationship between the respondent and any person eligible for relief;

(3) title to the home;

(4) pendency and type of criminal charges against the respondent;

(5) the history and severity of abuse in the relationship between the respondent and any person eligible for relief;

(6) the existence of alternative housing for the respondent and any person eligible for relief; and

(7) the financial resources of the respondent and the person eligible for relief.

Service

(i)(1) A copy of the final protective order shall be served on the petitioner, the respondent, any affected person eligible for relief, the appropriate law enforcement agency, and any other person the judge determines is appropriate, in open court or, if the person is not present at the final protective order hearing, by first-class mail to the person’s last known address.

(2) A copy of the final protective order served on the respondent in accordance with paragraph (1) of this subsection constitutes actual notice to the respondent of the contents of the final protective order. Service is complete upon mailing.

Duration of relief granted

(j)(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection, all relief granted in a final protective order shall be effective for the period stated in the order, not to exceed 1 year.

(2) All relief granted in a final protective order shall be effective for the period stated in the order, not to exceed 2 years if:

(i) the court issues a final protective order under this section against a respondent on behalf of a person eligible for relief:

1. for an act of abuse committed within 1 year after the date that a prior final protective order issued against the same respondent on behalf of the same person eligible for relief expires; or

2. by consent of the respondent within 1 year after the date that a prior final protective order issued against the same respondent on behalf of the same person eligible for relief expires; and

(ii) the prior final protective order was issued for a period of at least 6 months.

(3) A subsequent circuit court order pertaining to any of the provisions included in the final protective order shall supersede those provisions in the final protective order.

Final protective orders

(k)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the court shall issue a permanent protective order under this subsection against an individual if:

(i) an interim, temporary, or final protective order has been issued under this subtitle against the individual;

(ii) 1. the individual was convicted and sentenced to serve a term of imprisonment of at least 5 years for the act of abuse that led to the issuance of the interim, temporary, or final protective order and the individual has served at least 12 months of the sentence; or

2. A. during the term of the interim, temporary, or final protective order, the individual committed an act of abuse against the person eligible for relief; and

B. the individual was convicted and sentenced to serve a term of imprisonment of at least 5 years for the act and has served at least 12 months of the sentence; and

(iii) the victim of the act of abuse described in item (ii)1 or 2 of this paragraph, who was the person eligible for relief in the interim, temporary, or final protective order, requests the issuance of a permanent protective order under this subsection.

(2) In a permanent protective order issued under this subsection, the court may grant only the relief that was granted in the original protective order under § 4-504.1(c)(1) or (2) or § 4-505(a)(2)(i) or (ii) of this subtitle or subsection (d)(1) or (2) of this section.

(3) Unless terminated at the request of the victim, a protective order issued under this subsection shall be permanent.

§ 4-507. Modification or rescission of protective orders; appeal

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Modification or rescission of protective orders

(a)(1) A protective order may be modified or rescinded during the term of the protective order after:

(i) giving notice to all affected persons eligible for relief and the respondent; and

(ii) a hearing.

(2) For good cause shown, a judge may extend the term of the protective order for 6 months beyond the period specified in § 4-506(j) of this subtitle, after:

(i) giving notice to all affected persons eligible for relief and the respondent; and

(ii) a hearing.

(3)(i) Subject to subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, a judge may extend the term of a protective order for a period not to exceed 2 years from the date the extension is granted if:

1. during the term of the protective order, the judge finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the respondent named in the protective order has committed a subsequent act of abuse against a person eligible for relief named in the protective order; or

2. the respondent named in the protective order consents to the extension of the protective order.

(ii) The judge may extend the term of the protective order under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph after:

1. giving notice to all affected persons eligible for relief and the respondent; and

2. a hearing.

(iii) In determining the period of extension of a protective order under subparagraph (i)1 of this paragraph, the judge shall consider the following factors:

1. the nature and severity of the subsequent act of abuse;

2. the history and severity of abuse in the relationship between the respondent and any person eligible for relief named in the protective order;

3. the pendency and type of criminal charges against the respondent; and

4. the nature and extent of the injury or risk of injury caused by the respondent.

(4)(i) If, during the term of a final protective order, a petitioner or person eligible for relief files a motion to extend the term of the order under paragraph (2) or (3) of this subsection, the court shall hold a hearing on the motion within 30 days after the motion is filed.

(ii) If the hearing on the motion is scheduled after the original expiration date of the final protective order, the court shall extend the order and keep the terms of the order in full force and effect until the hearing on the motion.

Appeal

(b)(1) If a District Court judge grants or denies relief under a petition filed under this subtitle, a respondent, any person eligible for relief, or a petitioner may appeal to the circuit court for the county where the District Court is located.

(2) An appeal taken under this subsection to the circuit court shall be heard de novo in the circuit court.

(3) If an appeal is filed under this subsection, the District Court judgment shall remain in effect until superseded by a judgment of the circuit court. Unless the circuit court orders otherwise, modification or enforcement of the District Court order shall be by the District Court.

§ 4-508. Penalties for violations of orders

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Penalty for violation of order

(a) An interim protective order, temporary protective order, and final protective order issued under this subtitle shall state that a violation of the order may result in:

(1) criminal prosecution; and

(2) imprisonment or fine or both.

Finding of contempt for violation of order

(b) A temporary protective order and final protective order issued under this subtitle shall state that a violation of the order may result in a finding of contempt.

§ 4-508.1. Protective orders issued by foreign courts

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

“Order for protection” defined

(a)(1) In this section, “order for protection” means a temporary or final order or injunction that:

(i) is issued for the purpose of preventing violent or threatening acts or harassment against, contact or communication with, or physical proximity to another person;

(ii) is issued by a civil court in response to a complaint, petition, or motion filed by or on behalf of a person seeking protection or by a criminal court; and

(iii) is obtained by filing an independent action or as a pendente lite order in another proceeding.

(2) “Order for protection” does not include a support or child custody order.

Enforcement of protective orders issued by foreign courts

(b) An order for protection issued by a court of another state or a Native American tribe shall be accorded full faith and credit by a court of this State and shall be enforced:

(1) in the case of an ex parte order for protection, only to the extent that the order affords relief that is permitted under § 4-505 of this subtitle; and

(2) in the case of an order for protection, other than an ex parte order for protection, only to the extent that the order affords relief that is permitted under § 4-506(d) of this subtitle.

Violator of order shall be arrested

(c) A law enforcement officer shall arrest with or without a warrant and take into custody a person who the officer has probable cause to believe is in violation of an order for protection that was issued by a court of another state or a Native American tribe and is in effect at the time of the violation if the person seeking the assistance of the law enforcement officer:

(1) has filed with the District Court or circuit court for the jurisdiction in which the person seeks assistance a copy of the order; or

(2) displays or presents to the law enforcement officer a copy of the order that appears valid on its face.

Immunity from liability

(d) A law enforcement officer acting in accordance with this section shall be immune from civil liability if the law enforcement officer acts in good faith and in a reasonable manner.

Legislative intent

(e) It is the intent of the General Assembly that an order for protection issued by a court of this State shall be accorded full faith and credit by a court of another state to the extent required by federal law.

§ 4-509. Penalties

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In general

(a) A person who fails to comply with the relief granted in an interim protective order under § 4-504.1(c)(1), (2), (3), (4)(i), (7), or (8) of this subtitle, a temporary protective order under § 4-505(a)(2)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), or (viii) of this subtitle, or a final protective order under § 4-506(d)(1), (2), (3), (4), or (5), or (f) of this subtitle is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject, for each offense, to:

(1) for a first offense, a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or both; and

(2) for a second or subsequent offense, a fine not exceeding $2,500 or imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or both.

Prior convictions under § 3-1508 of Courts Article
(b) For the purpose of second or subsequent offender penalties provided under subsection (a)(2) of this section, a prior conviction under § 3-1508 of the Courts Article shall be considered a conviction under this section.

Arrests with or without a warrant
(c) An officer shall arrest with or without a warrant and take into custody a person who the officer has probable cause to believe is in violation of an interim, temporary, or final protective order in effect at the time of the violation.

§ 4-510. Nonpreclusion of remedies

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

(a) In general.- Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, by proceeding under this subtitle, a petitioner, including a petitioner who acts on behalf of a child or vulnerable adult, is not limited to or precluded from pursuing any other legal remedy.

(b) Peace order relief under the Courts Article.- A person eligible for relief, as defined in § 4-501 of this subtitle, is not eligible for peace order relief under Title 3, Subtitle 8A or Subtitle 15 of the Courts Article.

§ 4-511. Removal of firearm

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

(a) In general.- When responding to the scene of an alleged act of domestic violence, as described in this subtitle, a law enforcement officer may remove a firearm from the scene if:

(1) the law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that an act of domestic violence has occurred; and

(2) the law enforcement officer has observed the firearm on the scene during the response.

(b) Duty of law enforcement officer.- If a firearm is removed from the scene under subsection (a) of this section, the law enforcement officer shall:

(1) provide to the owner of the firearm information on the process for retaking possession of the firearm; and

(2) provide for the safe storage of the firearm during the pendency of any proceeding related to the alleged act of domestic violence.

(c) When owner may resume possession.- At the conclusion of a proceeding on the alleged act of domestic violence, the owner of the firearm may retake possession of the firearm unless ordered to surrender the firearm under § 4-506 of this subtitle.

§ 4-512. Requests to shield court records

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Definitions

(a)(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.

(2)(i) “Court record” means an official record of a court about a proceeding that the clerk of a court or other court personnel keeps.

(ii) “Court record” includes:

1. an index, a docket entry, a petition, a memorandum, a transcription of proceedings, an electronic recording, an order, and a judgment; and

2. any electronic information about a proceeding on the Web site maintained by the Maryland Judiciary.

(3) “Shield” means to remove information from public inspection in accordance with this section.

(4) “Shielding” means:

(i) with respect to a record kept in a courthouse, removing the record to a separate secure area to which persons who do not have a legitimate reason for access are denied access; and

(ii) with respect to electronic information about a proceeding on the Web site maintained by the Maryland Judiciary, completely removing all information concerning the proceeding from the public Web site, including the names of the parties, case numbers, and any reference to the proceeding or any reference to the removal of the proceeding from the public Web site.

(5) “Victim services provider” means a nonprofit or governmental organization that has been authorized by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention to have online access to records of shielded protective orders in order to assist victims of abuse.

Written requests to shield court records

(b)(1) Subject to subsection (c) of this section, if a petition filed under this subtitle was denied or dismissed at the interim, temporary, or final protective order stage of a proceeding under this subtitle, the petitioner or the respondent may file a written request to shield all court records relating to the proceeding in accordance with subsection (d) of this section.

(2) Subject to subsection (c) of this section, if the respondent consented to the entry of a protective order under this subtitle, the petitioner or the respondent may file a written request to shield all court records relating to the proceeding in accordance with subsection (e) of this section.

Time to request shielding

(c) A request for shielding under this section may not be filed within 3 years after the denial or dismissal of the petition or the consent to the entry of the protective order, unless the requesting party files with the request a general waiver and release of all the party’s tort claims related to the proceeding under this subtitle.

Notice and hearing

(d)(1) If a petition was denied or dismissed at the interim, temporary, or final protective order stage of a proceeding under this subtitle, on the filing of a written request for shielding under this section, the court shall schedule a hearing on the request.

(2) The court shall give notice of the hearing to the other party or the other party’s counsel of record.

(3) Except as provided in paragraphs (4) and (5) of this subsection, after the hearing, the court shall order the shielding of all court records relating to the proceeding if the court finds:

(i) that the petition was denied or dismissed at the interim, temporary, or final protective order stage of the proceeding;

(ii) that a final protective order or peace order has not been previously issued against the respondent in a proceeding between the petitioner and the respondent;

(iii) that the respondent has not been found guilty of a crime arising from abuse against the petitioner; and

(iv) that none of the following are pending at the time of the hearing:

1. an interim or temporary protective order or peace order issued against the respondent in a proceeding between the petitioner and the respondent; or

2. a criminal charge against the respondent arising from alleged abuse against the petitioner.

(4)(i) On its own motion or on the objection of the other party, the court may, for good cause, deny the shielding.

(ii) In determining whether there is good cause under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, the court shall balance the privacy of the petitioner or the respondent and potential danger of adverse consequences to the petitioner or the respondent against the potential risk of future harm and danger to the petitioner and the community.

(5) Information about the proceeding may not be removed from the Domestic Violence Central Repository.

Written request for shielding after protective order expires

(e)(1)(i) If the respondent consented to the entry of a protective order under this subtitle, the petitioner or the respondent may file a written request for shielding at any time after the protective order expires.

(ii) On the filing of a request for shielding under this paragraph, the court shall schedule a hearing on the request.

(iii) The court shall give notice of the hearing to the other party or the other party’s counsel of record.

(iv) Except as provided in subparagraph (vi) of this paragraph and subject to subparagraph (v) of this paragraph, after the hearing, the court may order the shielding of all court records relating to the proceeding if the court finds:

1. for cases in which the respondent requests shielding, that the petitioner consents to the shielding;

2. that the respondent did not violate the protective order during its term;

3. that a final peace order or protective order has not been previously issued against the respondent in a proceeding between the petitioner and the respondent;

4. that the respondent has not been found guilty of a crime arising from abuse against the petitioner; and

5. that none of the following are pending at the time of the hearing:

A. an interim or temporary peace order or protective order issued against the respondent; or

B. a criminal charge against the respondent arising from alleged abuse against an individual.

(v) In determining whether court records should be shielded under this paragraph, the court shall balance the privacy of the petitioner or the respondent and potential danger of adverse consequences to the petitioner or the respondent against the potential risk of future harm and danger to the petitioner and the community.

(vi) Information about the proceeding may not be removed from the Domestic Violence Central Repository.

(2)(i) If the respondent consented to the entry of a protective order under this subtitle, but the petitioner did not consent to shielding at the hearing under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the respondent may refile a written request for shielding after 1 year from the date of the hearing under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(ii) On the filing of a request for shielding under this paragraph, the court shall schedule a hearing on the request.

(iii) The court shall give notice of the hearing to the other party or the other party’s counsel of record.

(iv) Except as provided in subparagraph (vi) of this paragraph and subject to subparagraph (v) of this paragraph, after the hearing, the court may order the shielding of all court records relating to the proceeding if the court finds:

1. A. that the petitioner consents to the shielding; or

B. that the petitioner does not consent to the shielding, but that it is unlikely that the respondent will commit an act of abuse against the petitioner in the future;

2. that the respondent did not violate the protective order during its term;

3. that a final peace order or protective order has not been previously issued against the respondent in a proceeding between the petitioner and the respondent;

4. that the respondent has not been found guilty of a crime arising from abuse against the petitioner; and

5. that none of the following are pending at the time of the hearing:

A. an interim or temporary peace order or protective order issued against the respondent; or

B. a criminal charge against the respondent arising from alleged abuse against an individual.

(v) In determining whether court records should be shielded under this paragraph, the court shall balance the privacy of the petitioner or the respondent and potential danger of adverse consequences to the petitioner or the respondent against the potential risk of future harm and danger to the petitioner and the community.

(vi) Information about the proceeding may not be removed from the Domestic Violence Central Repository.

Persons allowed access to shielded records

(f)(1) This section does not preclude the following persons from accessing a shielded record for a legitimate reason:

(i) a law enforcement officer;

(ii) an attorney who represents or has represented the petitioner or the respondent in a proceeding;

(iii) a State’s Attorney;

(iv) an employee of a local department; or

(v) a victim services provider.

(2)(i) A person not listed in paragraph (1) of this subsection may subpoena, or file a motion for access to, a record shielded under this section.

(ii) If the court finds that the person has a legitimate reason for access, the court may grant the person access to the shielded record under the terms and conditions that the court determines.

(iii) In ruling on a motion under this paragraph, the court shall balance the person’s need for access to the record with the petitioner’s or the respondent’s right to privacy and the potential harm of unwarranted adverse consequences to the petitioner or the respondent that the disclosure may create.

Written advisement by custodian of court records

(g) Within 60 days after entry of an order for shielding under this section, each custodian of court records that are subject to the order of shielding shall advise in writing the court and the respondent of compliance with the order.

Regulations

(h) The Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, in consultation with the Maryland Judiciary, may adopt regulations governing online access to shielded records by a victim services provider.

Part III. Victims of Domestic Violence

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 4-513. "Victim of domestic violence" defined

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In this Part III and in Part IV of this subtitle, “victim of domestic violence” means an individual who has received deliberate, severe, and demonstrable physical injury, or is in fear of imminent deliberate, severe, and demonstrable physical injury from a current or former spouse, or a current or former cohabitant, as defined in § 4-501 of this subtitle.

§ 4-514. Policy of General Assembly

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

The General Assembly finds that:

(1) an increasing number of victims of domestic violence are forced to leave their homes to ensure their life, safety, and welfare;

(2) victims of domestic violence and their children often are economically dependent on the abuser and have no place to live outside the household; and

(3) in the past, these victims of domestic violence have been ignored and, therefore, there is a lack of counseling, service, and quality emergency public or private housing to provide a place to live for these victims of domestic violence and their children.

§ 4-515. Victims of domestic violence program; creation

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In general

(a)(1) The Executive Director shall establish a program in the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention to help victims of domestic violence and their children.

(2) The purpose of the program is to provide for victims of domestic violence and their children, in each region of this State:

(i) temporary shelter or help in obtaining shelter;

(ii) counseling;

(iii) information;

(iv) referral; and

(v) rehabilitation.

Authorized shelters

(b) As a part of the domestic violence program, there shall be, in a major population center of this State, at least 1 program serving the area.

Conditions

(c) Any program established under this section shall be subject to the following conditions:

(1) the program shall provide victims of domestic violence and their children with a temporary home and necessary counseling;

(2) the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention shall:

(i) supervise the program;

(ii) set standards of care and admission policies;

(iii) monitor the operation of the program and annually evaluate the effectiveness of the program;

(iv) adopt rules and regulations that set fees for services at and govern the operation of each program; and

(v) regularly consult, collaborate with, and consider the recommendations of the federally recognized State domestic violence coalition regarding domestic violence programs and policies, practices, and procedures that impact victims of domestic violence and their children;

(3) the program shall accept from the police or any other referral source in the community any victim of domestic violence and the child of any victim of domestic violence; and

(4) housing may not be provided under this subtitle to an applicant for housing who is not a resident of this State at the time the application for housing is made.

Expansion of program

(d)(1) As funds become available, the Executive Director may extend the domestic violence program to other areas in this State.

(2) Expansion of the domestic violence program may include:

(i) establishing additional shelters; or

(ii) providing funds and technical assistance to a local organization or agency that shows that it is able and willing to run a domestic violence program.

§ 4-516. Management of program

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Annual report

(a) Subject to § 2-1246 of the State Government Article, the Executive Director shall submit to the General Assembly a report on the domestic violence program annually.

Funds

(b) In addition to receiving funds from the annual budget, the Executive Director shall attempt to secure funding, including in-kind contributions, for the establishment and operation of the domestic violence program from:

(1) the federal government;

(2) local governments; and

(3) private sources.

Title 5. Children

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Subtitle 2. Parent and Child

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 5-203. Natural guardianship; powers and duties of parents; award of custody to parent

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Natural guardianship

(a)(1) The parents are the joint natural guardians of their minor child.

(2) A parent is the sole natural guardian of the minor child if the other parent:
(i) dies;
(ii) abandons the family; or
(iii) is incapable of acting as a parent.

Powers and duties of parents

(b) The parents of a minor child, as defined in Article 1, § 24 of the Code:

(1) are jointly and severally responsible for the child’s support, care, nurture, welfare, and education; and
(2) have the same powers and duties in relation to the child.

Duties of parents of minor parents

(c) If one or both parents of a minor child is an unemancipated minor, the parents of that minor parent are jointly and severally responsible for any child support for a grandchild that is a recipient of temporary cash assistance to the extent that the minor parent has insufficient financial resources to fulfill the child support responsibility of the minor parent.

Award of custody to parent

(d)(1) If the parents live apart, a court may award custody of a minor child to either parent or joint custody to both parents.

(2) Neither parent is presumed to have any right to custody that is superior to the right of the other parent.

Subtitle 7. Child Abuse and Neglect

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 5-701. Definitions

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

(a) Except as otherwise provided in § 5-705.1 of this subtitle, in this subtitle the following words have the meanings indicated.
Abuse
(b)(1) “Abuse” means:
(i) the physical or mental injury of a child under circumstances that indicate that the child’s health or welfare is harmed or at substantial risk of being harmed by:
1. a parent;
2. a household member or family member;
3. a person who has permanent or temporary care or custody of the child;
4. a person who has responsibility for supervision of the child; or
5. a person who, because of the person’s position or occupation, exercises authority over the child; or
(ii) sexual abuse of a child, whether physical injuries are sustained or not.
(2) “Abuse” does not include the physical injury of a child by accidental means.
Administration
(c) “Administration” means the Social Services Administration of the Department.
Centralized confidential database
(d) “Centralized confidential database” means the Department’s confidential computerized data system that contains information regarding child abuse and neglect investigations and assessments.
Child
(e) “Child” means any individual under the age of 18 years.
Repealed
(f) Repealed by Acts 2005, c. 464, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2006.
Educator or human service worker
(g)(1) “Educator or human service worker” means any professional employee of any correctional, public, parochial or private educational, health, juvenile service, social or social service agency, institution, or licensed facility.
(2) “Educator or human service worker” includes:
(i) any teacher;
(ii) any counselor;
(iii) any social worker;
(iv) any caseworker; and
(v) any probation or parole officer.
Family member
(h) “Family member” means a relative by blood, adoption, or marriage of a child.
Health practitioner
(i)(1) “Health practitioner” includes any person who is authorized to practice healing under the Health Occupations Article or § 13-516 of the Education Article.
(2) “Health practitioner” does not include an emergency medical dispatcher.
Household
(j) “Household” means the location:
(1) in which the child resides;
(2) where the abuse or neglect is alleged to have taken place; or
(3) where the person suspected of abuse or neglect resides.
Household member
(k) “Household member” means a person who lives with, or is a regular presence in, a home of a child at the time of the alleged abuse or neglect.
Repealed
(l) Repealed by Acts 2015, c. 245, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2015.
Indicated
(m) “Indicated” means a finding that there is credible evidence, which has not been satisfactorily refuted, that abuse, neglect, or sexual abuse did occur.
Law enforcement agency
(n)(1) “Law enforcement agency” means a State, county, or municipal police department, bureau, or agency.
(2) “Law enforcement agency” includes:
(i) a State, county, or municipal police department or agency;
(ii) a sheriff’s office;
(iii) a State’s Attorney’s office; and
(iv) the Attorney General’s office.
Local department
(o) Except as provided in §§ 5-705.1 and 5-714 of this subtitle, “local department” means the local department that has jurisdiction in the county:
(1) where the allegedly abused or neglected child lives; or
(2) if different, where the abuse or neglect is alleged to have taken place.
Local department case file
(p) “Local department case file” means that component of the Department’s confidential computerized database that contains information regarding child abuse and neglect investigations to which access is limited to the local department staff responsible for the investigation.
Local State’s Attorney
(q) “Local State’s Attorney” means the State’s Attorney for the county:
(1) where the allegedly abused or neglected child lives; or
(2) if different, where the abuse or neglect is alleged to have taken place.
Mental injury
(r) “Mental injury” means the observable, identifiable, and substantial impairment of a child’s mental or psychological ability to function caused by an intentional act or series of acts, regardless of whether there was an intent to harm the child.
Neglect
(s) “Neglect” means the leaving of a child unattended or other failure to give proper care and attention to a child by any parent or other person who has permanent or temporary care or custody or responsibility for supervision of the child under circumstances that indicate:
(1) that the child’s health or welfare is harmed or placed at substantial risk of harm; or
(2) mental injury to the child or a substantial risk of mental injury.
Police officer
(t) “Police officer” means any State or local officer who is authorized to make arrests as part of the officer’s official duty.
Record
(u) “Record” means the original or any copy of any documentary material, in any form, including a report of suspected child abuse or neglect, that is made by, received by, or received from the State, a county, or a municipal corporation in the State, or any subdivision or agency concerning a case of alleged child abuse or neglect.
Report
(v) “Report” means an allegation of abuse or neglect, made or received under this subtitle.
Ruled out
(w) “Ruled out” means a finding that abuse, neglect, or sexual abuse did not occur.
Sex trafficking
(x) “Sex trafficking” means the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a child for the purpose of a commercial sex act.
Sexual abuse
(y) “Sexual abuse” means any act that involves:
(1) sexual molestation or exploitation of a child by:
(i) a parent;
(ii) household or family member;
(iii) a person who has permanent or temporary care or custody of the child;
(iv) a person who has responsibility for supervision of a child; or
(v) a person who, because of the person’s position or occupation, exercises authority over the child; or
(2) sex trafficking of a child by any individual.
Sexual molestation or exploitation
(z) “Sexual molestation or exploitation” includes:
(1) allowing or encouraging a child to engage in:
(i) obscene photography, films, poses, or similar activity;
(ii) pornographic photography, films, poses, or similar activity; or
(iii) prostitution;
(2) incest;
(3) rape;
(4) sexual offense in any degree;
(5) sodomy; and
(6) unnatural or perverted sexual practices.
Unsubstantiated
(aa) “Unsubstantiated” means a finding that there is an insufficient amount of evidence to support a finding of indicated or ruled out.

Title 7. Divorce

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 7-101. Residence; corroboration

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

If the grounds for the divorce occurred outside this State, a party may not apply for a divorce unless one of the parties has resided in this State for at least 6 months before the application is filed.

§ 7-102. Limited divorce

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Grounds for limited divorce

(a) The court may decree a limited divorce on the following grounds:

(1) cruelty of treatment of the complaining party or of a minor child of the complaining party;

(2) excessively vicious conduct to the complaining party or to a minor child of the complaining party;

(3) desertion; or

(4) separation, if the parties are living separate and apart without cohabitation.

Time during which decree is effective

(b) The court may decree a divorce under this section for a limited time or for an indefinite time.

Revocation of decree

(c) The court that granted a decree of limited divorce may revoke the decree at any time on the joint application of the parties.

Decree of limited divorce on prayer for absolute divorce

(d) If an absolute divorce is prayed and the evidence is sufficient to entitle the parties to a limited divorce, but not to an absolute divorce, the court may decree a limited divorce.

§ 7-103. Absolute divorce

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

(a) The court may decree an absolute divorce on the following grounds:

(1) adultery;

(2) desertion, if:

(i) the desertion has continued for 12 months without interruption before the filing of the application for divorce;

(ii) the desertion is deliberate and final; and

(iii) there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation;

(3) conviction of a felony or misdemeanor in any state or in any court of the United States if before the filing of the application for divorce the defendant has:

(i) been sentenced to serve at least 3 years or an indeterminate sentence in a penal institution; and

(ii) served 12 months of the sentence;

(4) 12-month separation, when the parties have lived separate and apart without cohabitation for 12 months without interruption before the filing of the application for divorce;

(5) insanity if:

(i) the insane spouse has been confined in a mental institution, hospital, or other similar institution for at least 3 years before the filing of the application for divorce;

(ii) the court determines from the testimony of at least 2 physicians who are competent in psychiatry that the insanity is incurable and there is no hope of recovery; and

(iii) 1 of the parties has been a resident of this State for at least 2 years before the filing of the application for divorce;

(6) cruelty of treatment toward the complaining party or a minor child of the complaining party, if there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation;

(7) excessively vicious conduct toward the complaining party or a minor child of the complaining party, if there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation; or

(8) mutual consent, if:

(i) the parties execute and submit to the court a written settlement agreement signed by both parties that resolves all issues relating to:

1. alimony;

2. the distribution of property, including the relief provided in §§ 8-205 and 8-208 of this article; and

3. the care, custody, access, and support of minor or dependent children;

(ii) the parties attach to the settlement agreement a completed child support guidelines worksheet if the settlement agreement provides for the payment of child support;

(iii) neither party files a pleading to set aside the settlement agreement prior to the divorce hearing required under the Maryland Rules; and

(iv) after reviewing the settlement agreement, the court is satisfied that any terms of the agreement relating to minor or dependent children are in the best interests of those children.

Recrimination

(b) Recrimination is not a bar to either party obtaining an absolute divorce on the grounds set forth in subsection (a)(1) through (7) of this section, but is a factor to be considered by the court in a case involving the ground of adultery.

Res judicata

(c) Res judicata with respect to another ground under this section is not a bar to either party obtaining an absolute divorce on the ground of 12-month separation.

Condonation

(d) Condonation is not an absolute bar to a decree of an absolute divorce on the ground of adultery, but is a factor to be considered by the court in determining whether the divorce should be decreed.

Effect of a limited divorce on bill of complaint for absolute divorce

(e)(1) A court may decree an absolute divorce even if a party has obtained a limited divorce.

(2) If a party obtained a limited divorce on the ground of desertion that at the time of the decree did not meet the requirements of subsection (a)(2) of this section, the party may obtain an absolute divorce on the ground of desertion when the desertion meets the requirements of subsection (a)(2) of this section.

Effect of mutual consent

(f) If a court decrees an absolute divorce on the grounds of mutual consent under subsection (a)(8) of this section, the court may:

(1) merge or incorporate the settlement agreement into the divorce decree; and

(2) modify or enforce the settlement agreement consistent with Title 8, Subtitle 1 of this article.

Oral amendment

(g) For purposes of subsection (a)(4) of this section, the “filing of the application for divorce” includes an oral amendment made by a party with the consent of the other party at a hearing on the merits in open court to a previously filed application for limited or absolute divorce.

Title 9. Child Custody and Visitation

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Subtitle 1. In General

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 9-101. Rejection of custody or visitation if abuse likely

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Determine if abuse or neglect is likely

(a) In any custody or visitation proceeding, if the court has reasonable grounds to believe that a child has been abused or neglected by a party to the proceeding, the court shall determine whether abuse or neglect is likely to occur if custody or visitation rights are granted to the party.

Deny custody or visitation if abuse likely

(b) Unless the court specifically finds that there is no likelihood of further child abuse or neglect by the party, the court shall deny custody or visitation rights to that party, except that the court may approve a supervised visitation arrangement that assures the safety and the physiological, psychological, and emotional well-being of the child.

§ 9-101.1. Evidence of abuse considered

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

“Abuse” defined

(a) In this section, “abuse” has the meaning stated in § 4-501 of this article.

Evidence of abuse considered

(b) In a custody or visitation proceeding, the court shall consider, when deciding custody or visitation issues, evidence of abuse by a party against:

(1) the other parent of the party’s child;
(2) the party’s spouse; or
(3) any child residing within the party’s household, including a child other than the child who is the subject of the custody or visitation proceeding.

Arrange custody or visitation that provides for protection

(c) If the court finds that a party has committed abuse against the other parent of the party’s child, the party’s spouse, or any child residing within the party’s household, the court shall make arrangements for custody or visitation that best protect:

(1) the child who is the subject of the proceeding; and
(2) the victim of the abuse.

§ 9-101.2. Parents guilty of murder

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Denial of custody or visitation

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, unless good cause for the award of custody or visitation is shown by clear and convincing evidence, a court may not award custody of a child or visitation with a child:

(1) to a parent who has been found by a court of this State to be guilty of first degree or second degree murder of the other parent of the child, another child of the parent, or any family member residing in the household of either parent of the child; or
(2) to a parent who has been found by a court of any state or of the United States to be guilty of a crime that, if committed in this State, would be first degree murder or second degree murder of the other parent of the child, another child of the parent, or any family member residing in the household of either parent of the child.

Supervised visitation

(b) If it is in the best interest of the child, the court may approve a supervised visitation arrangement that assures the safety and the physiological, psychological, and emotional well-being of the child.

§ 9-102. Visitation by grandparents

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

An equity court may:

(1) consider a petition for reasonable visitation of a grandchild by a grandparent; and
(2) if the court finds it to be in the best interests of the child, grant visitation rights to the grandparent.

§ 9-103. Petition by child to change custody

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Petition by child

(a) A child who is 16 years old or older and who is subject to a custody order or decree may file a petition to change custody.

Guardian or next friend not required

(b) A petitioner under this section may file the proceeding in the petitioner’s own name and need not proceed by guardian or next friend.

Hearing required

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, if a petitioner under this section petitions a court to amend a custody order or decree, the court:

(1) shall hold a hearing; and
(2) may amend the order or decree and place the child in the custody of the parent designated by the child.

§ 9-104. Access to records; noncustodial parent

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Unless otherwise ordered by a court, access to medical, dental, and educational records concerning the child may not be denied to a parent because the parent does not have physical custody of the child.

§ 9-105. Unjustified denial or interference with visitation

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In any custody or visitation proceeding, if the court determines that a party to a custody or visitation order has unjustifiably denied or interfered with visitation granted by a custody or visitation order, the court may, in addition to any other remedy available to the court and in a manner consistent with the best interests of the child, take any or all of the following actions:

(1) order that the visitation be rescheduled;
(2) modify the custody or visitation order to require additional terms or conditions designed to ensure future compliance with the order; or
(3) assess costs or counsel fees against the party who has unjustifiably denied or interfered with visitation rights.

§ 9-106. Notice of intent to relocate

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In general

(a)(1) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, in any custody or visitation proceeding the court may include as a condition of a custody or visitation order a requirement that either party provide advance written notice of at least 90 days to the court, the other party, or both, of the intent to relocate the permanent residence of the party or the child either within or outside the State.

(2) The court may prescribe the form and content of the notice requirement.

(3) If the court orders that notice be given to the other party, a mailing of the notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the other party shall be deemed sufficient to comply with the notice requirement.

(4) If either party files a petition regarding a proposed relocation within 20 days of the written notice of the relocation required by paragraph (1) of this subsection, the court shall set a hearing on the petition on an expedited basis.

Exception to notice requirement

(b) On a showing that notice would expose the child or either party to abuse as defined in § 4-501 of this article or for any other good cause the court shall waive the notice required by this section.

Exception to time limit

(c) If either party is required to relocate in less than the 90-day period specified in the notice requirement, the court may consider as a defense to any action brought for a violation of the notice requirement that:

(1) relocation was necessary due to financial or other extenuating circumstances; and

(2) the required notice was given within a reasonable time after learning of the necessity to relocate.

Violation a factor in custody or visitation proceedings

(d) The court may consider any violation of the notice requirement as a factor in determining the merits of any subsequent proceeding involving custody or visitation.

Subtitle 3. Removal of Child from State; Child Abduction

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 9-301. Definitions

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In general

(a) In this subtitle the following words have the meanings indicated.

Lawful custodian

(b)(1) “Lawful custodian” means a person who is authorized to have custody of and exercise control over a child who is under the age of 16 years.

(2) “Lawful custodian” includes a person who is authorized to have custody by an order of a court of competent jurisdiction in this State or any other state.

Relative

(c) “Relative” means:

(1) a parent;
(2) a grandparent or other ancestor;
(3) a brother;
(4) a sister;
(5) an aunt;
(6) an uncle; or
(7) an individual who was a lawful custodian before the commission of an act that violates § 9-304 or § 9-305 of this subtitle.

§ 9-302. Jurisdiction over custody and visitation

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Authority of court

(a) An equity court has jurisdiction over custody and visitation of a child who is removed from this State by a parent of the child, if:

(1) the parents are separated or divorced and this State was:
(i) the marital domicile of the parents; or
(ii) the domicile in which the marriage contract was last performed;
(2) 1 of the parents was a resident of this State when the child was removed and that parent continues to reside in this State; and
(3) the court obtains personal jurisdiction over the parent who removes the child.

Effect of section

(b) This section does not affect any other basis of an equity court’s jurisdiction over custody and visitation of a child.

§ 9-303. Conflict as to lawful custodian

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Scope of section

(a) This section applies if there is a conflict between a custody order of a court of this State and a custody order of a court of another state.

Order of court of this State prevails

(b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, a custody order of a court of this State prevails over a custody order of a court of another state.

Exception

(c) A custody order of a court of another state prevails over a custody order of a court of this State if the court in the other state passed its custody order:

(1) after the custody order was passed by a court of this State; and
(2) in proceedings in which the lawful custodian under the custody order of a court of this State:
(i) consented to the custody order passed by the court of the other state; or
(ii) participated personally as a party.

§ 9-304. Acts prohibited in Maryland

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

If a child is under the age of 16 years, a relative who knows that another person is the lawful custodian of the child may not, with the intent to deprive the lawful custodian of the custody of the child:

(1) abduct, take, or carry away the child from the lawful custodian to a place within this State;

(2) having acquired lawful possession of the child, detain the child within this State for more than 48 hours after the lawful custodian demands that the child be returned;

(3) harbor or hide the child within this State, knowing that possession of the child was obtained by another relative in violation of this section; or

(4) act as an accessory to an act prohibited by this section.

§ 9-305. Acts prohibited outside Maryland

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Prohibited acts; outside of this state

(a) If a child is under the age of 16 years, a relative who knows that another person is the lawful custodian of the child may not, with the intent to deprive the lawful custodian of the custody of the child:

(1) abduct, take, or carry away the child from the lawful custodian to a place in another state;

(2) having acquired lawful possession of the child, detain the child in another state for more than 48 hours after the lawful custodian demands that the child be returned;

(3) harbor or hide the child in another state knowing that possession of the child was obtained by another relative in violation of this section; or

(4) act as an accessory to an act prohibited by this section.

Prohibited acts; outside of the United States

(b) If a child is under the age of 16 years, a relative who knows that another person is the lawful custodian of the child may not, with the intent to deprive the lawful custodian of the custody of the child:

(1) abduct, take, or carry away the child from the lawful custodian to a place that is outside of the United States or a territory of the United States or the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico;

(2) having acquired lawful possession of the child, detain the child in a place that is outside of the United States or a territory of the United States or the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for more than 48 hours after the lawful custodian demands that the child be returned;

(3) harbor or hide the child in a place that is outside of the United States or a territory of the United States or the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico knowing that possession of the child was obtained by another relative in violation of this section; or

(4) act as an accessory to an act prohibited by this section.

§ 9-306. Clear and present danger to child

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Petition

(a) If an individual violates the provisions of § 9-304 or § 9-305 of this subtitle, the individual may file in an equity court a petition that:

(1) states that, at the time the act was done, a failure to do the act would have resulted in a clear and present danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the child; and
(2) seeks to revise, amend, or clarify the custody order.

Defense

(b) If a petition is filed as provided in subsection (a) of this section within 96 hours of the act, a finding by the court that, at the time the act was done, a failure to do the act would have resulted in a clear and present danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the child is a complete defense to any action brought for a violation of § 9-304 or § 9-305 of this subtitle.

§ 9-307. Penalties

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Violation of § 9-304

(a) A person who violates any provision of § 9-304 of this subtitle is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $250 or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days.

Violation of § 9-305(a); not more than 30 days

(b) If the child is out of the custody of the lawful custodian for not more than 30 days, a person who violates any provision of § 9-305(a) of this subtitle is guilty of a felony and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 1 year, or both.

Violation of § 9-305(a); more than 30 days

(c) If the child is out of the custody of the lawful custodian for more than 30 days, a person who violates any provision of § 9-305(a) of this subtitle is guilty of a felony and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $2,500 or imprisonment not exceeding 3 years, or both.

Violation of § 9-305(b)

(d) A person who violates any provision of § 9-305(b) of this subtitle is guilty of a felony and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or both.

Subtitle 4. Missing Children

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 9-401. Definitions

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In general

(a) In this subtitle the following words have the meanings indicated.

Law enforcement agency

(b) “Law enforcement agency” means a State, county, or municipal police department or agency, or a sheriff’s department.

Missing child

(c) “Missing child” means a person who is:

(1) under the age of 18 years; and
(2) the subject of a missing persons report filed with a law enforcement agency in this State and whose whereabouts are unknown.

§ 9-402. Duties of law enforcement agencies

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 9-402. Duties of law enforcement agencies

Currentness

In general

(a) On receipt of a report regarding a missing child by a law enforcement agency, the law enforcement agency shall immediately determine if:

(1) the missing child has not been the subject of a prior missing persons report;

(2) the missing child suffers from a mental or physical handicap or illness;

(3) the disappearance of the missing child is of a suspicious or dangerous nature;

(4) the person filing the report of a missing child has reason to believe that the missing child may have been abducted;

(5) the missing child has ever previously been the subject of a child abuse report filed with the State or local law enforcement agency; or

(6) the missing child is under 17 years of age.

Immediate duties of law enforcement agency if conditions in subsection (a) exist

(b) Upon conclusion by the law enforcement agency that any one of the conditions specified in subsection (a) of this section exists, the law enforcement agency shall immediately:

(1) enter all necessary and available information into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) computer networks within 2 hours after receipt of the minimum information necessary to make the entry;

(2) institute appropriate intensive search procedures, including the coordination of volunteer search teams;

(3) notify the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children;

(4) notify the appropriate local department and, to the extent possible, obtain any information that may assist in the locating of the missing child; and

(5) enlist the aid of the Department of State Police, when appropriate, in locating the missing child.

Duties of law enforcement agency if conditions in subsection (a) do not exist

(c) If the conditions specified in subsection (a) of this section do not exist, the law enforcement agency shall:

(1) immediately seek to determine the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the missing child; and

(2) implement the procedures set forth in subsection (b) of this section within 12 hours of the filing of a report regarding a missing child, if the missing child has not been located.

State Police to help if child missing more than 24 hours

(d) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, if a missing child has not been located within 24 hours of the filing of a missing persons report and either the local law enforcement agency or the Department of State Police have reason to believe that the missing child may be located in a jurisdiction other than the jurisdiction where the missing persons report was filed, the Department of State Police shall enter the investigation and, in cooperation with the appropriate local law enforcement agencies, assist State and national efforts to locate the missing child.

No mandatory waiting period

(e)(1) A law enforcement agency may not establish a mandatory waiting period before beginning an investigation to locate a missing child.

(2) A law enforcement agency may not adopt rules, regulations, or policies that prohibit or discourage the filing of a report or the taking of any action on a report that a child is a missing child or that a child is believed to be a missing child.

Notification when child found

(f) Every person filing a report of a missing child shall be required to notify the local law enforcement agency and the Department of State Police immediately upon the locating of the missing child if it is unlikely that the local law enforcement agency or the Department of State Police have knowledge that the missing child has been located.

§ 9-403. State Clearinghouse for Missing Children

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

(a) There is a State Clearinghouse for Missing Children operated by the Department of State Police that is responsible for:

(1) the receipt, collection, and distribution of general information and annual statistics regarding missing children; and

(2) coordination of law enforcement agencies and other interested persons or groups within and outside the State regarding information on children who have disappeared from, or are thought to be located in, Maryland.

Information publicized by State Clearinghouse

(b) For children who have disappeared from or are thought to be located in the State, the State Clearinghouse for Missing Children:

(1) shall publish:

(i) the names of and relevant available information on missing children; and

(ii) annual statistics regarding missing children; and

(2) may establish and maintain a list of organizations and groups that provide volunteer search teams or resources relating to missing children.

Fingerprinting programs for children

(c) The Secretary of State Police may develop, in cooperation with local law enforcement agencies, a plan for voluntary fingerprinting programs for children.

Title 9.5. Maryland Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Subtitle 1. General Provisions

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 9.5-101. Definitions

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In general

(a) In this title the following words have the meanings indicated.

Abandoned

(b) “Abandoned” means left without provision for reasonable and necessary care or supervision.

Child

(c) “Child” means an individual under the age of 18 years.

Child custody determination

(d)(1) “Child custody determination” means a judgment, decree, or other order of a court providing for the legal custody, physical custody, or visitation with respect to a child.

(2) “Child custody determination” includes a permanent, temporary, initial, and modification order.

(3) “Child custody determination” does not include an order relating to child support or other monetary obligation of an individual.

Child custody proceeding

(e) (1) “Child custody proceeding” means a proceeding in which legal custody, physical custody, or visitation with respect to a child is an issue.

(2) “Child custody proceeding” includes a proceeding for divorce, separation, neglect, abuse, dependency, guardianship, paternity, termination of parental rights, and protection from domestic violence, in which the issue may appear.

(3) “Child custody proceeding” does not include a proceeding involving juvenile delinquency, contractual emancipation, or enforcement under Subtitle 3 of this title.

Commencement

(f) “Commencement” means the filing of the first pleading in a proceeding.

Court

(g) “Court” means an entity authorized under the law of a state to establish, enforce, or modify a child custody determination.

Home state

(h) “Home state” means:

(1) the state in which a child lived with a parent or a person acting as a parent for at least 6 consecutive months, including any temporary absence, immediately before the commencement of a child custody proceeding; and

(2) in the case of a child less than 6 months of age, the state in which the child lived from birth with any of the persons mentioned, including any temporary absence.

Initial determination

(i) “Initial determination” means the first child custody determination concerning a particular child.

Issuing court

(j) “Issuing court” means the court that makes a child custody determination for which enforcement is sought under this title.

Issuing state

(k) “Issuing state” means the state in which a child custody determination is made.

Modification

(l) “Modification” means a child custody determination that changes, replaces, supersedes, or is otherwise made after a previous determination concerning the same child, whether or not it is made by the court that made the previous determination.

Person

(m) “Person” means an individual, corporation, business trust, statutory trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, government, public corporation, governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, or any other legal or commercial entity.

Person acting as a parent

(n) “Person acting as a parent” means a person, other than a parent, who:

(1) has physical custody of the child or has had physical custody for a period of 6 consecutive months, including any temporary absence, within 1 year immediately before the commencement of a child custody proceeding; and

(2) has been awarded legal custody by a court or claims a right to legal custody under the law of this State.

Physical custody

(o) “Physical custody” means the physical care and supervision of a child.

State

(p) “State” means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

Tribe

(q) “Tribe” means an Indian tribe or band or Alaskan Native village that is recognized by federal law or formally acknowledged by a state.

Warrant

(r) “Warrant” means an order issued by a court authorizing law enforcement officers to take physical custody of a child.

§ 9.5-102. Proceedings governed by other law

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

This title does not govern a proceeding pertaining to the authorization of emergency medical care for a child.

§ 9.5-103. Application to Indian tribes

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Scope of title

(a) A child custody proceeding that pertains to an Indian child, as defined in the Indian Child Welfare Act, 25 U.S.C. § 1901 et seq., is not subject to this title to the extent that it is governed by the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Tribe same as state

(b) A court of this State shall treat a tribe as if it were a state of the United States for the purpose of applying Subtitles 1 and 2 of this title.

Child custody determined by tribe enforced

(c) A child custody determination made by a tribe under factual circumstances in substantial conformity with the jurisdictional standards of this title must be recognized and enforced under Subtitle 3 of this title.

§ 9.5-104. International application of title

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Foreign country same as state

(a) A court of this State shall treat a foreign country as if it were a state of the United States for the purpose of applying Subtitles 1 and 2 of this title.

Child custody determined by foreign country enforced

(b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this section, a child custody determination made in a foreign country under factual circumstances in substantial conformity with the jurisdictional standards of this title must be recognized and enforced under Subtitle 3 of this title.

Title not applicable if foreign country violates human rights

(c) A court of this State need not apply this title if the child custody law of a foreign country violates fundamental principles of human rights.

§ 9.5-105. Effect of child-custody determination

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Determination binding

(a) A child custody determination made by a court of this State that had jurisdiction under this title binds all persons who have been served in accordance with the laws of this State or notified in accordance with § 9.5- 107 of this subtitle or who have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court, and who have been given an opportunity to be heard.

Determination conclusive

(b) As to those persons, the determination is conclusive as to all decided issues of law and fact except to the extent the determination is modified.

§ 9.5-106. Priority

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

If a question of existence or exercise of jurisdiction under this title is raised in a child custody proceeding, the question, on request of a party, shall be given priority on the calendar and handled expeditiously.

§ 9.5-107. Notice to persons outside State

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Notice required

(a)(1) Notice required for the exercise of jurisdiction when a person is outside this State may be given in a manner prescribed by the law of this State for service of process or by the law of the state in which the service is made.

(2) Notice shall be given in a manner reasonably calculated to give actual notice but may be by publication if other means are not effective.

Proof of service

(b) Proof of service may be made in the manner prescribed by the law of this State or by the law of the state in which the service is made.

Exception

(c) Notice is not required for the exercise of jurisdiction with respect to a person who submits to the jurisdiction of the court.

§ 9.5-108. Appearance and limited immunity

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Immunity

(a) A party to a child custody proceeding, including a modification proceeding, or a petitioner or respondent in a proceeding to enforce or register a child custody determination, is not subject to personal jurisdiction in this State for another proceeding or purpose solely by reason of having participated, or of having been physically present for the purpose of participating, in the proceeding.

Exception to immunity; service of process

(b)(1) A person who is subject to personal jurisdiction in this State on a basis other than physical presence is not immune from service of process in this State.

(2) A party present in this State who is subject to the jurisdiction of another state is not immune from service of process allowable under the laws of that state.

Exception to immunity; civil litigation

(c) The immunity granted by subsection (a) of this section does not extend to civil litigation based on acts unrelated to the participation in a proceeding under this title committed by an individual while present in this State.

§ 9.5-109. Communication between courts

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Record defined

(a) In this section, “record” means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.

Communication between courts

(b) A court of this State may communicate with a court in another state concerning a proceeding arising under this title.

Parties may participate in communication

(c)(1) The court may allow the parties to participate in the communication.

(2) If the parties are not able to participate in the communication, they shall be given the opportunity to present facts and legal arguments before a decision on jurisdiction is made.

Exception

(d)(1) Communication between courts on schedules, calendars, court records, and similar matters may occur without informing the parties.

(2) A record need not be made of the communication.

Record of communication; access

(e)(1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (d) of this section and notwithstanding any other provision of law, a record shall be made of a communication under this section.

(2) The parties shall be informed promptly of the communication and granted access to the record.

§ 9.5-110. Taking testimony in another state

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In general

(a)(1) In addition to other procedures available to a party, a party to a child custody proceeding may offer testimony of witnesses who are located in another state, including testimony of the parties and the child, by deposition or other means allowable in this State for testimony taken in another state.

(2) The court on its own motion may order that the testimony of a person be taken in another state and may prescribe the manner in which and the terms on which the testimony is taken.

Electronic testimony or deposition allowed

(b)(1) A court of this State may permit an individual residing in another state to be deposed or to testify by telephone, audiovisual means, or other electronic means before a designated court or at another location in that state.

(2) A court of this State shall cooperate with courts of other states in designating an appropriate location for the deposition or testimony.

Evidence transmitted electronically is admissible

(c) Documentary evidence transmitted from another state to a court of this State by technological means that do not produce an original writing may not be excluded from evidence on an objection based on the means of transmission.

§ 9.5-111. Cooperation between states; preservation of records

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Requests to another state

(a) A court of this State may request the appropriate court of another state to:

(1) hold an evidentiary hearing;
(2) order a person to produce or give evidence in accordance with procedures of that state;
(3) order that an evaluation be made with respect to the custody of a child involved in a pending proceeding;
(4) forward to the court of this State a certified copy of the transcript of the record of the hearing, the evidence otherwise presented, and any evaluation prepared in compliance with the request; and
(5) order a party to a child custody proceeding or any person having physical custody of the child to appear in the proceeding with or without the child.

Requests from another state

(b) On request of a court of another state, a court of this State may hold a hearing or enter an order described in subsection (a) of this section.

Assessment of travel expenses

(c) Travel and other necessary and reasonable expenses incurred under subsections (a) and (b) of this section may be assessed against the parties according to the law of this State.

Retention of records; release of copies

(d)(1) A court of this State shall preserve the pleadings, orders, decrees, records of hearings, evaluations, and other pertinent records with respect to a child custody proceeding until the child attains 18 years of age.

(2) On appropriate request by a court or law enforcement official of another state, the court shall forward a certified copy of those records.

Subtitle 2. Jurisdiction

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 9.5-201. Initial child-custody jurisdiction

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Grounds for jurisdiction

(a) Except as otherwise provided in § 9.5-204 of this subtitle, a court of this State has jurisdiction to make an initial child custody determination only if:

(1) this State is the home state of the child on the date of the commencement of the proceeding, or was the home state of the child within 6 months before the commencement of the proceeding and the child is absent from this State but a parent or person acting as a parent continues to live in this State;
(2) a court of another state does not have jurisdiction under item (1) of this subsection, or a court of the home state of the child has declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that this State is the more appropriate forum under § 9.5-207 or § 9.5-208 of this subtitle, and:
(i) the child and the child’s parents, or the child and at least one parent or a person acting as a parent, have a significant connection with this State other than mere physical presence; and
(ii) substantial evidence is available in this State concerning the child’s care, protection, training, and personal relationships;
(3) all courts having jurisdiction under item (1) or (2) of this subsection have declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that a court of this State is the more appropriate forum to determine the custody of the child under § 9.5-207 or § 9.5-208 of this subtitle; or
(4) no court of any other state would have jurisdiction under the criteria specified in item (1), (2), or (3) of this subsection.

Exclusive jurisdictional basis

(b) Subsection (a) of this section is the exclusive jurisdictional basis for making a child custody determination by a court of this State.

Effect of physical presence

(c) Physical presence of, or personal jurisdiction over, a party or a child is not necessary or sufficient to make a child custody determination.

§ 9.5-202. Exclusive, continuing jurisdiction

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Exclusive, continuing jurisdiction

(a) Except as otherwise provided in § 9.5-204 of this subtitle, a court of this State that has made a child custody determination consistent with § 9.5-201 or § 9.5-203 of this subtitle has exclusive, continuing jurisdiction over the determination until:

(1) a court of this State determines that neither the child, the child and one parent, nor the child and a person acting as a parent have a significant connection with this State and that substantial evidence is no longer available in this State concerning the child’s care, protection, training, and personal relationships; or
(2) a court of this State or a court of another state determines that the child, the child’s parents, and any person acting as a parent do not presently reside in this State.

Modification

(b) A court of this State that has made a child custody determination and does not have exclusive, continuing jurisdiction under this section may modify that determination only if it has jurisdiction to make an initial determination under § 9.5-201 of this subtitle.

§ 9.5-203. Jurisdiction to modify determination

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Except as otherwise provided in § 9.5-204 of this subtitle, a court of this State may not modify a child custody determination made by a court of another state unless a court of this State has jurisdiction to make an initial determination under § 9.5-201(a)(1) or (2) of this subtitle and:

(1) the court of the other state determines it no longer has exclusive, continuing jurisdiction under § 9.5-202 of this subtitle or that a court of this State would be a more convenient forum under § 9.5-207 of this subtitle; or
(2) a court of this State or a court of the other state determines that the child, the child’s parents, and any person acting as a parent do not presently reside in the other state.

§ 9.5-204. Temporary emergency jurisdiction

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In general

(a) A court of this State has temporary emergency jurisdiction if the child is present in this State and the child has been abandoned or it is necessary in an emergency to protect the child because the child, or a sibling or parent of the child, is subjected to or threatened with mistreatment or abuse.

No previous child custody determination

(b)(1) If there is no previous child custody determination that is entitled to be enforced under this title and a child custody proceeding has not been commenced in a court of a state having jurisdiction under §§ 9.5-201 through 9.5-203 of this subtitle, a child custody determination made under this section remains in effect until an order is obtained from a court of a state having jurisdiction under §§ 9.5-201 through 9.5-203 of this subtitle.

(2) If a child custody proceeding has not been or is not commenced in a court of a state having jurisdiction under §§ 9.5-201 through 9.5-203 of this subtitle, a child custody determination made under this section becomes a final determination if the determination so provides and this State becomes the home state of the child.

Previous child custody determination

(c)(1) If there is a previous child custody determination that is entitled to be enforced under this title, or a child custody proceeding has been commenced in a court of a state having jurisdiction under §§ 9.5-201 through 9.5- 203 of this subtitle, any order issued by a court of this State under this section shall specify in the order a period that the court considers adequate to allow the person seeking an order to obtain an order from the state having jurisdiction under §§ 9.5-201 through 9.5-203 of this subtitle.

(2) The order issued in this State remains in effect until an order is obtained from the other state within the period specified or the period expires.

Communication with courts of other states

(d)(1) A court of this State that has been asked to make a child custody determination under this section, on being informed that a child custody proceeding has been commenced in, or a child custody determination has been made by, a court of a state having jurisdiction under §§ 9.5-201 through 9.5-203 of this subtitle, shall immediately communicate with the other court.

(2) A court of this State that is exercising jurisdiction in accordance with §§ 9.5-201 through 9.5-203 of this subtitle, on being informed that a child custody proceeding has been commenced in, or a child custody determination has been made by, a court of another state under a statute similar to this section shall immediately communicate with the court of that state to resolve the emergency, protect the safety of the parties and the child, and determine a period for the duration of the temporary order.

§ 9.5-205. Notice; opportunity to be heard; joinder

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Notice and opportunity to be heard

(a) Before a child custody determination is made under this title, notice and an opportunity to be heard in accordance with the standards of § 9.5-107 of this title shall be given to all persons entitled to notice under the law of this State as in child custody proceedings between residents of this State, any parent whose parental rights have not been previously terminated, and any person having physical custody of the child.

Scope of title

(b) This title does not govern the enforceability of a child custody determination made without notice or an opportunity to be heard.

Joinder

(c) The obligation to join a party and the right to intervene as a party in a child custody proceeding under this title are governed by the law of this State as in child custody proceedings between residents of this State.

§ 9.5-206. Simultaneous proceedings

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Jurisdiction

(a) Except as otherwise provided in § 9.5-204 of this subtitle, a court of this State may not exercise its jurisdiction under this subtitle if, at the time of the commencement of the proceeding, a proceeding concerning the custody of the child has been commenced in a court of another state having jurisdiction substantially in conformity with this title, unless the proceeding has been terminated or is stayed by the court of the other state because a court of this State is a more convenient forum under § 9.5-207 of this subtitle.

Child custody proceeding

(b)(1) Except as otherwise provided in § 9.5-204 of this subtitle, a court of this State, before hearing a child custody proceeding, shall examine the court documents and other information supplied by the parties under § 9.5- 209 of this subtitle.

(2) If the court determines that a child custody proceeding has been commenced in a court in another state having jurisdiction substantially in accordance with this title, the court of this State shall stay its proceeding and communicate with the court of the other state.
(3) If the court of the state having jurisdiction substantially in accordance with this title does not determine that the court of this State is a more appropriate forum, the court of this State shall dismiss the proceeding.

Modification of child custody

(c)(1) In a proceeding to modify a child custody determination, a court of this State shall determine whether a proceeding to enforce the determination has been commenced in another state.

(2) If a proceeding to enforce a child custody determination has been commenced in another state, the court may:
(i) stay the proceeding for modification pending the entry of an order of a court of the other state enforcing, staying, denying, or dismissing the proceeding for enforcement;
(ii) enjoin the parties from continuing with the proceeding for enforcement; or
(iii) proceed with the modification under conditions it considers appropriate.

§ 9.5-207. Inconvenient forum

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In general

(a)(1) A court of this State that has jurisdiction under this title to make a child custody determination may decline to exercise its jurisdiction at any time if it determines that it is an inconvenient forum under the circumstances and that a court of another state is a more appropriate forum.

(2) The issue of inconvenient forum may be raised upon motion of a party, the court’s own motion, or request of another court.

Factors considered

(b)(1) Before determining whether it is an inconvenient forum, a court of this State shall consider whether it is appropriate for a court of another state to exercise jurisdiction.

(2) For the purpose under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the court shall allow the parties to submit information and shall consider all relevant factors, including:
(i) whether domestic violence has occurred and is likely to continue in the future and which state could best protect the parties and the child;
(ii) the length of time the child has resided outside this State;
(iii) the distance between the court in this State and the court in the state that would assume jurisdiction;
(iv) the relative financial circumstances of the parties;
(v) any agreement of the parties as to which state should assume jurisdiction;
(vi) the nature and location of the evidence required to resolve the pending litigation, including testimony of the child;
(vii) the ability of the court of each state to decide the issue expeditiously and the procedures necessary to present the evidence; and
(viii) the familiarity of the court of each state with the facts and issues in the pending litigation.

Stay

(c) If a court of this State determines that it is an inconvenient forum and that a court of another state is a more appropriate forum, it shall stay the proceedings upon condition that a child custody proceeding be promptly commenced in another designated state and may impose any other condition the court considers just and proper.

Other proceedings

(d) A court of this State may decline to exercise its jurisdiction under this title if a child custody determination is incidental to an action for divorce or other proceeding while still retaining jurisdiction over the divorce or the other proceeding.

§ 9.5-208. Jurisdiction declined by reason of conduct

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

When court may decline jurisdiction

(a) Except as otherwise provided in § 9.5-204 of this subtitle or by other law of this State, if a court of this State has jurisdiction under this title because a person seeking to invoke its jurisdiction has engaged in unjustifiable conduct, the court shall decline to exercise its jurisdiction unless:

(1) the parents and all persons acting as parents have acquiesced in the exercise of jurisdiction;
(2) a court of the state otherwise having jurisdiction under §§ 9.5-201 through 9.5-203 of this subtitle determines that this State is a more appropriate forum under § 9.5-207 of this subtitle; or
(3) no court of any other state would have jurisdiction under the criteria specified in §§ 9.5-201 through 9.5-203 of this subtitle.

Remedy to ensure safety of child

(b) If a court of this State declines to exercise its jurisdiction under subsection (a) of this section, it may fashion an appropriate remedy to ensure the safety of the child and prevent a repetition of the unjustifiable conduct, including staying the proceeding until a child custody proceeding is commenced in a court having jurisdiction under §§ 9.5-201 through 9.5-203 of this subtitle.

Assessments of expenses and fees

(c)(1) If a court dismisses a petition or stays a proceeding because it declines to exercise its jurisdiction under subsection (a) of this section, the court shall assess against the party seeking to invoke the court’s jurisdiction necessary and reasonable expenses, including costs, communication expenses, attorney’s fees, investigative fees, expenses for witnesses, travel expenses, and child care during the course of the proceedings, unless the party from whom fees are sought establishes that the assessment would be clearly inappropriate.

(2) The court may not assess fees, costs, or expenses against this State unless authorized by law other than this title.

§ 9.5-209. Information to be submitted in court

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Initial pleading; information required

(a)(1) In a child custody proceeding, each party, in its first pleading or in an attached affidavit, shall give information, if reasonably ascertainable, under oath as to the child’s present address or whereabouts, the places where the child has lived during the last 5 years, and the names and present addresses of the persons with whom the child has lived during that period.

(2) The pleading or affidavit must state whether the party:
(i) has participated, as a party or witness or in any other capacity, in any other proceeding concerning the custody of or visitation with the child and, if so, identify the court, the case number, and the date of the child custody determination, if any;
(ii) knows of any proceeding that could affect the current proceeding, including proceedings for enforcement and proceedings relating to domestic violence, protective orders, termination of parental rights, and adoptions and, if so, identify the court, the case number, and the nature of the proceeding; and
(iii) knows the names and addresses of any person not a party to the proceeding who has physical custody of the child or claims rights of legal custody or physical custody of, or visitation with, the child and, if so, the names and addresses of those persons.

Stay of proceeding until information received

(b) If the information required by subsection (a) of this section is not furnished, the court, upon motion of a party or its own motion, may stay the proceeding until the information is furnished.

Court may require additional information

(c)(1) If the declaration as to any of the items described in subsection (a)(2)(i) through (iii) of this section is in the affirmative, the declarant shall give additional information under oath as required by the court.

(2) The court may examine the parties under oath as to details of the information furnished and other matters pertinent to the court’s jurisdiction and the disposition of the case.

Continuing duty to inform court

(d) Each party has a continuing duty to inform the court of any proceeding in this or any other state that could affect the current proceeding.

Disclosure of information

(e) If a party alleges in an affidavit or a pleading under oath that the health, safety, or liberty of a party or child would be jeopardized by disclosure of identifying information, the information shall be sealed and may not be disclosed to the other party or the public unless the court orders the disclosure to be made after a hearing in which the court takes into consideration the health, safety, or liberty of the party or child and determines that the disclosure is in the interest of justice.

§ 9.5-210. Appearance of parties and child

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Order to appear

(a)(1) In a child custody proceeding in this State, the court may order a party to the proceeding who is in this State to appear before the court in person with or without the child.

(2) The court may order any person who is in this State and who has physical custody or control of the child to appear in person with the child.

Failure to appear

(b) If a party to a child custody proceeding whose presence is desired by the court is outside this State, the court may order that a notice given in accordance with § 9.5-107 of this title include a statement directing the party to appear in person with or without the child and informing the party that failure to appear may result in a decision adverse to the party.

Orders to ensure safety of child

(c) The court may enter any orders necessary to ensure the safety of the child and of any person ordered to appear under this section.

Travel and other expenses

(d) If a party to a child custody proceeding who is outside this State is directed to appear under subsection (b) of this section or desires to appear personally before the court with or without the child, the court may require another party to pay reasonable and necessary travel and other expenses of the party so appearing and of the child.

Subtitle 3. Enforcement

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 9.5-301. Definitions

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In general

(a) In this subtitle the following words have the meanings indicated.

Petitioner

(b) “Petitioner” means a person who seeks enforcement of an order for return of a child under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or enforcement of a child custody determination.

Respondent

(c) “Respondent” means a person against whom a proceeding has been commenced for enforcement of an order for return of a child under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or enforcement of a child custody determination.

§ 9.5-302. Enforcement under Hague Convention

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Under this subtitle a court of this State may enforce an order for the return of the child made under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction as if it were a child custody determination.

§ 9.5-303. Duty to enforce

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Recognition and enforcement of out-of-state determination

(a) A court of this State shall recognize and enforce a child custody determination of a court of another state if the latter court exercised jurisdiction in substantial conformity with this title or the determination was made under factual circumstances meeting the jurisdictional standards of this title and the determination has not been modified in accordance with this title.

Remedies available to enforce child custody

(b)(1) A court of this State may utilize any remedy available under other laws of this State to enforce a child custody determination made by a court of another state.

(2) The remedies provided in this subtitle are cumulative and do not affect the availability of other remedies to enforce a child custody determination.

§ 9.5-304. Temporary visitation

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In general

(a) A court of this State that does not have jurisdiction to modify a child custody determination may issue a temporary order enforcing:

(1) a visitation schedule made by a court of another state; or
(2) the visitation provisions of a child custody determination of another state that does not provide for a specific visitation schedule.

Time effective

(b)(1) If a court of this State makes an order under subsection (a)(2) of this section, it shall specify in the order a period that it considers adequate to allow the petitioner to obtain an order from a court having jurisdiction under the criteria specified in Subtitle 2 of this title.

(2) The order remains in effect until an order is obtained from the other court or the period expires.

§ 9.5-305. Registration of child-custody determination

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In general

(a) A child custody determination issued by a court of another state may be registered in this State, with or without a simultaneous request for enforcement, by sending to the appropriate court in this State:

(1) a letter or other document requesting registration;
(2) two copies, including one certified copy, of the determination sought to be registered, and a statement under penalty of perjury that to the best of the knowledge and belief of the person seeking registration the order has not been modified; and
(3) except as otherwise provided in § 9.5-209 of this title, the name and address of the person seeking registration and any parent or person acting as a parent who has been awarded custody or visitation in the child custody determination sought to be registered.

Duty of registering court

(b) On receipt of the documents required by subsection (a) of this section, the registering court shall:

(1) cause the determination to be filed as a foreign judgment, together with one copy of any accompanying documents and information, regardless of their form; and
(2) serve notice upon the persons named in subsection (a)(3) of this section and provide them with an opportunity to contest the registration in accordance with this section.

Contents of notice

(c) The notice required by subsection (b)(2) of this section shall state that:

(1) a registered determination is enforceable as of the date of the registration in the same manner as a determination issued by a court of this State;
(2) any request for a hearing to contest the validity of the registered determination shall be made within 20 days after service of notice; and
(3) failure to contest the registration will result in confirmation of the child custody determination and preclude further contest of that determination with respect to any matter that could have been asserted.

Contesting a registered order

(d)(1) A person seeking to contest the validity of a registered order shall request a hearing within 20 days after service of the notice.

(2) At that hearing, the court shall confirm the registered order unless the person contesting registration establishes that:
(i) the issuing court did not have jurisdiction under Subtitle 2 of this title;
(ii) the child custody determination sought to be registered has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court having jurisdiction to do so under Subtitle 2 of this title; or
(iii) the person contesting registration was entitled to notice, but notice was not given in accordance with the standards of § 9.5-107 of this title, in the proceedings before the court that issued the order for which registration is sought.

Confirmation of registration

(e) If a timely request for a hearing to contest the validity of the registration is not made, the registration is confirmed as a matter of law and the person requesting registration and all persons served shall be notified of the confirmation.

Further contesting of order

(f) Confirmation of a registered order, whether by operation of law or after notice and hearing, precludes further contest of the order with respect to any matter that could have been asserted at the time of registration.

§ 9.5-306. Enforcement of registered determination

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In general

(a) A court of this State may grant any relief normally available under the law of this State to enforce a registered child custody determination made by a court of another state.

Modification

(b) A court of this State shall recognize and enforce, but may not modify, except in accordance with Subtitle 2 of this title, a registered child custody determination of a court of another state.

§ 9.5-307. Simultaneous proceedings

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Jurisdiction

(a) If a proceeding for enforcement under this subtitle is commenced in a court of this State and the court determines that a proceeding to modify the determination is pending in a court of another state having jurisdiction to modify the determination under Subtitle 2 of this title, the enforcing court shall immediately communicate with the modifying court.

Continuation, stay or dismissal of proceeding

(b) The proceeding for enforcement continues unless the enforcing court, after consultation with the modifying court, stays or dismisses the proceeding.

§ 9.5-308. Expedited enforcement of child-custody determination

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Verify petition

(a)(1) A petition under this subtitle shall be verified.

(2) Certified copies of all orders sought to be enforced and of any order confirming registration shall be attached to the petition.
(3) A copy of a certified copy of an order may be attached instead of the original.

Contents of petition for enforcement of child custody determination

(b) A petition for enforcement of a child custody determination shall state:

(1) whether the court that issued the determination identified the jurisdictional basis it relied on in exercising jurisdiction and, if so, what the basis was;
(2) whether the determination for which enforcement is sought has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court whose decision is required to be enforced under this title and, if so, identify the court, the case number, and the nature of the proceeding;
(3) whether any proceeding has been commenced that could affect the current proceeding, including proceedings relating to domestic violence, protective orders, termination of parental rights, and adoptions and, if so, identify the court, the case number, and the nature of the proceeding;
(4) the present physical address of the child and the respondent, if known;
(5) whether relief in addition to the immediate physical custody of the child and attorney’s fees is sought, including a request for assistance from law enforcement officials and, if so, the relief sought; and
(6) if the child custody determination has been registered and confirmed under § 9.5-305 of this subtitle, the date and place of registration.

Duty of court

(c)(1) On the filing of a petition, the court shall issue an order directing the respondent to appear in person with or without the child at a hearing and may enter any order necessary to ensure the safety of the parties and the child.

(2)(i) The hearing shall be held on the next judicial day after service of the order unless that date is impossible.
(ii) In that event, the court shall hold the hearing on the first judicial day possible.
(iii) The court may extend the date of hearing at the request of the petitioner.

Hearing

(d) An order issued under subsection (c) of this section shall state the time and place of the hearing and advise the respondent that at the hearing the court will order that the petitioner may take immediate physical custody of the child and the payment of fees, costs, and expenses under § 9.5-312 of this subtitle, and may schedule a hearing to determine whether further relief is appropriate, unless the respondent appears and establishes that:

(1) the child custody determination has not been registered and confirmed under § 9.5-305 of this subtitle and that:
(i) the issuing court did not have jurisdiction under Subtitle 2 of this title;
(ii) the child custody determination for which enforcement is sought has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court having jurisdiction to do so under Subtitle 2 of this title; or
(iii) the respondent was entitled to notice, but notice was not given in accordance with the standards of § 9.5-107 of this title, in the proceedings before the court that issued the order for which enforcement is sought; or
(2) the child custody determination for which enforcement is sought was registered and confirmed under § 9.5-305 of this subtitle, but has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court of a state having jurisdiction to do so under Subtitle 2 of this title.

§ 9.5-309. Service of petition and order

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Except as otherwise provided in § 9.5-311 of this subtitle, the petition and order must be served, by any method authorized by the law of this State, on the respondent and any person who has physical custody of the child.

§ 9.5-310. Hearing and order

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Physical custody of child

(a) Unless the court issues a temporary emergency order in accordance with § 9.5-204 of this title, on a finding that a petitioner is entitled to immediate physical custody of the child, the court shall order that the petitioner may take immediate physical custody of the child unless the respondent establishes that:

(1) the child custody determination has not been registered and confirmed under § 9.5-305 of this subtitle and that:
(i) the issuing court did not have jurisdiction under Subtitle 2 of this title;
(ii) the child custody determination for which enforcement is sought has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court of a state having jurisdiction to do so under Subtitle 2 of this title; or
(iii) the respondent was entitled to notice, but notice was not given in accordance with the standards of § 9.5-107 of this title, in the proceedings before the court that issued the order for which enforcement is sought; or
(2) the child custody determination for which enforcement is sought was registered and confirmed under § 9.5-305 of this subtitle but has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court of a state having jurisdiction to do so under Subtitle 2 of this title.

Fees and expenses

(b) The court shall award the fees, costs, and expenses authorized under § 9.5-312 of this subtitle and may grant additional relief, including a request for the assistance of law enforcement officials, and set a further hearing to determine whether additional relief is appropriate.

Refusal to give testimony

(c) If a party called to testify refuses to answer on the ground that the testimony may be self-incriminating, the court may draw an adverse inference from the refusal.

Privileged communication

(d) A privilege against disclosure of communications between spouses and a defense of immunity based on the relationship of husband and wife or parent and child may not be invoked in a proceeding under this subtitle.

§ 9.5-311. Warrant to take physical custody of child

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In general

(a) On the filing of a petition seeking enforcement of a child custody determination, the petitioner may file a verified application for the issuance of a warrant to take physical custody of the child if the child is immediately likely to suffer serious physical harm or be removed from this State.

Issue warrant; hearing

(b)(1) If the court, on the testimony of the petitioner or other witness, finds that the child is imminently likely to suffer serious physical harm or be removed from this State, it may issue a warrant to take physical custody of the child.

(2)(i) The petition shall be heard on the next judicial day after the warrant is executed unless that date is impossible.
(ii) In that event, the court shall hold the hearing on the first judicial day possible.
(3) The application for the warrant shall include the statements required by § 9.5-308(b) of this subtitle.

Contents of warrant

(c) A warrant to take physical custody of a child shall:

(1) recite the facts on which a conclusion of imminent serious physical harm or removal from the jurisdiction is based;
(2) direct law enforcement officers to take physical custody of the child immediately; and
(3) provide for the placement of the child pending final relief.

Respondent served with warrant

(d) The respondent shall be served with the petition, warrant, and order immediately after the child is taken into physical custody.

Enforcement of warrant

(e)(1) A warrant to take physical custody of a child is enforceable throughout this State.

(2) If the court finds on the basis of the testimony of the petitioner or other witness that a less intrusive remedy is not effective, the court may authorize law enforcement officers to enter private property to take physical custody of the child.
(3) If required by exigent circumstances of the case, the court may authorize law enforcement officers to make a forcible entry at any hour.

Conditions on placement of child

(f) The court may impose conditions on placement of a child to ensure the appearance of the child and the child’s custodian.

§ 9.5-312. Costs, fees, and expenses

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Award of expenses

(a) The court shall award the prevailing party, including a state, necessary and reasonable expenses incurred by or on behalf of the party, including costs, communication expenses, attorney’s fees, investigative fees, expenses for witnesses, travel expenses, and child care expenses during the course of the proceedings, unless the party from whom fees or expenses are sought establishes that the award would be clearly inappropriate.

Assessment of fees, costs, or expenses against a state

(b) The court may not assess fees, costs, or expenses against a state unless authorized by law other than this title.

§ 9.5-313. Recognition and enforcement

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

A court of this State shall accord full faith and credit to an order issued by another state and consistent with this title that enforces a child custody determination by a court of another state unless the order has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court having jurisdiction to do so under Subtitle 2 of this title.

§ 9.5-314. Appeals

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In general

(a) An appeal may be taken from a final order in a proceeding under this subtitle in accordance with expedited appellate procedures in other civil cases.

Temporary emergency order

(b) Unless the court enters a temporary emergency order under § 9.5-204 of this title, the enforcing court may not stay an order enforcing a child custody determination pending appeal.

§ 9.5-315. Role of Attorney General

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In general

(a) In a case arising under this title or involving the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, the Attorney General may take any lawful action, including resort to a proceeding under this subtitle or any other available civil proceeding to locate a child, obtain the return of a child, or enforce a child custody determination if there is:

(1) an existing child custody determination;
(2) a request to do so from a court in a pending child custody proceeding;
(3) a reasonable belief that a criminal statute has been violated; or
(4) a reasonable belief that the child has been wrongfully removed or retained in violation of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Representation by Attorney General

(b) The Attorney General acting under this section on behalf of the court may not represent any party.

§ 9.5-316. Role of law enforcement officers

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

At the request of the Attorney General acting under § 9.5-315 of this subtitle, a law enforcement officer may take any lawful action reasonably necessary to locate a child or a party and assist the Attorney General with responsibilities under § 9.5-315 of this subtitle.

§ 9.5-317. Costs and expenses

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

If the respondent is not the prevailing party, the court may assess against the respondent all direct expenses and costs incurred by the Attorney General and law enforcement officers under § 9.5-315 or § 9.5-316 of this subtitle.

§ 9.5-318. Short title

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

This title may be cited as the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.

Title 11. Alimony

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 11-106. Amount of award; duration

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Court to make determination

(a)(1) The court shall determine the amount of and the period for an award of alimony.

(2) The court may award alimony for a period beginning from the filing of the pleading that requests alimony.

(3) At the conclusion of the period of the award of alimony, no further alimony shall accrue.

Factors considered

(b) In making the determination, the court shall consider all the factors necessary for a fair and equitable award, including:

(1) the ability of the party seeking alimony to be wholly or partly self-supporting;

(2) the time necessary for the party seeking alimony to gain sufficient education or training to enable that party to find suitable employment;

(3) the standard of living that the parties established during their marriage;

(4) the duration of the marriage;

(5) the contributions, monetary and nonmonetary, of each party to the well-being of the family;

(6) the circumstances that contributed to the estrangement of the parties;

(7) the age of each party;

(8) the physical and mental condition of each party;

(9) the ability of the party from whom alimony is sought to meet that party’s needs while meeting the needs of the party seeking alimony;

(10) any agreement between the parties;

(11) the financial needs and financial resources of each party, including:

(i) all income and assets, including property that does not produce income;

(ii) any award made under §§ 8-205 and 8-208 of this article;

(iii) the nature and amount of the financial obligations of each party; and

(iv) the right of each party to receive retirement benefits; and

(12) whether the award would cause a spouse who is a resident of a related institution as defined in § 19-301 of the Health-General Article and from whom alimony is sought to become eligible for medical assistance earlier than would otherwise occur.

Award for indefinite period

(c) The court may award alimony for an indefinite period, if the court finds that:

(1) due to age, illness, infirmity, or disability, the party seeking alimony cannot reasonably be expected to make substantial progress toward becoming self-supporting; or

(2) even after the party seeking alimony will have made as much progress toward becoming self-supporting as can reasonably be expected, the respective standards of living of the parties will be unconscionably disparate.

Title 12. Child Support

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Subtitle 2. Child Support Guidelines

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 12-201. Definitions

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In general

(a) In this subtitle the following words have the meanings indicated.

Actual income

(b)(1) “Actual income” means income from any source.

(2) For income from self-employment, rent, royalties, proprietorship of a business, or joint ownership of a partnership or closely held corporation, “actual income” means gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce income.

(3) “Actual income” includes:

(i) salaries;

(ii) wages;

(iii) commissions;

(iv) bonuses;

(v) dividend income;

(vi) pension income;

(vii) interest income;

(viii) trust income;

(ix) annuity income;

(x) Social Security benefits;

(xi) workers’ compensation benefits;

(xii) unemployment insurance benefits;

(xiii) disability insurance benefits;

(xiv) for the obligor, any third party payment paid to or for a minor child as a result of the obligor’s disability, retirement, or other compensable claim;

(xv) alimony or maintenance received; and

(xvi) expense reimbursements or in-kind payments received by a parent in the course of employment, self-employment, or operation of a business to the extent the reimbursements or payments reduce the parent’s personal living expenses.

(4) Based on the circumstances of the case, the court may consider the following items as actual income:

(i) severance pay;

(ii) capital gains;

(iii) gifts; or

(iv) prizes.

(5) “Actual income” does not include benefits received from means-tested public assistance programs, including temporary cash assistance, Supplemental Security Income, food stamps, and transitional emergency, medical, and housing assistance.

Adjusted actual income

(c) “Adjusted actual income” means actual income minus:

(1) preexisting reasonable child support obligations actually paid; and

(2) except as provided in § 12-204(a)(2) of this subtitle, alimony or maintenance obligations actually paid.

Adjusted basic child support obligation

(d) “Adjusted basic child support obligation” means an adjustment of the basic child support obligation for shared physical custody.

Basic child support obligation

(e) “Basic child support obligation” means the base amount due for child support based on the combined adjusted actual incomes of both parents.

Combined adjusted actual income

(f) “Combined adjusted actual income” means the combined monthly adjusted actual incomes of both parents.

Extraordinary medical expenses

(g)(1) “Extraordinary medical expenses” means uninsured costs for medical treatment in excess of $250 in any calendar year.

(2) “Extraordinary medical expenses” includes uninsured, reasonable, and necessary costs for orthodontia, dental treatment, vision care, asthma treatment, physical therapy, treatment for any chronic health problem, and professional counseling or psychiatric therapy for diagnosed mental disorders.

Health insurance

(h) “Health insurance” includes medical insurance, dental insurance, prescription drug coverage, and vision insurance.

Income

(i) “Income” means:

(1) actual income of a parent, if the parent is employed to full capacity; or

(2) potential income of a parent, if the parent is voluntarily impoverished.

Obligee

(j) “Obligee” means any person who is entitled to receive child support.

Obligor

(k) “Obligor” means an individual who is required to pay child support under a court order.

Ordinary and necessary expenses

(l) “Ordinary and necessary expenses” does not include amounts allowable by the Internal Revenue Service for the accelerated component of depreciation expenses or investment tax credits or any other business expenses determined by the court to be inappropriate for determining actual income for purposes of calculating child support.

Potential income

(m) “Potential income” means income attributed to a parent determined by the parent’s employment potential and probable earnings level based on, but not limited to, recent work history, occupational qualifications, prevailing job opportunities, and earnings levels in the community.

Shared physical custody

(n)(1) “Shared physical custody” means that each parent keeps the child or children overnight for more than 35% of the year and that both parents contribute to the expenses of the child or children in addition to the payment of child support.

(2) Subject to paragraph (1) of this subsection, the court may base a child support award on shared physical custody:

(i) solely on the amount of visitation awarded; and(ii) regardless of whether joint custody has been granted.

§ 12-202. Use of child support guidelines

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Mandatory use of guidelines; presumption; departure from guidelines

(a)(1) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (2) of this subsection, in any proceeding to establish or modify child support, whether pendente lite or permanent, the court shall use the child support guidelines set forth in this subtitle.

(2)(i) There is a rebuttable presumption that the amount of child support which would result from the application of the child support guidelines set forth in this subtitle is the correct amount of child support to be awarded.

(ii) The presumption may be rebutted by evidence that the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case.

(iii) In determining whether the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case, the court may consider:

1. the terms of any existing separation or property settlement agreement or court order, including any provisions for payment of mortgages or marital debts, payment of college education expenses, the terms of any use and possession order or right to occupy the family home under an agreement, any direct payments made for the benefit of the children required by agreement or order, or any other financial considerations set out in an existing separation or property settlement agreement or court order; and

2. the presence in the household of either parent of other children to whom that parent owes a duty of support and the expenses for whom that parent is directly contributing.

(iv) The presumption may not be rebutted solely on the basis of evidence of the presence in the household of either parent of other children to whom that parent owes a duty of support and the expenses for whom that parent is directly contributing.

(v) 1. If the court determines that the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case, the court shall make a written finding or specific finding on the record stating the reasons for departing from the guidelines.

2. The court’s finding shall state:

A. the amount of child support that would have been required under the guidelines;

B. how the order varies from the guidelines;

C. how the finding serves the best interests of the child; and

D. in cases in which items of value are conveyed instead of a portion of the support presumed under the guidelines, the estimated value of the items conveyed.

Adoption of guidelines; material change in circumstances

(b) The adoption or revision of the guidelines set forth in this subtitle is not a material change of circumstance for the purpose of a modification of a child support award.

Report

(c) On or before January 1, 1993, and at least every 4 years after that date, the Child Support Administration of the Department of Human Services shall:

(1) review the guidelines set forth in this subtitle to ensure that the application of the guidelines results in the determination of appropriate child support award amounts; and(2) report its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly, subject to § 2-1246 of the State Government Article.

§ 12-203. Forms; documentation of income

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Standardized worksheet forms

(a) The Court of Appeals may issue standardized worksheet forms to be used in applying the child support guidelines set forth in this subtitle.

Documentation of income

(b)(1) Income statements of the parents shall be verified with documentation of both current and past actual income.

(2)(i) Except as provided in subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, suitable documentation of actual income includes pay stubs, employer statements otherwise admissible under the rules of evidence, or receipts and expenses if self-employed, and copies of each parent’s 3 most recent federal tax returns.
(ii) If a parent is self-employed or has received an increase or decrease in income of 20% or more in a 1-year period within the past 3 years, the court may require that parent to provide copies of federal tax returns for the 5 most recent years.

§ 12-204. Calculation of support

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Basic child support obligation; division

(a)(1) The basic child support obligation shall be determined in accordance with the schedule of basic child support obligations in subsection (e) of this section. The basic child support obligation shall be divided between the parents in proportion to their adjusted actual incomes.

(2)(i) If one or both parents have made a request for alimony or maintenance in the proceeding in which a child support award is sought, the court shall decide the issue and amount of alimony or maintenance before determining the child support obligation under these guidelines.

(ii) If the court awards alimony or maintenance, the amount of alimony or maintenance awarded shall be considered actual income for the recipient of the alimony or maintenance and shall be subtracted from the income of the payor of the alimony or maintenance under § 12-201(c)(2) of this subtitle before the court determines the amount of a child support award.

Potential income

(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, if a parent is voluntarily impoverished, child support may be calculated based on a determination of potential income.

(2) A determination of potential income may not be made for a parent who:

(i) is unable to work because of a physical or mental disability; or

(ii) is caring for a child under the age of 2 years for whom the parents are jointly and severally responsible.

Extrapolation of child support

(c) If a combined adjusted actual income amount falls between amounts shown in the schedule, the basic child support amount shall be extrapolated to the next higher amount.

High incomes; discretion of court

(d) If the combined adjusted actual income exceeds the highest level specified in the schedule in subsection (e) of this section, the court may use its discretion in setting the amount of child support.

Schedule

(e) Schedule of basic child support obligations:

Combined

Adjusted

Actual

Income

1

Child

2

Children

3

Children

4

Children

5

Children

6 or

More

Children

100-1200

$20 - $150 Per Month, Based

On Resources And Living

Expenses Of Obligor And Number

Of Children Due Support

1250

162

163

165

167

169

170

1300

195

197

199

202

204

206

1350

229

231

234

236

239

241

1400

262

265

268

271

274

277

1450

295

299

302

305

308

312

1500

310

330

334

338

341

345

1550

319

362

366

370

374

378

1600

327

394

398

402

407

411

1650

336

425

430

435

439

444

1700

344

457

462

467

472

477

1750

353

488

494

499

505

510

1800

361

520

526

532

537

543

1850

370

537

558

564

570

576

1900

378

550

590

596

603

609

1950

387

562

622

629

635

642

2000

395

574

654

661

668

675

2050

403

586

686

693

701

708

2100

412

598

706

726

733

741

2150

420

610

720

758

766

774

2200

428

622

734

790

799

807

2250

437

634

748

823

831

840

2300

445

646

761

851

864

873

2350

453

657

775

866

897

906

2400

462

669

789

882

930

939

2450

470

681

803

897

962

972

2500

478

693

817

913

995

1005

2550

486

705

831

928

1021

1039

2600

495

717

845

944

1038

1072

2650

503

729

859

959

1055

1105

2700

511

741

873

975

1072

1138

2750

520

753

886

990

1089

1171

2800

528

764

900

1006

1106

1202

2850

536

776

914

1021

1123

1221

2900

544

788

928

1037

1140

1240

2950

553

800

942

1052

1157

1258

3000

561

812

956

1068

1175

1277

3050

570

825

971

1084

1193

1297

3100

578

837

985

1101

1211

1316

3150

587

849

1000

1117

1229

1335

3200

595

861

1014

1133

1246

1355

3250

603

874

1029

1149

1264

1374

3300

612

886

1044

1166

1282

1394

3350

620

898

1058

1182

1300

1413

3400

629

911

1073

1198

1318

1433

3450

636

922

1086

1213

1334

1450

3500

644

932

1098

1227

1349

1467

3550

651

943

1111

1241

1365

1483

3600

658

953

1123

1255

1380

1500

3650

665

964

1136

1268

1395

1517

3700

673

974

1148

1282

1411

1533

3750

680

985

1160

1296

1426

1550

3800

687

995

1173

1310

1441

1567

3850

694

1006

1185

1324

1457

1583

3900

702

1016

1198

1338

1472

1600

3950

709

1027

1210

1352

1487

1617

4000

716

1037

1223

1366

1502

1633

4050

723

1048

1235

1379

1517

1649

4100

730

1057

1245

1391

1530

1663

4150

737

1067

1256

1403

1544

1678

4200

744

1076

1267

1416

1557

1693

4250

750

1086

1278

1428

1571

1707

4300

757

1095

1289

1440

1584

1722

4350

764

1105

1300

1452

1597

1736

4400

771

1114

1311

1464

1611

1751

4450

777

1124

1322

1477

1624

1766

4500

784

1133

1333

1489

1638

1780

4550

791

1143

1344

1501

1651

1795

4600

798

1152

1355

1513

1664

1809

4650

804

1162

1366

1525

1678

1824

4700

811

1172

1376

1538

1691

1838

4750

818

1181

1387

1550

1705

1853

4800

825

1191

1398

1562

1718

1868

4850

832

1200

1409

1574

1732

1882

4900

838

1210

1420

1586

1745

1897

4950

845

1219

1431

1599

1758

1911

5000

852

1229

1442

1611

1772

1926

5050

859

1238

1453

1623

1785

1940

5100

865

1248

1464

1635

1799

1955

5150

872

1257

1475

1647

1812

1970

5200

878

1266

1485

1659

1825

1983

5250

885

1275

1495

1670

1837

1997

5300

891

1284

1505

1681

1850

2011

5350

897

1292

1515

1693

1862

2024

5400

903

1301

1526

1704

1875

2038

5450

909

1310

1536

1715

1887

2051

5500

915

1319

1546

1727

1899

2065

5550

921

1327

1556

1738

1912

2078

5600

927

1336

1566

1749

1924

2092

5650

934

1345

1576

1761

1937

2105

5700

940

1354

1586

1772

1949

2119

5750

946

1362

1597

1783

1962

2132

5800

952

1371

1607

1795

1974

2146

5850

958

1380

1617

1806

1987

2160

5900

964

1388

1627

1817

1999

2173

5950

970

1397

1637

1829

2012

2187

6000

976

1406

1647

1840

2024

2200

6050

983

1415

1658

1851

2037

2214

6100

989

1423

1668

1863

2049

2227

6150

995

1432

1678

1874

2062

2241

6200

1001

1441

1688

1885

2074

2254

6250

1007

1450

1698

1897

2086

2268

6300

1013

1458

1708

1907

2098

2281

6350

1016

1462

1713

1913

2104

2287

6400

1020

1467

1717

1918

2110

2294

6450

1023

1471

1722

1924

2116

2300

6500

1026

1476

1727

1929

2122

2307

6550

1030

1480

1732

1935

2128

2313

6600

1033

1485

1737

1940

2134

2320

6650

1037

1489

1742

1945

2140

2326

6700

1040

1494

1747

1951

2146

2333

6750

1043

1498

1751

1956

2152

2339

6800

1047

1503

1756

1962

2158

2346

6850

1050

1507

1761

1967

2164

2352

6900

1053

1512

1766

1973

2170

2359

6950

1057

1517

1771

1978

2176

2365

7000

1060

1521

1776

1983

2182

2372

7050

1064

1526

1781

1989

2188

2378

7100

1067

1530

1785

1994

2194

2385

7150

1070

1535

1790

2000

2200

2391

7200

1074

1539

1795

2005

2206

2397

7250

1077

1544

1800

2010

2211

2404

7300

1080

1548

1804

2016

2217

2410

7350

1084

1552

1809

2021

2223

2416

7400

1087

1556

1814

2026

2228

2422

7450

1090

1560

1818

2031

2234

2428

7500

1092

1563

1820

2033

2237

2431

7550

1094

1565

1823

2036

2240

2435

7600

1096

1568

1826

2039

2243

2438

7650

1097

1570

1828

2042

2247

2442

7700

1099

1573

1831

2045

2250

2445

7750

1101

1575

1834

2048

2253

2449

7800

1103

1578

1836

2051

2256

2453

7850

1105

1580

1839

2054

2259

2456

7900

1107

1583

1842

2057

2263

2460

7950

1109

1586

1844

2060

2266

2463

8000

1111

1588

1847

2063

2269

2467

8050

1113

1591

1849

2066

2272

2470

8100

1115

1593

1852

2069

2276

2474

8150

1117

1596

1855

2072

2279

2477

8200

1119

1598

1857

2075

2282

2481

8250

1121

1601

1860

2078

2285

2484

8300

1123

1603

1863

2081

2289

2488

8350

1125

1606

1865

2084

2292

2491

8400

1127

1609

1868

2087

2296

2495

8450

1129

1612

1871

2090

2299

2499

8500

1132

1614

1874

2093

2303

2503

8550

1134

1617

1877

2097

2306

2507

8600

1136

1620

1880

2100

2310

2511

8650

1141

1628

1889

2110

2321

2523

8700

1147

1636

1898

2120

2332

2535

8750

1153

1644

1908

2131

2344

2548

8800

1159

1652

1917

2141

2355

2560

8850

1164

1660

1926

2151

2367

2572

8900

1170

1668

1935

2162

2378

2585

8950

1176

1676

1945

2172

2389

2597

9000

1181

1684

1954

2182

2401

2609

9050

1187

1692

1963

2193

2412

2622

9100

1193

1700

1972

2203

2423

2634

9150

1199

1708

1982

2213

2435

2647

9200

1204

1716

1991

2224

2446

2659

9250

1210

1724

2000

2234

2457

2671

9300

1216

1732

2009

2244

2469

2684

9350

1220

1739

2017

2253

2478

2694

9400

1224

1744

2023

2260

2486

2702

9450

1228

1750

2030

2267

2494

2711

9500

1232

1756

2036

2275

2502

2720

9550

1236

1761

2043

2282

2510

2728

9600

1240

1767

2049

2289

2518

2737

9650

1244

1772

2056

2296

2526

2746

9700

1248

1778

2062

2304

2534

2754

9750

1252

1784

2069

2311

2542

2763

9800

1255

1789

2075

2318

2550

2772

9850

1259

1795

2082

2325

2558

2780

9900

1263

1800

2088

2333

2566

2789

9950

1267

1806

2095

2340

2574

2798

10000

1271

1811

2101

2347

2582

2806

10050

1301

1836

2126

2372

2607

2831

10100

1308

1861

2151

2397

2632

2856

10150

1314

1886

2176

2422

2657

2881

10200

1321

1911

2201

2447

2682

2906

10250

1327

1936

2226

2472

2707

2931

10300

1334

1955

2251

2497

2732

2956

10350

1340

1965

2276

2522

2757

2981

10400

1347

1974

2301

2547

2782

3006

10450

1353

1984

2326

2572

2807

3031

10500

1359

1993

2351

2597

2832

3056

10550

1366

2003

2376

2622

2857

3081

10600

1372

2012

2388

2647

2882

3106

10650

1379

2022

2399

2672

2907

3131

10700

1385

2031

2410

2697

2932

3156

10750

1392

2041

2422

2712

2957

3181

10800

1398

2050

2433

2725

2982

3206

10850

1405

2060

2444

2737

3007

3231

10900

1411

2069

2455

2750

3032

3256

10950

1418

2079

2467

2762

3056

3281

11000

1424

2088

2478

2775

3070

3306

11050

1431

2097

2489

2788

3083

3331

11100

1437

2107

2501

2800

3097

3356

11150

1444

2116

2512

2813

3111

3381

11200

1450

2126

2523

2825

3125

3406

11250

1457

2135

2534

2838

3139

3427

11300

1463

2145

2546

2851

3153

3442

11350

1470

2154

2557

2863

3167

3457

11400

1476

2164

2568

2876

3181

3472

11450

1482

2173

2579

2889

3195

3488

11500

1489

2183

2591

2901

3209

3503

11550

1495

2192

2602

2914

3223

3518

11600

1502

2202

2613

2926

3237

3533

11650

1508

2211

2624

2939

3251

3548

11700

1515

2221

2636

2952

3265

3564

11750

1521

2230

2647

2964

3279

3579

11800

1528

2240

2658

2977

3293

3594

11850

1534

2249

2669

2989

3307

3609

11900

1541

2259

2681

3002

3321

3625

11950

1547

2268

2692

3015

3335

3640

12000

1554

2278

2703

3027

3349

3655

12050

1560

2287

2715

3040

3363

3670

12100

1567

2297

2726

3053

3376

3685

12150

1573

2306

2737

3065

3390

3701

12200

1580

2316

2748

3078

3404

3716

12250

1586

2325

2760

3090

3418

3731

12300

1593

2335

2771

3103

3432

3746

12350

1599

2344

2782

3116

3446

3762

12400

1605

2354

2793

3128

3460

3777

12450

1612

2363

2805

3141

3474

3792

12500

1618

2373

2816

3153

3488

3807

12550

1625

2382

2827

3166

3502

3823

12600

1631

2392

2838

3179

3516

3838

12650

1638

2401

2850

3191

3530

3853

12700

1644

2411

2861

3204

3544

3868

12750

1651

2420

2872

3217

3558

3883

12800

1657

2430

2883

3229

3572

3899

12850

1664

2439

2895

3242

3586

3914

12900

1670

2449

2906

3254

3600

3929

12950

1677

2458

2917

3267

3614

3944

13000

1683

2468

2929

3280

3628

3960

13050

1690

2477

2940

3292

3642

3975

13100

1696

2487

2951

3305

3655

3990

13150

1703

2496

2962

3317

3669

4005

13200

1709

2506

2974

3330

3683

4021

13250

1716

2515

2985

3343

3697

4036

13300

1722

2525

2996

3355

3711

4051

13350

1728

2534

3007

3368

3725

4066

13400

1735

2544

3019

3380

3739

4081

13450

1741

2553

3030

3393

3753

4097

13500

1748

2563

3041

3406

3767

4112

13550

1754

2572

3052

3418

3781

4127

13600

1761

2582

3064

3431

3795

4142

13650

1767

2591

3075

3444

3809

4158

13700

1774

2601

3086

3456

3823

4173

13750

1780

2610

3098

3469

3837

4188

13800

1787

2619

3109

3481

3851

4203

13850

1793

2629

3120

3494

3865

4219

13900

1800

2638

3131

3507

3879

4234

13950

1806

2648

3143

3519

3893

4249

14000

1813

2657

3154

3532

3907

4264

14050

1819

2667

3165

3544

3921

4279

14100

1826

2676

3176

3557

3935

4295

14150

1832

2686

3188

3570

3948

4310

14200

1839

2695

3199

3582

3962

4325

14250

1845

2705

3210

3595

3976

4340

14300

1851

2714

3221

3608

3990

4356

14350

1858

2724

3233

3620

4004

4371

14400

1864

2733

3244

3633

4018

4386

14450

1871

2743

3255

3645

4032

4401

14500

1877

2752

3266

3658

4046

4416

14550

1884

2762

3278

3671

4060

4432

14600

1890

2771

3289

3683

4074

4447

14650

1897

2781

3300

3696

4088

4462

14700

1903

2790

3312

3708

4102

4477

14750

1910

2800

3323

3721

4116

4493

14800

1916

2809

3334

3734

4130

4508

14850

1923

2819

3345

3746

4144

4523

14900

1929

2828

3357

3759

4158

4538

14950

1936

2838

3368

3772

4172

4554

15000

1942

2847

3379

3784

4186

4569

Adjusted basic child support obligation

(f) The adjusted basic child support obligation shall be determined by multiplying the basic child support obligation by one and one-half.

Child care expenses

(g)(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection, actual child care expenses incurred on behalf of a child due to employment or job search of either parent shall be added to the basic obligation and shall be divided between the parents in proportion to their adjusted actual incomes.

(2) Child care expenses shall be:

(i) determined by actual family experience, unless the court determines that the actual family experience is not in the best interest of the child; or

(ii) if there is no actual family experience or if the court determines that actual family experience is not in the best interest of the child:

1. the level required to provide quality care from a licensed source; or

2. if the obligee chooses quality child care with an actual cost of an amount less than the level required to provide quality care from a licensed source, the actual cost of the child care expense.

(3) Additional child care expenses may be considered if a child has special needs.

Extraordinary medical expenses

(h)(1) Any actual cost of providing health insurance coverage for a child for whom the parents are jointly and severally responsible shall be added to the basic child support obligation and shall be divided by the parents in proportion to their adjusted actual incomes.

(2) Any extraordinary medical expenses incurred on behalf of a child shall be added to the basic child support obligation and shall be divided between the parents in proportion to their adjusted actual incomes.

Particular educational needs; transportation expenses

(i) By agreement of the parties or by order of court, the following expenses incurred on behalf of a child may be divided between the parents in proportion to their adjusted actual incomes:

(1) any expenses for attending a special or private elementary or secondary school to meet the particular educational needs of the child; or

(2) any expenses for transportation of the child between the homes of the parents.

Dependent benefits

(j)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, when a disability dependency benefit, a retirement dependency benefit, or other third party dependency benefit is paid to or for a child of an obligor who is disabled, retired, or is receiving benefits from any source as a result of a compensable claim, the amount of the compensation shall be set off against the child support obligation calculated using the guidelines.

(2)(i) If the amount paid to or for a child exceeds the current child support obligation calculated using the guidelines, the excess payment shall be credited to any existing child support arrearage that accrued after the effective date the benefits were awarded.

(ii) The excess payment may not be credited to any future child support obligation.

Review; expiration of use and possession order; expiration of right to occupy family home

(k)(1) Upon the expiration of a use and possession order or the expiration of the right to occupy the family home under a separation or property settlement agreement and upon motion of either party, the court shall review the child support award.

(2) If the allocation of financial responsibility for the family home was a factor in departing from the guidelines under subsection (a) of this section, the court may modify the child support, if appropriate in all the circumstances, upon the expiration of the use and possession order or the expiration of the right to occupy the family home under a separation or property settlement agreement.

Parent’s share of child support obligation; generally

(l)(1) Except in cases of shared physical custody, each parent’s child support obligation shall be determined by adding each parent’s respective share of the basic child support obligation, work-related child care expenses, health insurance expenses, extraordinary medical expenses, and additional expenses under subsection (i) of this section.

(2) The obligee shall be presumed to spend that parent’s total child support obligation directly on the child or children.

(3) The obligor shall owe that parent’s total child support obligation as child support to the obligee minus any ordered payments included in the calculations made directly by the obligor on behalf of the child or children for work-related child care expenses, health insurance expenses, extraordinary medical expenses, or additional expenses under subsection (i) of this section.

Parent’s share of child support obligation; shared physical custody

(m)(1) In cases of shared physical custody, the adjusted basic child support obligation shall first be divided between the parents in proportion to their respective adjusted actual incomes.

(2) Each parent’s share of the adjusted basic child support obligation shall then be multiplied by the percentage of time the child or children spend with the other parent to determine the theoretical basic child support obligation owed to the other parent.

(3) Subject to the provisions of paragraphs (4) and (5) of this subsection, the parent owing the greater amount under paragraph (2) of this subsection shall owe the difference in the 2 amounts as child support.

(4) In addition to the amount of the child support owed under paragraph (3) of this subsection, if either parent incurs child care expenses under subsection (g) of this section, health insurance expenses under subsection (h)(1) of this section, extraordinary medical expenses under subsection (h)(2) of this section, or additional expenses under subsection (i) of this section, the expense shall be divided between the parents in proportion to their respective adjusted actual incomes. The parent not incurring the expense shall pay that parent’s proportionate share to:

(i) the parent making direct payments to the provider of the service; or

(ii) the provider directly, if a court order requires direct payments to the provider.(5) The amount owed under paragraph (3) of this subsection may not exceed the amount that would be owed under subsection (l) of this section.

Title 14. Adult Protective Services

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Subtitle 1. Definitions and General Provisions

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 14-101. Definitions

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In general
(a) In this title the following words have the meanings indicated.
Abuse
(b) “Abuse” means the sustaining of any physical injury by a vulnerable adult as a result of cruel or inhumane treatment or as a result of a malicious act by any person.
Director
(c) “Director” means the director of the local department in the county where the vulnerable adult lives.
Disabled person
(d) “Disabled person” has the meaning stated in § 13-101(e) of the Estates and Trusts Article.
Emergency
(e) “Emergency” means any condition in which an individual is living that presents a substantial risk of death or immediate and serious physical harm to the individual or others.
Exploitation
(f) “Exploitation” means any action which involves the misuse of a vulnerable adult’s funds, property, or person.
Health practitioner
(g) “Health practitioner” includes any person who is authorized to practice healing under the Health Occupations Article.
Human service worker
(h)(1) “Human service worker” means any professional employee of any public or private health or social services agency or provider.
(2) “Human service worker” includes:
(i) any social worker; and
(ii) any caseworker.
Law enforcement agency
(i) “Law enforcement agency” means a State, county, or municipal police department, bureau, or agency.
Local department
(j) Except as provided in §§ 14-201, 14-402, and 14-403 of this title, “local department” means the local department that has jurisdiction in the county:
(1) where the vulnerable adult lives;
(2) for purposes of a notice received under § 11-307 of the Corporations and Associations Article, where an individual who is at least 65 years old lives; or
(3) where the abuse is alleged to have taken place.
Local State’s Attorney
(k) “Local State’s Attorney” means the State’s Attorney for the county:
(1) where the vulnerable adult lives; or
(2) where the abuse is alleged to have taken place.
Neglect
(l)(1) “Neglect” means the willful deprivation of a vulnerable adult of adequate food, clothing, essential medical treatment or habilitative therapy, shelter, or supervision.
(2) “Neglect” does not include the providing of nonmedical remedial care and treatment for the healing of injury or disease, with the consent of the vulnerable adult, recognized by State law instead of medical treatment.
Police officer
(m) “Police officer” means any State or local officer who is authorized to make arrests as part of the officer’s official duty.
Review board
(n) “Review board” means the adult public guardianship review board.
Secretary
(o) “Secretary” means the Secretary of Human Resources.
Self-neglect
(p) “Self-neglect” means the inability of a vulnerable adult to provide the vulnerable adult with the services:
(1) that are necessary for the vulnerable adult’s physical and mental health; and
(2) the absence of which impairs or threatens the vulnerable adult’s well-being.
Vulnerable adult
(q) “Vulnerable adult” means an adult who lacks the physical or mental capacity to provide for the adult’s daily needs.

General Provisions

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Title 1. Rules of Interpretation

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Subtitle 4. Miscellaneous Provisions

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 1-401. Age of majority

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In general

(a)(1) The age of majority is 18 years.

(2) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section or as otherwise specifically provided by statute, an individual at least 18 years old is an adult for all purposes and has the same legal capacity, rights, powers, privileges, duties, liabilities, and responsibilities that an individual at least 21 years old had before July 1, 1973.

Child support

(b) An individual who has attained the age of 18 years and who is enrolled in secondary school has the right to receive support and maintenance from both of the individual’s parents until the first to occur of the following events:

(1) the individual dies;

(2) the individual marries;

(3) the individual is emancipated;

(4) the individual graduates from or is no longer enrolled in secondary school; or

(5) the individual attains the age of 19 years.

Public Safety

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Title 5. Firearms

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Subtitle 1. Regulated Firearms

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 5-101. Definitions

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In general

(a) In this subtitle the following words have the meanings indicated.

Antique firearm

(b) “Antique firearm” has the meaning stated in § 4-201 of the Criminal Law Article.

Convicted of disqualifying crime

(b-1)(1) “Convicted of a disqualifying crime” includes:

(i) a case in which a person received probation before judgment for a crime of violence; and

(ii) a case in which a person received probation before judgment in a domestically related crime as defined in § 6-233 of the Criminal Procedure Article.

(2) “Convicted of a disqualifying crime” does not include a case in which a person received a probation before judgment:

(i) for assault in the second degree, unless the crime was a domestically related crime as defined in § 6-233 of the Criminal Procedure Article; or

(ii) that was expunged under Title 10, Subtitle 1 of the Criminal Procedure Article.

Crime of violence

(c) “Crime of violence” means:

(1) abduction;

(2) arson in the first degree;

(3) assault in the first or second degree;

(4) burglary in the first, second, or third degree;

(5) carjacking and armed carjacking;

(6) escape in the first degree;

(7) kidnapping;

(8) voluntary manslaughter;

(9) maiming as previously proscribed under former Article 27, § 386 of the Code;

(10) mayhem as previously proscribed under former Article 27, § 384 of the Code;

(11) murder in the first or second degree;

(12) rape in the first or second degree;

(13) robbery;

(14) robbery with a dangerous weapon;

(15) sexual offense in the first, second, or third degree;

(16) home invasion under § 6-202(b) of the Criminal Law Article;

(17) a felony offense under Title 3, Subtitle 11 of the Criminal Law Article;

(18) an attempt to commit any of the crimes listed in items (1) through (17) of this subsection; or

(19) assault with intent to commit any of the crimes listed in items (1) through (17) of this subsection or a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than 1 year.

Dealer

(d) “Dealer” means a person who is engaged in the business of:

(1) selling, renting, or transferring firearms at wholesale or retail; or

(2) repairing firearms.

Dealer’s license

(e) “Dealer’s license” means a State regulated firearms dealer’s license.

Designated law enforcement agency

(f) “Designated law enforcement agency” means a law enforcement agency that the Secretary designates to process applications to purchase regulated firearms for secondary sales.

Disqualifying crime

(g) “Disqualifying crime” means:

(1) a crime of violence;

(2) a violation classified as a felony in the State; or

(3) a violation classified as a misdemeanor in the State that carries a statutory penalty of more than 2 years.

Firearm

(h)(1) “Firearm” means:

(i) a weapon that expels, is designed to expel, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; or

(ii) the frame or receiver of such a weapon.

(2) “Firearm” includes a starter gun.

Firearm applicant

(i) “Firearm applicant” means a person who makes a firearm application.

Firearm application

(j) “Firearm application” means an application to purchase, rent, or transfer a regulated firearm.

Fugitive from justice

(k) “Fugitive from justice” means a person who has fled to avoid prosecution or giving testimony in a criminal proceeding.

Habitual drunkard

(l) “Habitual drunkard” means a person who has been found guilty of any three crimes under § 21-902(a), (b), or (c) of the Transportation Article, one of which occurred in the past year.

Habitual user

(m) “Habitual user” means a person who has been found guilty of two controlled dangerous substance crimes, one of which occurred in the past 5 years.

Handgun

(n)(1) “Handgun” means a firearm with a barrel less than 16 inches in length.

(2) “Handgun” includes signal, starter, and blank pistols.

Handgun qualification license

(o) “Handgun qualification license” means a license issued by the Secretary that authorizes a person to purchase, rent, or receive a handgun.

Licensee

(p) “Licensee” means a person who holds a dealer’s license.

Qualified handgun instructor

(q) “Qualified handgun instructor” means a certified firearms instructor who:

(1) is recognized by the Maryland Police and Correctional Training commissions;

(2) has a qualified handgun instructor license issued by the Secretary; or

(3) has a certification issued by a nationally recognized firearms organization.

Regulated firearm

(r) “Regulated firearm” means:

(1) a handgun; or

(2) a firearm that is any of the following specific assault weapons or their copies, regardless of which company produced and manufactured that assault weapon:

(i) American Arms Spectre da Semiautomatic carbine;

(ii) AK-47 in all forms;

(iii) Algimec AGM-1 type semi-auto;

(iv) AR 100 type semi-auto;

(v) AR 180 type semi-auto;

(vi) Argentine L.S.R. semi-auto;

(vii) Australian Automatic Arms SAR type semi-auto;

(viii) Auto-Ordnance Thompson M1 and 1927 semi-automatics;

(ix) Barrett light .50 cal. semi-auto;

(x) Beretta AR70 type semi-auto;

(xi) Bushmaster semi-auto rifle;

(xii) Calico models M-100 and M-900;

(xiii) CIS SR 88 type semi-auto;

(xiv) Claridge HI TEC C-9 carbines;

(xv) Colt AR-15, CAR-15, and all imitations except Colt AR-15 Sporter H-BAR rifle;

(xvi) Daewoo MAX 1 and MAX 2, aka AR 100, 110C, K-1, and K-2;

(xvii) Dragunov Chinese made semi-auto;

(xviii) Famas semi-auto (.223 caliber);

(xix) Feather AT-9 semi-auto;

(xx) FN LAR and FN FAL assault rifle;

(xxi) FNC semi-auto type carbine;

(xxii) F.I.E./Franchi LAW 12 and SPAS 12 assault shotgun;

(xxiii) Steyr-AUG-SA semi-auto;

(xxiv) Galil models AR and ARM semi-auto;

(xxv) Heckler and Koch HK-91 A3, HK-93 A2, HK-94 A2 and A3;

(xxvi) Holmes model 88 shotgun;

(xxvii) Avtomat Kalashnikov semiautomatic rifle in any format;

(xxviii) Manchester Arms “Commando” MK-45, MK-9;

(xxix) Mandell TAC-1 semi-auto carbine;

(xxx) Mossberg model 500 Bullpup assault shotgun;

(xxxi) Sterling Mark 6;

(xxxii) P.A.W.S. carbine;

(xxxiii) Ruger mini-14 folding stock model (.223 caliber);

(xxxiv) SIG 550/551 assault rifle (.223 caliber);

(xxxv) SKS with detachable magazine;

(xxxvi) AP-74 Commando type semi-auto;

(xxxvii) Springfield Armory BM-59, SAR-48, G3, SAR-3, M-21 sniper rifle, M1A, excluding the M1 Garand;

(xxxviii) Street sweeper assault type shotgun;

(xxxix) Striker 12 assault shotgun in all formats;

(xl) Unique F11 semi-auto type;

(xli) Daewoo USAS 12 semi-auto shotgun;

(xlii) UZI 9mm carbine or rifle;

(xliii) Valmet M-76 and M-78 semi-auto;

(xliv) Weaver Arms “Nighthawk” semi-auto carbine; or

(xlv) Wilkinson Arms 9mm semi-auto “Terry”.

Rent

(s) “Rent” means the temporary transfer for consideration of a regulated firearm that is taken from the property of the owner of the regulated firearm.

Secondary sale

(t) “Secondary sale” means a sale of a regulated firearm in which neither party to the sale:

(1) is a licensee;

(2) is licensed by the federal government as a firearms dealer;

(3) devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of earning a profit through the repeated purchase and resale of firearms; or

(4) repairs firearms as a regular course of trade or business.

Secretary

(u) “Secretary” means the Secretary of State Police or the Secretary’s designee.

Straw purchase

(v) “Straw purchase” means a sale of a regulated firearm in which a person uses another, known as the straw purchaser, to:

(1) complete the application to purchase a regulated firearm;

(2) take initial possession of the regulated firearm; and(3) subsequently transfer the regulated firearm to the person.

§ 5-102. Scope of subtitle

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

This subtitle does not apply to:

(1) the transfer or possession of a regulated firearm or detachable magazine:

(i) for testing or experimentation authorized by the Secretary; and

(ii) by a federally licensed gun manufacturer, dealer, or importer;

(2) the sale, transfer, or possession of an antique firearm;

(3) an unserviceable firearm sold, transferred, or possessed as a curio or museum piece;

(4) law enforcement personnel of any unit of the federal government, members of the armed forces of the United States or the National Guard, or law enforcement personnel of the State or any local agency in the State, while those personnel or members are acting within the scope of their official duties;

(5) a regulated firearm modified to render it permanently inoperative;

(6) purchases, sales, and transportation to or by a federally licensed gun manufacturer, dealer, or importer;

(7) an organization that is required or authorized by federal law governing its specific business or activity to maintain firearms;

(8) the receipt of a regulated firearm by inheritance, if the heir forwards to the Secretary a completed application to purchase or transfer that regulated firearm; or

(9) a signal pistol or other visual distress signal that the United States Coast Guard approves as a marine safety device.

§ 5-133. Restrictions on possession of regulated firearms

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Preemption by State

(a) This section supersedes any restriction that a local jurisdiction in the State imposes on the possession by a private party of a regulated firearm, and the State preempts the right of any local jurisdiction to regulate the possession of a regulated firearm.

Possession of regulated firearm prohibited

(b) Subject to § 5-133.3 of this subtitle, a person may not possess a regulated firearm if the person:

(1) has been convicted of a disqualifying crime;

(2) has been convicted of a violation classified as a common law crime and received a term of imprisonment of more than 2 years;

(3) is a fugitive from justice;

(4) is a habitual drunkard;

(5) is addicted to a controlled dangerous substance or is a habitual user;

(6) suffers from a mental disorder as defined in § 10-101(i)(2) of the Health–General Article and has a history of violent behavior against the person or another;

(7) has been found incompetent to stand trial under § 3-106 of the Criminal Procedure Article;

(8) has been found not criminally responsible under § 3-110 of the Criminal Procedure Article;

(9) has been voluntarily admitted for more than 30 consecutive days to a facility as defined in § 10-101 of the Health–General Article;

(10) has been involuntarily committed to a facility as defined in § 10-101 of the Health–General Article;

(11) is under the protection of a guardian appointed by a court under § 13-201(c) or § 13-705 of the Estates and Trusts Article , except for cases in which the appointment of a guardian is solely a result of a physical disability;

(12) except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, is a respondent against whom:

(i) a current non ex parte civil protective order has been entered under § 4-506 of the Family Law Article; or

(ii) an order for protection, as defined in § 4-508.1 of the Family Law Article, has been issued by a court of another state or a Native American tribe and is in effect; or

(13) if under the age of 30 years at the time of possession, has been adjudicated delinquent by a juvenile court for an act that would be a disqualifying crime if committed by an adult.

Penalty for possession by convicted felon

(c)(1) A person may not possess a regulated firearm if the person was previously convicted of:

(i) a crime of violence;

(ii) a violation of § 5-602, § 5-603, § 5-604, § 5-605, § 5-612, § 5-613, § 5-614, § 5-621, or § 5-622 of the Criminal Law Article; or

(iii) an offense under the laws of another state or the United States that would constitute one of the crimes listed in item (i) or (ii) of this paragraph if committed in this State.

(2)(i) Subject to paragraph (3) of this subsection, a person who violates this subsection is guilty of a felony and on conviction is subject to imprisonment for not less than 5 years and not exceeding 15 years.

(ii) The court may not suspend any part of the mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years.

(iii) Except as otherwise provided in § 4-305 of the Correctional Services Article, the person is not eligible for parole during the mandatory minimum sentence.

(3) At the time of the commission of the offense, if a period of more than 5 years has elapsed since the person completed serving the sentence for the most recent conviction under paragraph (1)(i) or (ii) of this subsection, including all imprisonment, mandatory supervision, probation, and parole:

(i) the imposition of the mandatory minimum sentence is within the discretion of the court; and

(ii) the mandatory minimum sentence may not be imposed unless the State’s Attorney notifies the person in writing at least 30 days before trial of the State’s intention to seek the mandatory minimum sentence.

(4) Each violation of this subsection is a separate crime.

(5) A person convicted under this subsection is not prohibited from participating in a drug treatment program under § 8-507 of the Health–General Article because of the length of the sentence.

Possession by person under age of 21 years prohibited; exceptions

(d)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a person who is under the age of 21 years may not possess a regulated firearm.

(2) Unless a person is otherwise prohibited from possessing a regulated firearm, this subsection does not apply to:

(i) the temporary transfer or possession of a regulated firearm if the person is:

1. under the supervision of another who is at least 21 years old and who is not prohibited by State or federal law from possessing a firearm; and

2. acting with the permission of the parent or legal guardian of the transferee or person in possession;

(ii) the transfer by inheritance of title, and not of possession, of a regulated firearm;

(iii) a member of the armed forces of the United States or the National Guard while performing official duties;

(iv) the temporary transfer or possession of a regulated firearm if the person is:

1. participating in marksmanship training of a recognized organization; and

2. under the supervision of a qualified instructor;

(v) a person who is required to possess a regulated firearm for employment and who holds a permit under Subtitle 3 of this title; or

(vi) the possession of a firearm for self-defense or the defense of others against a trespasser into the residence of the person in possession or into a residence in which the person in possession is an invited guest.

Transport of regulated firearms

(e) This section does not apply to a respondent transporting a regulated firearm if the respondent is carrying a civil protective order requiring the surrender of the regulated firearm and:

(1) the regulated firearm is unloaded;

(2) the respondent has notified the law enforcement unit, barracks, or station that the regulated firearm is being transported in accordance with the civil protective order; and

(3) the respondent transports the regulated firearm directly to the law enforcement unit, barracks, or station.

Surrendering of regulated firearms to State or local law enforcement agency or federally licensed firearms dealer

(f) This section does not apply to the carrying or transporting of a regulated firearm by a person who is carrying a court order requiring the surrender of the regulated firearm, if:

(1) the firearm is unloaded;

(2) the person has notified a law enforcement unit, barracks, or station that the firearm is being transported in accordance with the order; and(3) the person transports the firearm directly to a State or local law enforcement agency or a federally licensed firearms dealer.

Subtitle 6. Extreme Risk Protective Orders

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 5-601. Definitions

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In general

(a) In this subtitle the following words have the meanings indicated.

Ammunition

(b) “Ammunition” has the meaning stated in § 5-133.1 of this title.

Extreme risk protective order

(c) “Extreme risk protective order” means a civil interim, temporary, or final protective order issued in accordance with this subtitle.

Firearm

(d) “Firearm” has the meaning stated in § 5-101 of this title.

Petitioner

(e)(1) “Petitioner” means an individual who files a petition for an extreme risk protective order under this subtitle.

(2) “Petitioner” includes:

(i) 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;

(ii) a law enforcement officer;

(iii) the spouse of the respondent;

(iv) a cohabitant of the respondent;

(v) a person related to the respondent by blood, marriage, or adoption;

(vi) an individual who has a child in common with the respondent;

(vii) a current dating or intimate partner of the respondent; and

(viii) a current or former legal guardian of the respondent.

Respondent

(f) “Respondent” means a person against whom a petition for an extreme risk protective order is filed.

§ 5-602. Petition for an extreme risk protective order

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

(a)(1) A petition for an extreme risk protective order shall:

(i) be signed and sworn to by the petitioner under the penalty of perjury;

(ii) include any information known to the petitioner that the respondent poses an immediate and present danger of causing personal injury to the respondent, the petitioner, or another by possessing a firearm;

(iii) set forth specific facts in support of the information described in item (ii) of this paragraph;

(iv) explain the basis for the petitioner’s knowledge of the supporting facts, including a description of the behavior and statements of the respondent or any other information that led the petitioner to believe that the respondent presents an immediate and present danger of causing personal injury to the respondent or others;

(v) describe the number, types, and location of any known firearms believed to be possessed by the respondent; and

(vi) include any supporting documents or information regarding:

1. any unlawful, reckless, or negligent use, display, storage, possession, or brandishing of a firearm by the respondent;

2. any act or threat of violence the respondent made against the respondent or against another, whether or not the threat of violence involved a firearm;

3. any violation by the respondent of a protective order under Title 4, Subtitle 5 of the Family Law Article;

4. any violation by the respondent of a peace order under Title 3, Subtitle 15 of the Courts Article; and

5. any abuse of a controlled dangerous substance or alcohol by the respondent, including any conviction for a criminal offense involving a controlled dangerous substance or alcohol.

(2) A petition for an extreme risk protective order may include, to the extent disclosure is not otherwise prohibited, health records or other health information concerning the respondent.

Filing the petition

(b) A petitioner seeking an extreme risk protective order under this subtitle may file a petition with:

(1) the District Court; or

(2) when the Office of the District Court Clerk is closed, a District Court commissioner.

Confidentiality of court records relating to petition

(c)(1) All court records relating to a petition for an extreme risk protective order made under this subtitle are confidential and the contents may not be divulged, by subpoena or otherwise, except by order of the court on good cause shown.

(2) This subsection does not prohibit review of a court record relating to a petition by:

(i) personnel of the court;

(ii) the respondent or counsel for the respondent;

(iii) authorized personnel of the Maryland Department of Health;

(iv) authorized personnel of a local core service agency or local behavioral health authority;

(v) a law enforcement agency; or

(vi) a person authorized by a court order on good cause shown.

Liability of petitioner

(d) A petitioner who, in good faith, files a petition under this subtitle is not civilly or criminally liable for filing the petition.

Disclosure of health records or other health information

(e) Nothing in this subtitle may be interpreted to require a health care provider to disclose health records or other health information concerning a respondent except:

(1) in accordance with a subpoena directing delivery of the records or information to the court under seal; or

(2) by order of the court.

§ 5-603. Interim extreme risk protective order

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Prohibiting possession of a firearm; emergency mental health evaluation

(a)(1) When a petition is filed with a District Court commissioner under § 5-602(b)(2) of this subtitle, the commissioner may enter an interim extreme risk protective order to prohibit the respondent from possessing a firearm if the commissioner finds that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the respondent poses an immediate and present danger of causing personal injury to the respondent, the petitioner, or another by possessing a firearm.

(2) In determining whether to enter an interim extreme risk protective order under this section, the commissioner shall consider:

(i) all relevant evidence presented by the petitioner; and

(ii) the amount of time that has elapsed since any of the events described in the petition.

(3) The interim extreme risk protective order shall:

(i) order the respondent to surrender to law enforcement authorities any firearm and ammunition in the respondent’s possession; and

(ii) prohibit the respondent from purchasing or possessing any firearm or ammunition for the duration of the interim extreme risk protective order.

(4) If, based on the petition, the commissioner finds probable cause to believe that the respondent meets the requirements for emergency evaluation under Title 10, Subtitle 6 of the Health–General Article, the commissioner shall refer the respondent to law enforcement for a determination of whether the respondent should be taken for an emergency evaluation.

Date, time, and location of hearings

(b)(1)(i) An interim extreme risk protective order shall state the date, time, and location for a temporary extreme risk protective order hearing and a tentative date, time, and location for a final extreme risk protective order hearing.

(ii) Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, or unless the judge continues the hearing for good cause, a temporary extreme risk protective order hearing shall be held on the first or second day on which a District Court judge is sitting after issuance of the interim extreme risk protective order.

(2) An interim extreme risk protective order shall include in at least 10 point bold type:

(i) notice to the respondent that:

1. the respondent must give the court written notice of each change of address;

2. if the respondent fails to appear at the temporary extreme risk protective order hearing or any later hearing, the respondent may be served with any orders or notices in the case by first-class mail at the respondent’s last known address;

3. the date, time, and location of the final extreme risk protective order hearing is tentative only and subject to change;

4. if the respondent does not attend the temporary extreme risk protective order hearing, the respondent may call the Office of the District Court Clerk at the number provided in the order to find out the actual date, time, and location of any final extreme risk protective order hearing; and

5. if the respondent fails to appear at the final extreme risk protective order hearing, a final extreme risk protective order may be entered in the respondent’s absence and served on the respondent by first-class mail;

(ii) a statement that the respondent may consult an attorney regarding any matter related to the order, and that an attorney should be contacted promptly so that the attorney may assist the respondent;

(iii) a statement specifying the contents and duration of a temporary extreme risk protective order;

(iv) notice to the petitioner and respondent that, at the hearing, a judge may issue a temporary extreme risk protective order prohibiting the respondent from possessing a firearm or may deny the petition, whether or not the respondent is in court;

(v) notice of:

1. the requirements for surrendering firearms and ammunition in the respondent’s possession to law enforcement authorities; and

2. the process for reclaiming firearms and ammunition on the expiration or termination of the order;

(vi) a warning to the respondent that violation of an interim extreme risk protective order is a crime and that a law enforcement officer will arrest the respondent, with or without a warrant, and take the respondent into custody if the officer has probable cause to believe that the respondent has violated a provision of the interim extreme risk protective order; and

(vii) the phone number of the Office of the District Court Clerk.

Copy of order forwarded to law enforcement agency and transfer of case to clerk of court

(c) Whenever a commissioner issues an interim extreme risk protective order, the commissioner shall:

(1) immediately forward a copy of the petition and interim extreme risk protective order to the appropriate law enforcement agency for service on the respondent; and

(2) before the hearing scheduled for the temporary extreme risk protective order, transfer the case file to the clerk of court.

Service of order by law enforcement officer

(d) A law enforcement officer shall:

(1) immediately on receipt of an interim extreme risk protective order, serve it on the respondent named in the order;

(2) make a return of service to the clerk of court; and

(3) within 2 hours after service of the order on the respondent, electronically notify the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services of the service using an electronic system approved and provided by the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

Duration of interim extreme risk protective order

(e)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, an interim extreme risk protective order shall be effective until the earlier of:

(i) the temporary extreme risk protective order hearing under § 5-604 of this subtitle; or

(ii) the end of the second business day the Office of the District Court Clerk is open following the issuance of the interim extreme risk protective order.

(2) If the court is closed on the day on which the interim extreme risk protective order is due to expire, the interim extreme risk protective order shall be effective until the next day on which the court is open, at which time the court shall hold a temporary extreme risk protective order hearing.

§ 5-604. Temporary extreme risk protective order

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Prohibiting possession of a firearm, emergency mental health evaluation

(a)(1) After a hearing on a petition, whether ex parte or otherwise, a judge may enter a temporary extreme risk protective order to prohibit the respondent from possessing a firearm if the judge finds that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the respondent poses an immediate and present danger of causing personal injury to the respondent, the petitioner, or another by possessing a firearm.

(2) In determining whether to enter a temporary extreme risk protective order under this section, the judge shall consider:

(i) all relevant evidence presented by the petitioner; and

(ii) the amount of time that has elapsed since any of the events described in the petition.

(3) The temporary extreme risk protective order shall:

(i) order the respondent to surrender to law enforcement authorities any firearm and ammunition in the respondent’s possession; and

(ii) prohibit the respondent from purchasing or possessing any firearm or ammunition for the duration of the temporary extreme risk protective order.

(4) If the judge finds probable cause to believe that the respondent meets the requirements for emergency evaluation under Title 10, Subtitle 6 of the Health–General Article, the judge shall refer the respondent for emergency evaluation.

Service of order by law enforcement officer

(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a law enforcement officer shall:

(i) immediately serve the temporary extreme risk protective order on the respondent under this section; and

(ii) within 2 hours after service of the order on the respondent, electronically notify the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services of the service using an electronic system approved and provided by the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

(2) A respondent who has been served with an interim extreme risk protective order under § 5-603 of this subtitle shall be served with the temporary extreme risk protective order in open court or, if the respondent is not present at the temporary extreme risk protective order hearing, by first-class mail at the respondent’s last known address.

(3) There shall be no cost to the petitioner for service of the temporary extreme risk protective order.

Duration of order

(c)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the temporary extreme risk protective order shall be effective for not more than 7 days after service of the order.

(2) The judge may extend the temporary extreme risk protective order as needed, but not to exceed 6 months, to effectuate service of the order where necessary to provide protection or for other good cause.

(3) If the court is closed on the day on which the temporary extreme risk protective order is due to expire, the temporary extreme risk protective order shall be effective until the second day on which the court is open, by which time the court shall hold a final extreme risk protective order hearing.

Conditions to waive temporary extreme risk protective order hearing

(d) The judge may proceed with a final extreme risk protective order hearing instead of a temporary extreme risk protective order hearing if:

(1)(i) the respondent appears at the hearing;

(ii) the respondent has been served with an interim extreme risk protective order; or

(iii) the court otherwise has personal jurisdiction over the respondent; and

(2) the petitioner and the respondent expressly consent to waive the temporary extreme risk protective order hearing.

§ 5-605. Final extreme risk protective order

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Opportunity of respondent to be heard

(a) A respondent under § 5-604 of this subtitle shall have an opportunity to be heard on the question of whether the judge should issue a final extreme risk protective order.

Date and time of final extreme risk protective order hearing

(b)(1)(i) The temporary extreme risk protective order shall state the date and time of the final extreme risk protective order hearing.

(ii) Except as provided in § 5-604(c) of this subtitle and subparagraph (iii) of this paragraph, or unless continued for good cause, the final extreme risk protective order hearing shall be held not later than 7 days after the temporary extreme risk protective order is served on the respondent.

(iii) On request of the respondent, a final extreme risk protective order hearing may be rescheduled for a date not later than 30 days after the date on which the hearing was initially scheduled.

(2) The temporary extreme risk protective order shall include notice to the respondent:

(i) in at least 10 point bold type, that if the respondent fails to appear at the final extreme risk protective order hearing, a final extreme risk protective order may be entered in the respondent’s absence and the respondent may be served by first-class mail at the respondent’s last known address with the final extreme risk protective order and all other notices concerning the final extreme risk protective order;

(ii) of the contents of a final extreme risk protective order;

(iii) that the final extreme risk protective order shall be effective for the period stated in the order, not to exceed 1 year, unless the judge extends the term of the order under § 5-606(a)(2) of this subtitle;

(iv) that the respondent may consult an attorney regarding any matter related to the order, and that an attorney should be contacted promptly so that the attorney may assist the respondent;

(v) of the requirements for surrendering firearms and ammunition in the respondent’s possession to law enforcement authorities;

(vi) of the process for reclaiming firearms and ammunition on the expiration or termination of the order; and

(vii) in at least 10 point bold type, that the respondent must notify the court in writing of any change of address.

Grounds for final extreme risk protective order

(c)(1) If the respondent appears before the court at a final extreme risk protective order hearing or has been served with an interim or temporary extreme risk protective order or if the court otherwise has personal jurisdiction over the respondent, the judge:

(i) may proceed with the final extreme risk protective order hearing; and

(ii) may enter a final extreme risk protective order to prohibit the respondent from possessing a firearm if the judge finds by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent poses a danger of causing personal injury to the respondent, the petitioner, or another by possessing a firearm.

(2) In determining whether to enter a final extreme risk protective order under this section, the judge shall consider:

(i) all relevant evidence presented by the petitioner and respondent; and

(ii) the amount of time that has elapsed since any of the events described in the petition.

(3) The final extreme risk protective order shall:

(i) order the respondent to surrender to law enforcement authorities any firearm and ammunition in the respondent’s possession; and

(ii) prohibit the respondent from purchasing or possessing any firearm or ammunition for the duration of the interim extreme risk protective order.

(4) If the judge finds probable cause to believe that the respondent meets the requirements for emergency evaluation under Title 10, Subtitle 6 of the Health–General Article, the judge may refer the respondent for emergency evaluation.

Review of court records before granting, denying, or modifying a final extreme risk protective order

(d)(1) Before granting, denying, or modifying a final extreme risk protective order under this section, the court may review all relevant open and shielded court records involving the petitioner and the respondent, including records of proceedings under:

(i) the Criminal Law Article;

(ii) Title 3, Subtitle 15 of the Courts Article;

(iii) Title 4, Subtitle 5 of the Family Law Article;

(iv) Title 10, Subtitle 6 of the Health–General Article; and

(v) this article.

(2) The court’s failure to review records under this subsection does not affect the validity of an order issued under this section.

Final extreme risk protective order served on parties

(e)(1) A copy of the final extreme risk protective order shall be served on the petitioner, the respondent, the appropriate law enforcement agency, and any other person the judge determines is appropriate in open court or, if the person is not present at the final extreme risk protective order hearing, by first-class mail to the person’s last known address.

(2)(i) A copy of the final extreme risk protective order served on the respondent in accordance with paragraph (1) of this subsection constitutes actual notice to the respondent of the contents of the final extreme risk protective order.

(ii) Service is complete on mailing.

Duration of relief

(f)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, all relief granted in a final extreme risk protective order shall be effective for the period stated in the order, not to exceed 1 year.

(2) A subsequent circuit court order pertaining to any of the provisions included in the final extreme risk protective order shall supersede those provisions in the final extreme risk protective order.

§ 5-610. Failure to comply with orders

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Fine or imprisonment

(a) A person who fails to comply with the provisions of an interim extreme risk protective order, a temporary extreme risk protective order, or a final extreme risk protective order under this subtitle is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to:

(1) for a first offense, a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or both; and

(2) for a second or subsequent offense, a fine not exceeding $2,500 or imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or both.

Arrest with or without warrant

(b) A law enforcement officer shall arrest with or without a warrant and take into custody a person who the officer has probable cause to believe is in violation of an interim, temporary, or final extreme risk protective order in effect at the time of the violation.

Circuit Court Fee Schedule

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Revised schedule of circuit court charges, costs, and fees established under courts, Article § 7-202

Maryland Rules

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Title 9. Family Law Actions

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Chapter 200. Divorce, Annulment, Alimony, Child Support, and Child Custody

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Rule 9-205. Mediation of child custody and visitation disputes

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

(a) Scope of Rule. This Rule applies to any action or proceeding under this Chapter in which the custody of or visitation with a minor child is an issue, including:

(1) an initial action to determine custody or visitation;

(2) an action to modify an existing order or judgment as to custody or visitation; and

(3) a petition for contempt by reason of non-compliance with an order or judgment governing custody or visitation.

(b) Duty of court.(1) Promptly after an action subject to this Rule is at issue, the court shall determine whether:

(A) mediation of the dispute as to custody or visitation is appropriate and likely would be beneficial to the parties or the child; and

(B) a mediator possessing the qualifications set forth in section (c) of this Rule is available to mediate the dispute.

(2) If a party or a child represents to the court in good faith that there is a genuine issue of abuse, as defined in Code, Family Law Article, § 4-501, of the party or child, and that, as a result, mediation would be inappropriate, the court may not order mediation.

(3) If the court concludes that mediation is appropriate and likely to be beneficial to the parties or the child and that a qualified mediator is available, it shall enter an order requiring the parties to mediate the custody or visitation dispute. The order may stay some or all further proceedings in the action pending the mediation on terms and conditions set forth in the order.

Cross references. – With respect to subsection (b)(2) of this Rule, see Rule 1-341 and Rules 19-303.1 and 19-303.3 of the Maryland Attorneys’ Rules of Professional Conduct.

(c) Qualifications of court-designated mediator. To be eligible for designation as a mediator by the court, an individual shall:

(1) have the basic qualifications set forth in Rule 17-205 (a);

(2) have completed at least 20 hours of training in a family mediation training program that includes:

(A) Maryland law relating to separation, divorce, annulment, child custody and visitation, and child and spousal support;

(B) the emotional aspects of separation and divorce on adults and children;

(C) an introduction to family systems and child development theory;

(D) the interrelationship of custody, visitation, and child support; and

(E) if the training program is given after January 1, 2013, strategies to (i) identify and respond to power imbalances, intimidation, and the presence and effects of domestic violence, and (ii) safely terminate a mediation when termination is warranted; and

(3) have co-mediated at least eight hours of child access mediation sessions with an individual approved by the county administrative judge, or, in addition to any observations during the training program, have observed at least eight hours of such mediation sessions.

(d) Court designation of mediator.(1) In an order referring a matter to mediation, the court shall:

(A) designate a mediator from a list of qualified mediators approved by the court;

(B) if the court has a unit of court mediators that provides child access mediation services, direct that unit to select a qualified mediator; or

(C) direct an ADR organization, as defined in Rule 17-102, to select a qualified mediator.

(2) If the referral is to a fee-for-service mediation, the order shall specify the hourly rate that the mediator may charge for mediation in the action, which may not exceed the maximum stated in the applicable fee schedule.

(3) A mediator selected pursuant to subsection (d)(1)(B) or (d)(1)(C) of this Rule has the status of a court-designated mediator.

(4) In designating a mediator, the court is not required to choose at random or in any particular order. The court should endeavor to use the services of as many qualified mediators as practicable, but the court may consider, in light of the issues and circumstances presented by the action or the parties, any special training, background, experience, expertise, or temperament of the available prospective designees.

(5) The parties may request to substitute for the court-designated mediator another mediator who has the qualifications set forth in Rule 17-205 (a)(1), (2), (3), and (6) and subsection (c)(2) of this Rule, whether or not the mediator’s name is on the court’s list, by filing with the court no later than 15 days after service of the order of referral to mediation a Request to Substitute Mediator.(A) The Request to Substitute Mediator shall be substantially in the following form:

[Caption of Case]

Request to Substitute Mediator and

Selection of Mediator by Stipulation

We agree to attend mediation proceedings pursuant to Rule 9-205 conducted by

,

(Name, address, and telephone number of mediator)

and we have made payment arrangements with the mediator. We request that
the court substitute this mediator for the mediator designated by the court.

(Signature of Plaintiff)
(Signature of Defendant)

(Signature of Plaintiff’s
(Signature of Defendant’s

Attorney, if any)
Attorney, if any)

I, ,

(Name of Mediator)

agree to conduct mediation proceedings in the above-captioned case in
accordance with Rule 9-205 (e), (f), (g), (h), (i) and (j).

I solemnly affirm under the penalties of perjury that I have the
qualifications prescribed by Rule 9-205 (d)(5).

Signature of Mediator

(B) If the Request to Substitute Mediator is timely filed, the court shall enter an order striking the original designation and substituting the individual selected by the parties to conduct the mediation, unless the court determines after notice and opportunity to be heard that the individual does not have the qualifications prescribed by subsection (d)(5) of this Rule. If no Request to Substitute Mediator is timely filed, the mediator shall be the court-designated mediator.

(C) A mediator selected by stipulation of the parties and substituted by the court pursuant to subsection (d)(5)(B) of this Rule is not subject to the fee schedule provided for in section (j) of this Rule and Rule 17-208 while conducting mediation proceedings pursuant to the stipulation and designation, but shall comply with all other obligations of a court-designated mediator.

Committee note. –

Nothing in this Rule or the Rules in Title 17 prohibits the parties from selecting any individual, regardless of qualifications, to assist them in the resolution of issues by participating in ADR that is not court-ordered.

(e) Role of mediator. The role of a mediator designated by the court or agreed upon by the parties is as set forth in Rule 17-103.

(f) Confidentiality. Confidentiality of mediation communications under this Rule is governed by Rule 17-105.

Cross references. – For the definition of “mediation communication,” see Rule 17-102 (h).

Committee note. –

By the incorporation of Rule 17-105 by reference in this Rule, the intent is that the provisions of the Maryland Mediation Confidentiality Act are inapplicable to mediations under Rule 9-205. See Code, Courts Article, § 3-1802 (b)(1).

(g) Scope of mediation; restriction on fee increase.(1) The court’s initial order may require the parties to attend a maximum of four hours in not more than two mediation sessions. For good cause and upon the recommendation of the mediator, the court may order up to four additional hours. The parties, by agreement, may extend the mediation beyond the number of hours stated in the initial or any subsequent order.

Committee note. –

Although the parties, without further order of court, may extend the mediation, an amendment to the time requirements contained in a scheduling order may be made only by order of the court.

Cross references. – See Rule 2-504.

(2) Mediation under this Rule shall be limited to the issues of custody and visitation unless the parties agree otherwise in writing.

(3) During any extension of the mediation pursuant to subsection (g)(1) of this Rule or expansion of the issues that are the subject of the mediation pursuant to subsection (g)(2) of this Rule, the mediator may not increase the mediator’s hourly rate for providing services relating to the action.

Cross references. – See Rule 17-208, concerning fee schedules and sanctions for noncompliance with an applicable schedule.

(h) If agreement. If the parties agree on some or all of the disputed issues, the mediator shall provide copies of any document embodying the points of agreement to the parties and their attorneys for review and signature. If the document is signed by the parties as submitted or as modified by the parties, a copy of the signed document shall be sent to the mediator, who shall submit it to the court.

Committee note. –

Mediators often will record points of agreement expressed and adopted by the parties to provide documentation of the results of the mediation. Because a mediator who is not a Maryland lawyer is not authorized to practice law in Maryland, and a mediator who is a Maryland lawyer ordinarily would not be authorized to provide legal advice or services to parties in conflict, a mediator should not be authoring agreements regarding matters in litigation for the parties to sign. If the parties are represented by counsel, the mediator should advise them not to sign the document embodying the points of agreement until they have consulted their attorneys. If the parties, whether represented or not, choose to sign the document, a statement should be added that the points of agreement as recorded by the mediator constitute the points of agreement expressed and adopted by the parties.

(i) If no agreement. If no agreement is reached or the mediator determines that mediation is inappropriate, the mediator shall so advise the court but shall not state the reasons. If the court does not order mediation or the case is returned to the court after mediation without an agreement as to all issues in the case, the court promptly shall schedule the case for hearing on any pendente lite or other appropriate relief not covered by a mediation agreement.

(j) Evaluation forms. At the conclusion of the mediation, the mediator shall give to the parties any evaluation forms and instructions provided by the court.

(k) Costs.

(1) Fee schedule. Fee schedules adopted pursuant to Rule 17-208 shall include maximum fees for mediators designated pursuant to this Rule, and a court-designated mediator appointed under this Rule may not charge or accept a fee for a mediation proceeding conducted pursuant to that designation in excess of that allowed by that schedule.

(2) Payment of compensation and expenses. Payment of the compensation and reasonable expenses of a mediator may be compelled by order of court and assessed among the parties as the court may direct. In the order for mediation, the court may waive payment of the compensation and reasonable expenses.

Title 15. Other Special Proceedings

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Chapter 200. Contempt

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Rule 15-203. Direct civil and criminal contempt

Updated: 
August 13, 2019
(a) Summary Imposition of Sanctions. The court against which a direct civil or criminal contempt has been committed may impose sanctions on the person who committed it summarily if (1) the presiding judge has personally seen, heard, or otherwise directly perceived the conduct constituting the contempt and has personal knowledge of the identity of the person committing it, and (2) the contempt has interrupted the order of the court and interfered with the dignified conduct of the court’s business. The court shall afford the alleged contemnor an opportunity, consistent with the circumstances then existing, to present exculpatory or mitigating information. If the court summarily finds and announces on the record that direct contempt has been committed, the court may defer imposition of sanctions until the conclusion of the proceeding during which the contempt was committed.
Cross reference: As to possible constitutional limitations on summary imposition of sanctions, including the right to jury trial and the right to counsel, see Codispoti v. Pennsylvania, 418 U.S. 506 (1974); Bloom v. Illinois, 391 U.S. 194, 202 (1968); Cheff v. Schnackenberg, 384 U.S. 373 (1966); Kawamura v. State, 299 Md. 276, 292 (1984); Wilkins v. State, 293 Md. 335 (1982); Dorsey v. State, 56 Md.App. 54 (1983).
Committee note: Sanctions may be imposed immediately upon the finding of the contempt, or, in the court’s discretion, may be deferred to a later time in the proceeding. Deferral of a sanction does not affect its summary nature. The sanction remains summary in nature in that no hearing is required; the court simply announces and imposes the sanction.
(b) Order of Contempt. Either before sanctions are imposed, or promptly thereafter, the court shall issue a written order stating that a direct contempt has been committed and specifying:
(1) whether the contempt is civil or criminal,
(2) the evidentiary facts known to the court from the judge’s own personal knowledge as to the conduct constituting the contempt, and as to any relevant evidentiary facts not so known, the basis of the court’s findings,
(3) the sanction imposed for the contempt,
(4) in the case of civil contempt, how the contempt may be purged, and
(5) in the case of criminal contempt, (A) if the sanction is incarceration, a determinate term, and (B) any condition under which the sanction may be suspended, modified, revoked, or terminated.
(c) Affidavits. In a summary proceeding, affidavits may be offered for the record by the contemnor before or after sanctions have been imposed.
(d) Record. The record in cases of direct contempt in which sanctions have been summarily imposed shall consist of (1) the order of contempt; (2) if the proceeding during which the contempt occurred was recorded, a transcript of that part of the proceeding; and (3) any affidavits offered or evidence admitted in the proceeding.”

Rule 15-205. Constructive criminal contempt; commencement; prosecution

Updated: 
August 13, 2019
(a) Separate Action. A proceeding for constructive criminal contempt shall be docketed as a separate criminal action. It shall not be included in any action in which the alleged contempt occurred.
(b) Who May Institute.
(1) The court may initiate a proceeding for constructive criminal contempt by filing an order directing the issuance of a summons or warrant pursuant to Rule 4-212.
(2) The State’s Attorney may initiate a proceeding for constructive criminal contempt committed against a trial court sitting within the county in which the State’s Attorney holds office by filing a petition with that court.
(3) The Attorney General may initiate a proceeding for constructive criminal contempt committed (A) against the Court of Appeals or the Court of Special Appeals, or (B) against a trial court when the Attorney General is exercising the authority vested in the Attorney General by Maryland Constitution, Art. V, § 3, by filing a petition with the court against which the contempt was allegedly committed.
(4) The State Prosecutor may initiate a proceeding for constructive criminal contempt committed against a court when the State Prosecutor is exercising the authority vested in the State Prosecutor by Code, Criminal Procedure Article, Title 14, by filing a petition with the court against which the contempt was allegedly committed.
(5) The court or any person with actual knowledge of the facts constituting a constructive criminal contempt may request the State’s Attorney, the Attorney General, or the State Prosecutor, as appropriate, to file a petition.
(c) Appointment of Prosecutor. If the proceeding is commenced by a court on its own initiative, the court may appoint the State’s Attorney of the county in which the court sits, the Attorney General, or the State Prosecutor to prosecute the charge.
(d) Contents; Service. An order filed by the court pursuant to section (b)(1) of this Rule and a petition filed by the State’s Attorney, the Attorney General, or the State Prosecutor shall contain the information required by Rule 4-202(a). The order or petition shall be served, along with a summons or warrant, in the manner specified in Rule 4-212 or, if the proceeding is in the Court of Appeals or Court of Special Appeals, in the manner directed by that court.
(e) Waiver of Counsel. The provisions of Rule 4-215 apply to constructive criminal contempt proceedings.
(f) Jury Trial. The provisions of Rule 4-246 apply to constructive criminal contempt proceedings.

Rule 15-206. Constructive civil contempt

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

(a) Where Filed. A proceeding for constructive civil contempt shall be included in the action in which the alleged contempt occurred.

(b) Who May Initiate.

(1) The court may initiate a proceeding for constructive civil contempt by filing an order complying with the requirements of section (c) of this Rule.

(2) Any party to an action in which an alleged contempt occurred and, upon request by the court, the Attorney General, may initiate a proceeding for constructive civil contempt by filing a petition with the court against which the contempt was allegedly committed.

(3) In a support enforcement action where the alleged contempt is based on failure to pay spousal or child support, any agency authorized by law may bring the proceeding.

(c) Content of Order or Petition.

(1) An order filed by the court pursuant to subsection (b)(1) of this Rule and a petition filed pursuant to subsection (b)(2) shall comply with Rule 2-303 and shall expressly state whether or not incarceration is sought.

(2) Unless the court finds that a petition for contempt is frivolous on its face, the court shall enter an order providing for (i) a prehearing conference, or (ii) a hearing, or (iii) both. The scheduled hearing date shall allow a reasonable time for the preparation of a defense and may not be less than 20 days after the prehearing conference. An order issued on a petition or on the court’s own initiative shall state:

(A) the time within which any answer by the alleged contemnor shall be filed, which, absent good cause, may not be less than ten days after service of the order;

(B) the time and place at which the alleged contemnor shall appear in person for (i) a prehearing conference, or (ii) a hearing, or (iii) both and, if a hearing is scheduled, whether it is before a magistrate pursuant to Rule 9-208(a)(1)(G) or before a judge; and

(C) if incarceration to compel compliance with the court’s order is sought, a notice to the alleged contemnor in the following form:

TO THE PERSON ALLEGED TO BE IN CONTEMPT OF COURT:

1. It is alleged that you have disobeyed a court order, are in contempt of court, and should go to jail until you obey the court’s order.

2. You have the right to have a lawyer. If you already have a lawyer, you should consult the lawyer at once. If you do not now have a lawyer, please note:

(a) A lawyer can be helpful to you by:

(1) explaining the allegations against you;

(2) helping you determine and present any defense to those allegations;

(3) explaining to you the possible outcomes; and

(4) helping you at the hearing.

(b) Even if you do not plan to contest that you are in contempt of court, a lawyer can be helpful.

(c) If you want a lawyer but do not have the money to hire one, the Public Defender may provide a lawyer for you.

• To find out if the Public Defender will provide a lawyer for you, you must contact the Public Defender after any prehearing conference or magistrate’s hearing and at least 10 business days before the date of a hearing before a judge.

• If no prehearing conference or magistrate’s hearing is scheduled, you should contact the Public Defender as soon as possible, at least 10 business days before the date of the hearing before the judge.

• The court clerk will tell you how to contact the Public Defender.

(d) If you want a lawyer but you cannot get one and the Public Defender will not provide one for you, contact the court clerk as soon as possible.

(e) DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE DATE OF YOUR COURT HEARING TO GET A LAWYER. If you do not have a lawyer before the court hearing date, the judge may find that you have waived your right to a lawyer, and the hearing may be held with you unrepresented by a lawyer.

3. IF YOU DO NOT APPEAR FOR A SCHEDULED PREHEARING CONFERENCE, MAGISTRATE’S HEARING, OR COURT HEARING BEFORE THE JUDGE, YOU WILL BE SUBJECT TO ARREST.

(d) Service of Order. The order, together with a copy of any petition and other document filed in support of the allegation of contempt, shall be served on the alleged contemnor pursuant to Rule 2-121 or 3-121 or, if the alleged contemnor has appeared as a party in the action in which the contempt is charged, in the manner prescribed by the court.

(e) Waiver of Counsel if Incarceration Is Sought.

(1) Applicability. This section applies if incarceration is sought and applies only to court hearings before a judge.

(2) Appearance in Court Without Counsel.

(A) If the alleged contemnor appears in court without counsel, the court shall make certain that the alleged contemnor has received a copy of the order containing notice of the right to counsel or was advised of the contents of the notice in accordance with Rule 9-208(d);

(B) If the alleged contemnor indicates a desire to waive counsel, the court shall determine, after an examination of the alleged contemnor on the record, that the waiver is knowing and voluntary;

(C) If the alleged contemnor indicates a desire to have counsel and the court finds that the alleged contemnor received a copy of the order containing notice of the right to counsel or was advised of the contents of the notice pursuant to Rule 9-208(d), the court shall permit the alleged contemnor to explain the appearance without counsel. If the court finds that there is a meritorious reason for the alleged contemnor’s appearance without counsel, the court shall continue the action to a later time and advise the alleged contemnor that if counsel does not enter an appearance by that time, the action will proceed with the alleged contemnor unrepresented by counsel. If the court finds that there is no meritorious reason for the alleged contemnor’s appearance without counsel, the court may determine that the alleged contemnor has waived counsel by failing or refusing to obtain counsel and may proceed with the hearing.

(3) Discharge of Counsel. If an alleged contemnor requests permission to discharge an attorney whose appearance has been entered, the court shall permit the alleged contemnor to explain the reasons for the request. If the court finds that there is a meritorious reason for the alleged contemnor’s request, the court shall permit the discharge of counsel, continue the action if necessary, and advise the alleged contemnor that if new counsel does not enter an appearance by the next scheduled hearing date, the action will be heard with the alleged contemnor unrepresented by counsel. If the court finds (A) that the alleged contemnor received a copy of the order containing notice of the right to counsel or was advised of the contents of the notice in accordance with Rule 9-208(d) and (B) that there is no meritorious reason for the alleged contemnor’s request, the court may permit the discharge of counsel but shall first inform the alleged contemnor that the hearing will proceed as scheduled with the alleged contemnor unrepresented by counsel.

Title 17. Alternative Dispute Resolution

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Rule 17-102. Definitions

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In this Chapter, the following definitions apply except as expressly otherwise provided or as necessary implication requires:

(a) Alternative Dispute Resolution. “Alternative dispute resolution” means the process of resolving matters in pending litigation through a settlement conference, neutral case evaluation, neutral fact-finding, arbitration, mediation, other non-judicial dispute resolution process, or combination of those processes.

Committee note: Nothing in these Rules is intended to restrict the use of consensus-building to assist in the resolution of disputes. Consensus-building means a process generally used to prevent or resolve disputes or to facilitate decision making, often within a multi-party dispute, group process, or public policy-making process. In consensus-building processes, one or more neutral facilitators may identify and convene all stakeholders or their representatives and use techniques to open communication, build trust, and enable all parties to develop options and determine mutually acceptable solutions.

(b) Arbitration. “Arbitration” means a process in which (1) the parties appear before one or more impartial arbitrators and present evidence and argument supporting their respective positions, and (2) the arbitrators render a decision in the form of an award that is not binding, unless the parties agree otherwise in writing.

Committee note: Under the Federal Arbitration Act, the Maryland Uniform Arbitration Act, [FN1] at common law, and in common usage outside the context of court-referred cases, arbitration awards are binding unless the parties agree otherwise.

(c) Fee-For-Service. “Fee-for-service” means that a party will be charged a fee by the person or persons conducting the alternative dispute resolution proceeding.

(d) Mediation. “Mediation” means a process in which the parties work with one or more impartial mediators who, without providing legal advice, assist the parties in reaching their own voluntary agreement for the resolution of the dispute or issues in the dispute. A mediator may identify issues and options, assist the parties or their attorneys in exploring the needs underlying their respective positions, and, upon request, record points of agreement reached by the parties. While acting as a mediator, the mediator does not engage in arbitration, neutral case evaluation, neutral fact-finding, or other alternative dispute resolution processes and does not recommend the terms of an agreement.

(e) Mediation Communication. “Mediation communication” means speech, writing, or conduct made as part of a mediation, including communications made for the purpose of considering, initiating, continuing, or reconvening a mediation or retaining a mediator.

(f) Neutral Case Evaluation. “Neutral case evaluation” means a process in which (1) the parties, their attorneys, or both appear before an impartial person and present in summary fashion the evidence and arguments supporting their respective positions, and (2) the impartial person renders an evaluation of their positions and an opinion as to the likely outcome of the dispute or issues in the dispute if the action is tried.

(g) Neutral Fact-Finding. “Neutral fact-finding” means a process in which (1) the parties, their attorneys, or both appear before an impartial person and present evidence and arguments supporting their respective positions as to particular disputed factual issues, and (2) the impartial person makes findings of fact as to those issues. Unless the parties otherwise agree in writing, those findings are not binding.

(h) Settlement Conference. “Settlement conference” means a conference at which the parties, their attorneys, or both appear before an impartial person to discuss the issues and positions of the parties in the action in an attempt to resolve the dispute or issues in the dispute by agreement or by means other than trial. A settlement conference may include neutral case evaluation and neutral fact-finding, and the impartial person may recommend the terms of an agreement.

Courts and Judicial Proceedings

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Title 3. Courts of General Jurisdiction--Jurisdiction/Special Causes of Action

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Subtitle 15. Peace Orders

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 3-1502. Pursuit of other legal remedies

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

(a) By proceeding under this subtitle, a petitioner is not limited to or precluded from pursuing any other legal remedy.

(b) This subtitle does not apply to:

(1) A petitioner who is a person eligible for relief, as defined in § 4-501 of the Family Law Article; or

(2) A respondent who is a child at the time of the alleged commission of an act specified in § 3-1503(a) of this subtitle.

§ 3-1503. Petitions

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

(a)(1) A petitioner may seek relief under this subtitle by filing with the court, or with a commissioner under the circumstances specified in § 3-1503.1(a) of this subtitle, a petition that alleges the commission of any of the following acts against the petitioner by the respondent, if the act occurred within 30 days before the filing of the petition:

(i) An act that causes serious bodily harm;

(ii) An act that places the petitioner in fear of imminent serious bodily harm;

(iii) Assault in any degree;

(iv) Rape or sexual offense under § 3-303, § 3-304, § 3-307, or § 3-308 of the Criminal Law Article or attempted rape or sexual offense in any degree;

(v) False imprisonment;

(vi) Harassment under § 3-803 of the Criminal Law Article;

(vii) Stalking under § 3-802 of the Criminal Law Article;

(viii) Trespass under Title 6, Subtitle 4 of the Criminal Law Article;

(ix) Malicious destruction of property under § 6-301 of the Criminal Law Article;

(x) Misuse of telephone facilities and equipment under § 3-804 of the Criminal Law Article;

(xi) Misuse of electronic communication or interactive computer service under § 3-805 of the Criminal Law Article;

(xii) Revenge porn under § 3-809 of the Criminal Law Article; or

(xiii) Visual surveillance under § 3-901, § 3-902, or § 3-903 of the Criminal Law Article.

(2) A petition may be filed under this subtitle if:

(i) The act described in paragraph (1) of this subsection is alleged to have occurred in the State; or

(ii) The petitioner is a resident of the State, regardless of whether the act described in paragraph (1) of this subsection is alleged to have occurred in the State.

Oath and false information provisions

(b)(1) The petition shall:

(i) Be under oath and provide notice to the petitioner that an individual who knowingly provides false information in the petition is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to the penalties specified in subsection (d) of this section;

(ii) Subject to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, contain the address of the petitioner; and

(iii) Include all information known to the petitioner of:

1. The nature and extent of the act specified in subsection (a) of this section for which the relief is being sought, including information known to the petitioner concerning previous harm or injury resulting from an act specified in subsection (a) of this section by the respondent;

2. Each previous and pending action between the parties in any court; and

3. The whereabouts of the respondent.

Address of petitioner stricken from petition

(c) If, in a proceeding under this subtitle, a petitioner alleges, and the commissioner or judge finds, that the disclosure of the address of the petitioner would risk further harm to the petitioner, that address may be stricken from the petition and omitted from all other documents filed with the commissioner or filed with, or transferred to, a court.

Fines and penalties for false information

(d) An individual who knowingly provides false information in a petition filed under this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or both.

§ 3-1503.1. Interim peace orders

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Filing with commissioner

(a) A petition under this subtitle may be filed with a commissioner when the Office of the District Court Clerk is not open for business.

Issuance of interim peace order

(b) If a petition is filed with a commissioner and the commissioner finds that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the respondent has committed, and is likely to commit in the future, an act specified in § 3-1503(a) of this subtitle against the petitioner, the commissioner may issue an interim peace order to protect the petitioner.

Contents of interim peace order

(c) An interim peace order:

(1) Shall contain only the relief that is minimally necessary to protect the petitioner; and

(2) May order the respondent to:

(i) Refrain from committing or threatening to commit an act specified in § 3-1503(a) of this subtitle against the petitioner;

(ii) Refrain from contacting, attempting to contact, or harassing the petitioner;

(iii) Refrain from entering the residence of the petitioner; and

(iv) Remain away from the place of employment, school, or temporary residence of the petitioner.

Date, time, and location of hearings

(d)(1)(i) An interim peace order shall state the date, time, and location for the temporary peace order hearing and a tentative date, time, and location for a final peace order hearing.

(ii) Except as provided in subsection (g) of this section, or unless the court continues the hearing for good cause, a temporary peace order hearing shall be held on the first or second day on which a District Court judge is sitting after issuance of the interim peace order.

(2) An interim peace order shall include in at least 10-point bold type:

(i) Notice to the respondent that:

1. The respondent must give the court written notice of each change of address;

2. If the respondent fails to appear at the temporary peace order hearing or any later hearing, the respondent may be served with any other orders or notices in the case by first-class mail at the respondent’s last known address;

3. The date, time, and location of the final peace order hearing is tentative only, and subject to change; and

4. If the respondent does not attend the temporary peace order hearing, the respondent may call the Office of the Clerk of the District Court at the number provided in the order to find out the actual date, time, and location of any final peace order hearing;

(ii) A statement of all possible forms and duration of relief that a temporary peace order or final peace order may contain;

(iii) Notice to the petitioner and respondent that, at the hearing, a judge may issue a temporary peace order that grants any or all of the relief requested in the petition or may deny the petition, whether or not the respondent is in court;

(iv) A warning to the respondent that violation of an interim peace order is a crime and that a law enforcement officer shall arrest the respondent, with or without a warrant, and take the respondent into custody if the officer has probable cause to believe that the respondent has violated any provision of the interim peace order; and

(v) The phone number of the Office of the District Court Clerk.

Copy of order forwarded to law enforcement agency and transfer of case to District Court Clerk

(e) Whenever a commissioner issues an interim peace order, the commissioner shall:

(1) Immediately forward a copy of the petition and interim peace order to the appropriate law enforcement agency for service on the respondent; and

(2) Before the hearing scheduled in the interim peace order, transfer the case file and the return of service, if any, to the Office of the District Court Clerk.

Service of order by law enforcement officer

(f) A law enforcement officer shall:

(1) Immediately on receipt of a petition and interim peace order, serve them on the respondent named in the order; and

(2) Immediately after service, make a return of service to the commissioner’s office or, if the Office of the District Court Clerk is open for business, to the clerk.

Duration of interim peace order

(g)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, an interim peace order shall be effective until the earlier of:

(i) The temporary peace order hearing under § 3-1504 of this subtitle; or

(ii) The end of the second business day the Office of the Clerk of the District Court is open following the issuance of an interim peace order.

(2) If the court is closed on the day on which the interim peace order is due to expire, the interim peace order shall be effective until the next day on which the court is open, at which time the court shall hold a temporary peace order hearing.

Decision of commissioner not binding on judges

(h) A decision of a commissioner to grant or deny relief under this section is not binding on, and does not affect any power granted to or duty imposed on, a judge of a circuit court or the District Court under any law, including any power to grant or deny a petition for a temporary peace order or final peace order.

False information in petition prohibited

(i) An individual who knowingly provides false information in a petition filed under this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or both.

§ 3-1504. Temporary peace orders

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Relief provided in temporary peace order

(a)(1) If after a hearing on a petition, whether ex parte or otherwise, a judge finds that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the respondent has committed, and is likely to commit in the future, an act specified in § 3-1503(a) of this subtitle against the petitioner, the judge may issue a temporary peace order to protect the petitioner.

(2) The temporary peace order may include any or all of the following relief:

(i) Order the respondent to refrain from committing or threatening to commit an act specified in § 3-1503(a) of this subtitle against the petitioner;

(ii) Order the respondent to refrain from contacting, attempting to contact, or harassing the petitioner;

(iii) Order the respondent to refrain from entering the residence of the petitioner; and

(iv) Order the respondent to remain away from the place of employment, school, or temporary residence of the petitioner.

(3) If the judge issues an order under this section, the order shall contain only the relief that is minimally necessary to protect the petitioner.

Service of order by law enforcement officer

(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a law enforcement officer immediately shall serve the temporary peace order on the respondent.

(2) A respondent who has been served with an interim peace order under § 3-1503.1 of this subtitle shall be served with the temporary peace order in open court or, if the respondent is not present at the temporary peace order hearing, by first-class mail at the respondent’s last known address.

Duration of order

(c)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the temporary peace order shall be effective for not more than 7 days after service of the order.

(2) The judge may extend the temporary peace order as needed, but not to exceed 30 days, to effectuate service of the order where necessary to provide protection or for other good cause.

(3) If the court is closed on the day on which the temporary peace order is due to expire, the temporary peace order shall be effective until the second day on which the court is open, by which time the court shall hold a final peace order hearing.

Final peace order hearings

(d) The judge may proceed with a final peace order hearing instead of a temporary peace order hearing if:

(1)(i) The respondent appears at the hearing;

(ii) The respondent has been served with an interim peace order; or

(iii) The court otherwise has personal jurisdiction over the respondent; and

(2) The petitioner and the respondent expressly consent to waive the temporary peace order hearing.

§ 3-1505. Final peace orders

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Opportunity of respondent to be heard

(a) A respondent shall have an opportunity to be heard on the question of whether the judge should issue a final peace order.

Date and time of final peace order hearing

(b)(1)(i) The temporary peace order shall state the date and time of the final peace order hearing.

(ii) Except as provided in § 3-1504(c) of this subtitle, or unless continued for good cause, the final peace order hearing shall be held no later than 7 days after the temporary peace order is served on the respondent.

(2) The temporary peace order shall include notice to the respondent:

(i) In at least 10-point bold type, that if the respondent fails to appear at the final peace order hearing, the respondent may be served by first-class mail at the respondent’s last known address with the final peace order and all other notices concerning the final peace order;

(ii) Specifying all the possible forms of relief under subsection (d) of this section that the final peace order may contain;

(iii) That the final peace order shall be effective for the period stated in the order, not to exceed 6 months; and

(iv) In at least 10-point bold type, that the respondent must notify the court in writing of any change of address.

Grounds for final peace orders

(c)(1) If the respondent appears for the final peace order hearing, has been served with an interim peace order or a temporary peace order, or the court otherwise has personal jurisdiction over the respondent, the judge:

(i) May proceed with the final peace order hearing; and

(ii) If the judge finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the respondent has committed, and is likely to commit in the future, an act specified in § 3-1503(a) of this subtitle against the petitioner, or if the respondent consents to the entry of a peace order, the court may issue a final peace order to protect the petitioner.

(2) A final peace order may be issued only to an individual who has filed a petition under § 3-1503 of this subtitle.

(3) In cases where both parties file a petition under § 3-1503 of this subtitle, the judge may issue mutual peace orders if the judge finds by a preponderance of the evidence that each party has committed, and is likely to commit in the future, an act specified in § 3-1503(a) of this subtitle against the other party.

Scope of relief included in final peace orders

(d)(1) The final peace order may include any or all of the following relief:

(i) Order the respondent to refrain from committing or threatening to commit an act specified in § 3-1503(a) of this subtitle against the petitioner;

(ii) Order the respondent to refrain from contacting, attempting to contact, or harassing the petitioner;

(iii) Order the respondent to refrain from entering the residence of the petitioner;

(iv) Order the respondent to remain away from the place of employment, school, or temporary residence of the petitioner;

(v) Direct the respondent or petitioner to participate in professionally supervised counseling or, if the parties are amenable, mediation; and

(vi) Order either party to pay filing fees and costs of a proceeding under this subtitle.

(2) If the judge issues an order under this section, the order shall contain only the relief that is minimally necessary to protect the petitioner.

Final peace order served on parties

(e)(1) A copy of the final peace order shall be served on the petitioner, the respondent, the appropriate law enforcement agency, and any other person the court determines is appropriate, in open court or, if the person is not present at the final peace order hearing, by first-class mail to the person’s last known address.

(2)(i) A copy of the final peace order served on the respondent in accordance with paragraph (1) of this subsection constitutes actual notice to the respondent of the contents of the final peace order.

(ii) Service is complete upon mailing.

Duration of relief

(f) All relief granted in a final peace order shall be effective for the period stated in the order, not to exceed 6 months.

§ 3-1506. Modifications or rescission of peace order

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Notice and hearing

(a)(1) A peace order may be modified or rescinded during the term of the peace order after:

(i) Giving notice to the petitioner and the respondent; and

(ii) A hearing.

(2) For good cause shown, a judge may extend the term of the peace order for 6 months beyond the period specified in § 3-1505(f) of this subtitle, after:

(i) Giving notice to the petitioner and the respondent; and

(ii) A hearing.

(3)(i) If, during the term of a final peace order, a petitioner files a motion to extend the term of the order under paragraph (2) of this subsection, the court shall hold a hearing on the motion within 30 days after the motion is filed.

(ii) If the hearing on the motion is scheduled after the original expiration date of the final peace order, the court shall extend the order and keep the terms of the order in full force and effect until the hearing on the motion.

Appeals

(b)(1) If a District Court judge grants or denies relief under a petition filed under this subtitle, a respondent or a petitioner may appeal to the circuit court for the county where the District Court is located.

(2) An appeal taken under this subsection to the circuit court shall be heard de novo in the circuit court.

(3)(i) If an appeal is filed under this subsection, the District Court judgment shall remain in effect until superseded by a judgment of the circuit court.

(ii) Unless the circuit court orders otherwise, modification or enforcement of the District Court order shall be by the District Court.

§ 3-1508. Failure to comply with temporary or final peace orders

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In general

(a) An individual who fails to comply with the relief granted in an interim peace order under § 3-1503.1 of this subtitle, a temporary peace order under § 3-1504(a)(2) of this subtitle, or a final peace order under § 3-1505(d)(1)(i), (ii), (iii), or (iv) of this subtitle is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to:

(1) For a first offense, a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or both; and

(2) For a second or subsequent offense, a fine not exceeding $2,500 or imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or both.

Prior convictions under § 4-509 of the Family Law Article
(b) For the purpose of second or subsequent offender penalties provided under subsection (a)(2) of this section, a prior conviction under § 4-509 of the Family Law Article shall be considered a conviction under this section.

Arrests with or without a warrant
(c) A law enforcement officer shall arrest with or without a warrant and take into custody an individual who the officer has probable cause to believe is in violation of an interim peace order, temporary peace order, or final peace order in effect at the time of the violation.

Title 6. Personal Jurisdiction, Venue, Process and Practice Category page Title 6. Personal Jurisdiction, Venue, Process and Practice was successfully removed from Favorites

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Subtitle 2. Venue

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 6-202. Divorce, child custody and support, negligence, and actions against corporations

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

In addition to the venue provided in § 6-201 or § 6-203, the following actions may be brought in the indicated county:

(1) Divorce – Where the plaintiff resides;

(2) Annulment – Where the plaintiff resides or where the marriage ceremony was performed;

(3) Action against a corporation which has no principal place of business in the State – Where the plaintiff resides;

(4) Replevin or detinue – Where the property sought to be recovered is located;

(5) Action relating to custody, guardianship, maintenance, or support of a child – Where the father, alleged father, or mother of the child resides, or where the child resides;

(6) Suit on a bond against a corporate surety – Where the bond is filed, or where the contract is to be performed;

(7) Action for possession of real property – Where a portion of the land upon which the action is based is located;

(8) Tort action based on negligence – Where the cause of action arose;

(9) Attachment on original process – Where the property is located or where the garnishee resides;

(10) Nondelivery or injury of goods against master or captain of a vessel – Where the goods are received on board the vessel or where delivery is to be made under the contract;

(11) Action for damages against a nonresident individual – Any county in the State;

(12) Action against a person who absconds from a county or leaves the State before the statute of limitations has run – Where the defendant is found;

(13) In a local action in which the defendant cannot be found in the county where the subject matter of the action is located – In any county in which the venue is proper under § 6-201.

Criminal Law

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Title 3. Other Crimes Against the Person

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Subtitle 2. Assault, Reckless Endangerment, and Related Crimes

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 3-202. Assault in the first degree

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Prohibited

(a)(1) A person may not intentionally cause or attempt to cause serious physical injury to another.

(2) A person may not commit an assault with a firearm, including:

(i) a handgun, antique firearm, rifle, shotgun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle, as those terms are defined in § 4-201 of this article;

(ii) an assault pistol, as defined in § 4-301 of this article;

(iii) a machine gun, as defined in § 4-401 of this article; and

(iv) a regulated firearm, as defined in § 5-101 of the Public Safety Article.

Penalty

(b) A person who violates this section is guilty of the felony of assault in the first degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 25 years.

§ 3-203. Assault in the second degree

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Prohibited

(a) A person may not commit an assault.

Penalty

(b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, a person who violates subsection (a) of this section is guilty of the misdemeanor of assault in the second degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $2,500 or both.

Law enforcement officers

(c)(1) In this subsection, “physical injury” means any impairment of physical condition, excluding minor injuries.

(2) A person may not intentionally cause physical injury to another if the person knows or has reason to know that the other is:

(i) a law enforcement officer engaged in the performance of the officer’s official duties;

(ii) a parole or probation agent engaged in the performance of the agent’s official duties; or

(iii) a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, a rescue squad member, or any other first responder engaged in providing emergency medical care or rescue services.

(3) A person who violates paragraph (2) of this subsection is guilty of the felony of assault in the second degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both.

Subtitle 3. Sexual Crimes

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 3-303. Rape in the first degree

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

(a) A person may not:
(1)(i) engage in vaginal intercourse with another by force, or the threat of force, without the consent of the other; or
(ii) engage in a sexual act with another by force, or the threat of force, without the consent of the other; and
(2)(i) employ or display a dangerous weapon, or a physical object that the victim reasonably believes is a dangerous weapon;
(ii) suffocate, strangle, disfigure, or inflict serious physical injury on the victim or another in the course of committing the crime;
(iii) threaten, or place the victim in fear, that the victim, or an individual known to the victim, imminently will be subject to death, suffocation, strangulation, disfigurement, serious physical injury, or kidnapping;
(iv) commit the crime while aided and abetted by another; or
(v) commit the crime in connection with a burglary in the first, second, or third degree.
Prohibited–Child kidnapping
(b) A person may not violate subsection (a) of this section while also violating § 3-503(a)(2) of this title involving a victim who is a child under the age of 16 years.
Prohibited–Children under age 13
(c) A person 18 years of age or older may not violate subsection (a) of this section involving a victim who is a child under the age of 13 years.
Penalty
(d)(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) of this subsection, a person who violates subsection (a) of this section is guilty of the felony of rape in the first degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding life.
(2) A person who violates subsection (b) of this section is guilty of the felony of rape in the first degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding life without the possibility of parole.
(3) A person who violates subsection (a) or (b) of this section is guilty of the felony of rape in the first degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding life without the possibility of parole if the defendant was previously convicted of violating this section, or § 3-305 of this subtitle as it existed before October 1, 2017.
(4)(i) Subject to subparagraph (iv) of this paragraph, a person 18 years of age or older who violates subsection (c) of this section is guilty of the felony of rape in the first degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment for not less than 25 years and not exceeding life without the possibility of parole.
(ii) A court may not suspend any part of the mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years.
(iii) The person is not eligible for parole during the mandatory minimum sentence.
(iv) If the State fails to comply with subsection (e) of this section, the mandatory minimum sentence shall not apply.
Required notice
(e) If the State intends to seek a sentence of imprisonment for life without the possibility of parole under subsection (d)(2), (3), or (4) of this section, or imprisonment for not less than 25 years under subsection (d)(4) of this section, the State shall notify the person in writing of the State’s intention at least 30 days before trial.

§ 3-304. Rape in the second degree

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

(a) A person may not engage in vaginal intercourse or a sexual act with another:
(1) by force, or the threat of force, without the consent of the other;
(2) if the victim is a substantially cognitively impaired individual, a mentally incapacitated individual, or a physically helpless individual, and the person performing the act knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a substantially cognitively impaired individual, a mentally incapacitated individual, or a physically helpless individual; or
(3) if the victim is under the age of 14 years, and the person performing the act is at least 4 years older than the victim.
Prohibited–Children under age 13
(b) A person 18 years of age or older may not violate subsection (a)(1) or (2) of this section involving a child under the age of 13 years.
Penalty
(c)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a person who violates subsection (a) of this section is guilty of the felony of rape in the second degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 20 years.
(2)(i) Subject to subparagraph (iv) of this paragraph, a person 18 years of age or older who violates subsection (b) of this section is guilty of the felony of rape in the second degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment for not less than 15 years and not exceeding life.
(ii) A court may not suspend any part of the mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years.
(iii) The person is not eligible for parole during the mandatory minimum sentence.
(iv) If the State fails to comply with subsection (d) of this section, the mandatory minimum sentence shall not apply.
Required notice
(d) If the State intends to seek a sentence of imprisonment for not less than 15 years under subsection (c)(2) of this section, the State shall notify the person in writing of the State’s intention at least 30 days before trial.

§ 3-307. Sexual offense in the third degree

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

(a) A person may not:

(1)(i) engage in sexual contact with another without the consent of the other; and

(ii) 1. employ or display a dangerous weapon, or a physical object that the victim reasonably believes is a dangerous weapon;

2. suffocate, strangle, disfigure, or inflict serious physical injury on the victim or another in the course of committing the crime;

3. threaten, or place the victim in fear, that the victim, or an individual known to the victim, imminently will be subject to death, suffocation, strangulation, disfigurement, serious physical injury, or kidnapping; or

4. commit the crime while aided and abetted by another;

(2) engage in sexual contact with another if the victim is a substantially cognitively impaired individual, a mentally incapacitated individual, or a physically helpless individual, and the person performing the act knows or reasonably should know the victim is a substantially cognitively impaired individual, a mentally incapacitated individual, or a physically helpless individual;

(3) engage in sexual contact with another if the victim is under the age of 14 years, and the person performing the sexual contact is at least 4 years older than the victim;

(4) engage in a sexual act with another if the victim is 14 or 15 years old, and the person performing the sexual act is at least 21 years old; or

(5) engage in vaginal intercourse with another if the victim is 14 or 15 years old, and the person performing the act is at least 21 years old.

Penalty

(b) A person who violates this section is guilty of the felony of sexual offense in the third degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years.

§ 3-308. Sexual offense in the fourth degree

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

“Person in a position of authority” defined
(a) In this section, “person in a position of authority”:
(1) means a person who:
(i) is at least 21 years old;
(ii) is employed by or under contract with a public or private preschool, elementary school, or secondary school; and
(iii) because of the person’s position or occupation, exercises supervision over a minor who attends the school; and
(2) includes a principal, vice principal, teacher, coach, or school counselor at a public or private preschool, elementary school, or secondary school.
Prohibited–In general
(b) A person may not engage in:
(1) sexual contact with another without the consent of the other;
(2) except as provided in § 3-307(a)(4) of this subtitle, a sexual act with another if the victim is 14 or 15 years old, and the person performing the sexual act is at least 4 years older than the victim; or
(3) except as provided in § 3-307(a)(5) of this subtitle, vaginal intercourse with another if the victim is 14 or 15 years old, and the person performing the act is at least 4 years older than the victim.
Prohibited–Persons in a position of authority
(c)(1) Except as provided in § 3-307(a)(4) of this subtitle or subsection (b)(2) of this section, a person in a position of authority may not engage in a sexual act or sexual contact with a minor who, at the time of the sexual act or sexual contact, is a student enrolled at a school where the person in a position of authority is employed.
(2) Except as provided in § 3-307(a)(5) of this subtitle or subsection (b)(3) of this section, a person in a position of authority may not engage in vaginal intercourse with a minor who, at the time of the vaginal intercourse, is a student enrolled at a school where the person in a position of authority is employed.
Penalty
(d)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a person who violates this section is guilty of the misdemeanor of sexual offense in the fourth degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $1,000 or both.
(2)(i) On conviction of a violation of this section, a person who has been convicted on a prior occasion not arising from the same incident of a violation of §§ 3-303 through 3-310 of this subtitle, § 3-311 or § 3-312 of this subtitle as the sections existed before October 1, 2017, § 3-315 of this subtitle, or § 3-602 of this title is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding $1,000 or both.
(ii) If the State intends to proceed against a person under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, it shall comply with the procedures set forth in the Maryland Rules for the indictment and trial of a subsequent offender.

Subtitle 5. Kidnapping

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 3-503. Child kidnapping

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Prohibited

(a)(1) A person may not, without color of right:

(i) forcibly abduct, take, or carry away a child under the age of 12 years from:

1. the home or usual place of abode of the child; or

2. the custody and control of the child’s parent or legal guardian;

(ii) without the consent of the child’s parent or legal guardian, persuade or entice a child under the age of 12 years from:

1. the child’s home or usual place of abode; or

2. the custody and control of the child’s parent or legal guardian; or

(iii) with the intent of depriving the child’s parent or legal guardian, or any person lawfully possessing the child, of the custody, care, and control of the child, knowingly secrete or harbor a child under the age of 12 years.

(2) In addition to the prohibitions provided under paragraph (1) of this subsection, a person may not, by force or fraud, kidnap, steal, take, or carry away a child under the age of 16 years.

Penalty

(b)(1) A person who violates subsection (a)(1) of this section is guilty of a felony and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 20 years.

(2)(i) Except as provided under subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, a person, other than a parent of the child, who violates subsection (a)(2) of this section is guilty of a felony and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 30 years.

(ii)1. If a person convicted under subsection (a)(2) of this section is convicted in the same proceeding of rape or a first degree sexual offense under Subtitle 3 of this title, the person is guilty of a felony and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding life without the possibility of parole.

2. If the State intends to seek a sentence of imprisonment for life without the possibility of parole under subsubparagraph 1 of this subparagraph, the State shall notify the person in writing of the State’s intent at least 30 days before trial.

Subtitle 7. Extortion and Other Threats

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 3-709. Sextortion prohibited

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Definitions

(a)(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.

(2) “Intimate parts” has the meaning stated in § 3-809 of this title.

(3) “Sexual activity” has the meaning stated in § 3-809 of this title.

In general

(b) A person may not cause another to:

(1) engage in an act of sexual activity by threatening to:

(i) accuse any person of a crime or of anything that, if true, would bring the person into contempt or disrepute;

(ii) cause physical injury to a person;

(iii) inflict emotional distress on a person;

(iv) cause economic damage to a person; or

(v) cause damage to the property of a person; or

(2) engage as a subject in the production of a visual representation or performance that depicts the other with the other’s intimate parts exposed or engaging in or simulating an act of sexual activity by threatening to:

(i) accuse any person of a crime or of anything that, if true, would bring the person into contempt or disrepute;

(ii) cause physical injury to a person;

(iii) inflict emotional distress on a person;

(iv) cause economic damage to a person; or

(v) cause damage to the property of a person.

Penalty

(c) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $10,000 or both.

Sentencing

(d) A sentence imposed under this section may be separate from and consecutive to or concurrent with a sentence for any crime based on the act establishing the violation of this section.

Confidentiality of visual representation depicting victim that is part of court records

(e) A visual representation depicting a victim that is part of a court record for a case arising from a prosecution under this section:

(1) subject to item (2) of this subsection, may not be made available for public inspection; and

(2) except as otherwise ordered by the court, may only be made available for inspection in relation to a criminal charge under this section to:

(i) court personnel;

(ii) a jury in a criminal case brought under this section;

(iii) the State’s Attorney or the State’s Attorney’s designee;

(iv) the Attorney General or the Attorney General’s designee;

(v) a law enforcement officer;

(vi) the defendant or the defendant’s attorney; or

(vii) the victim or the victim’s attorney.

Subtitle 8. Stalking and Harassment

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 3-802. Stalking

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

(a) In this section, “stalking” means a malicious course of conduct that includes approaching or pursuing another where:

(1) the person intends to place or knows or reasonably should have known the conduct would place another in reasonable fear:

(i) 1. of serious bodily injury;

2. of an assault in any degree;

3. of rape or sexual offense as defined by §§ 3-303 through 3-308 of this title or attempted rape or sexual offense in any degree;

4. of false imprisonment; or

5. of death; or

(ii) that a third person likely will suffer any of the acts listed in item (i) of this item; or

(2) the person intends to cause or knows or reasonably should have known that the conduct would cause serious emotional distress to another.

Scope of section

(b) The provisions of this section do not apply to conduct that is:

(1) performed to ensure compliance with a court order;

(2) performed to carry out a specific lawful commercial purpose; or

(3) authorized, required, or protected by local, State, or federal law.

Prohibited

(c) A person may not engage in stalking.

Penalty

(d) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both.

Sentence

(e) A sentence imposed under this section may be separate from and consecutive to or concurrent with a sentence for any other crime based on the acts establishing a violation of this section.

§ 3-803. Harassment

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Prohibited

(a) A person may not follow another in or about a public place or maliciously engage in a course of conduct that alarms or seriously annoys the other:

(1) with the intent to harass, alarm, or annoy the other;

(2) after receiving a reasonable warning or request to stop by or on behalf of the other; and

(3) without a legal purpose.

Exception

(b) This section does not apply to a peaceable activity intended to express a political view or provide information to others.

Penalty

(c) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to:

(1) for a first offense, imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or a fine not exceeding $500 or both; and

(2) for a second or subsequent offense, imprisonment not exceeding 180 days or a fine not exceeding $1,000 or both.

§ 3-804. Misuse of telephone facilities and equipment

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Prohibited

(a) A person may not use telephone facilities or equipment to make:

(1) an anonymous call that is reasonably expected to annoy, abuse, torment, harass, or embarrass another;

(2) repeated calls with the intent to annoy, abuse, torment, harass, or embarrass another; or

(3) a comment, request, suggestion, or proposal that is obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, or indecent.

Penalty

(b) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding $500 or both.

§ 3-805. Misuse of electronic mail

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

(a)(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.

(2) “Electronic communication” means the act of transmitting any information, data, writing, image, or communication by the use of a computer or any other electronic means, including a communication that involves the use of e-mail, an instant messaging service, an Internet website, a social media application, a network call, a facsimile machine, or any other Internet-based communication tool.

(3) “Electronic conduct” means the use of a computer or a computer network to:

(i) build a fake social media profile;

(ii) pose as another, including a fictitious person in an electronic communication;

(iii) disseminate or encourage others to disseminate information concerning the sexual activity, as defined in § 3-809 of this subtitle, of a minor;

(iv) disseminate a real or doctored image of a minor;

(v) engage or encourage others to engage in the repeated, continuing, or sustained use of electronic communication to contact a minor;

(vi) make a statement to provoke a third party to stalk or harass a minor; or

(vii) subscribe a minor to a pornographic website.

(4) “Instant messaging service” means a computer service allowing two or more users to communicate with each other in real time.

(5) “Interactive computer service” means an information service, system, or access software provider that provides or enables computer access by multiple users to a computer server, including a system that provides access to the Internet and cellular phones.

(6) “Social media application” means any program, software, or website that allows a person to become a registered user for the purpose of establishing personal relationships with one or more other users through:

(i) direct or real-time communication; or

(ii) the creation of websites or profiles capable of being viewed by the public or other users.

(7) “Social media profile” means a website or profile created using a social media application.

Prohibited

(b)(1) A person may not maliciously engage in a course of conduct, through the use of electronic communication, that alarms or seriously annoys another:

(i) with the intent to harass, alarm, or annoy the other;

(ii) after receiving a reasonable warning or request to stop by or on behalf of the other; and

(iii) without a legal purpose.

(2) A person may not use an interactive computer service to maliciously engage in a course of conduct that inflicts serious emotional distress on a minor or places a minor in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury with the intent:

(i) to kill, injure, harass, or cause serious emotional distress to the minor; or

(ii) to place the minor in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury.

(3) A person may not maliciously engage in an electronic communication if:

(i) the electronic communication is part of a series of communications and has the effect of:

1. intimidating or harassing a minor; and

2. causing physical injury or serious emotional distress to a minor; and

(ii) the person engaging in the electronic communication intends to:

1. intimidate or harass the minor; and

2. cause physical injury or serious emotional distress to the minor.

(4) A person may not maliciously engage in a single significant act or course of conduct using an electronic communication if:

(i) the person’s conduct, when considered in its entirety, has the effect of:

1. intimidating or harassing a minor; and

2. causing physical injury or serious emotional distress to a minor;

(ii) the person intends to:

1. intimidate or harass the minor; and

2. cause physical injury or serious emotional distress to the minor; and

(iii) in the case of a single significant act, the communication:

1. is made after receiving a reasonable warning or request to stop;

2. is sent with a reasonable expectation that the recipient would share the communication with a third party; or

3. shocks the conscience.

(5) A person may not maliciously engage in electronic conduct if:

(i) the act of electronic conduct has the effect of:

1. intimidating or harassing a minor; and

2. causing physical injury or serious emotional distress to a minor; and

(ii) the person intends to:

1. intimidate or harass the minor; and

2. cause physical injury or serious emotional distress to the minor.

(6) A person may not violate this section with the intent to induce a minor to commit suicide.

Construction of section

(c) It is not a violation of this section for any of the following persons to provide information, facilities, or technical assistance to another who is authorized by federal or State law to intercept or provide electronic communication or to conduct surveillance of electronic communication, if a court order directs the person to provide the information, facilities, or technical assistance:

(1) a provider of electronic communication;

(2) an officer, employee, agent, landlord, or custodian of a provider of electronic communication; or

(3) a person specified in a court order directing the provision of information, facilities, or technical assistance to another who is authorized by federal or State law to intercept or provide electronic communication or to conduct surveillance of electronic communication.

Exception

(d) Subsection (b)(1) through (5) of this section does not apply to a peaceable activity:

(1) intended to express a political view or provide information to others; or

(2) conducted for a lawful purpose.

Penalty

(e)(1) A person who violates subsection (b)(1), (2), (3), (4), or (5) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding $10,000 or both.(2) A person who violates subsection (b)(6) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $10,000 or both.

§ 3-809. Revenge porn prohibited

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

(a)(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.

(2) “Distribute” means to give, sell, transfer, disseminate, publish, upload, circulate, broadcast, make available, allow access to, or engage in any other form of transmission, electronic or otherwise.

(3) “Harm” means:

(i) physical injury;

(ii) serious emotional distress; or

(iii) economic damages.

(4) “Intimate parts” means the naked genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or female nipple.

(5) “Sexual activity” means:

(i) sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex;

(ii) sodomy under § 3-321 of this title or an unnatural or perverted sexual practice under § 3-322 of this title;

(iii) masturbation; or

(iv) sadomasochistic abuse.

Application of section

(b)(1) This section does not apply to:

(i) lawful and common practices of law enforcement, the reporting of unlawful conduct, or legal proceedings; or

(ii) situations involving voluntary exposure in public or commercial settings.

(2) An interactive computer service, as defined in 47 U.S.C. § 230(f)(2), is not liable under this section for content provided by another person.

Distribution of a visual representation of another which exposes intimate parts or sexual activity

(c) A person may not knowingly distribute a visual representation of another identifiable person that displays the other person with his or her intimate parts exposed or while engaged in an act of sexual activity:

(1) with the intent to harm, harass, intimidate, threaten, or coerce the other person;

(2)(i) under circumstances in which the person knew that the other person did not consent to the distribution; or

(ii) with reckless disregard as to whether the person consented to the distribution; and

(3) under circumstances in which the other person had a reasonable expectation that the image would remain private.

Penalty

(d) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both.

Confidentiality of visual representation depicting victim that is part of court records

(e) A visual representation of a victim that is part of a court record for a case arising from a prosecution under this section:

(1) subject to item (2) of this subsection, may not be made available for public inspection; and

(2) except as otherwise ordered by the court, may only be made available for inspection in relation to a criminal charge under this section to:

(i) court personnel;

(ii) a jury in a criminal case brought under this section;

(iii) the State’s Attorney or the State’s Attorney’s designee;

(iv) the Attorney General or the Attorney General’s designee;

(v) a law enforcement officer;

(vi) the defendant or the defendant’s attorney; or(vii) the victim or the victim’s attorney.

Subtitle 9. Surveillance and Other Crimes Against Privacy

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 3-901. Visual surveillance

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Definitions

(a)(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.

(2) “Private place” means a dressing room or rest room in a retail store.

(3) “Visual surveillance” means surveillance by:

(i) direct sight;

(ii) the use of mirrors;

(iii) the use of cameras; or

(iv) the use of an electronic device that can be used surreptitiously to observe an individual.

Scope of section

(b) This section does not apply to any otherwise lawful surveillance conducted by a law enforcement officer while performing official duties.

Prohibited

(c) A person may not conduct or procure another to conduct visual surveillance of an individual in a private place without the consent of that individual.

Penalty

(d) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 30 days or a fine not exceeding $1,000 or both.

Prohibited defense

(e) It is not a defense to a prosecution under this section that the defendant owns the premises where the private place is located.

Civil action

(f)(1) An individual who was under visual surveillance in violation of this section has a civil cause of action against any person who conducted or procured a person to conduct the visual surveillance.

(2) In an action under this subsection, the court may award actual damages and reasonable attorney’s fees.

§ 3-902. Visual surveillance with prurient intent

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Definitions

(a)(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.

(2) “Camera” includes any electronic device that can be used surreptitiously to observe an individual.

(3) “Female breast” means a portion of the female breast below the top of the areola.

(4) “Private area of an individual” means the naked or undergarment-clad genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or female breast of an individual.

(5)(i) “Private place” means a room in which a person can reasonably be expected to fully or partially disrobe and has a reasonable expectation of privacy, in:

1. an office, business, or store;

2. a recreational facility;

3. a restaurant or tavern;

4. a hotel, motel, or other lodging facility;

5. a theater or sports arena;

6. a school or other educational institution;

7. a bank or other financial institution;

8. any part of a family child care home used for the care and custody of a child; or

9. another place of public use or accommodation.

(ii) “Private place” includes a tanning room, dressing room, bedroom, or restroom.

(6)(i) “Visual surveillance” means the deliberate, surreptitious observation of an individual by any means.

(ii) “Visual surveillance” includes surveillance by:

1. direct sight;

2. the use of mirrors; or

3. the use of cameras.

(iii) “Visual surveillance” does not include a casual, momentary, or unintentional observation of an individual.

Scope of section

(b) This section does not apply to a person who without prurient intent:

(1) conducts filming by or for the print or broadcast media;

(2) conducts or procures another to conduct visual surveillance of an individual to protect property or public safety or prevent crime; or

(3) conducts visual surveillance and:

(i) holds a license issued under Title 13 or Title 19 of the Business Occupations and Professions Article; and

(ii) is acting within the scope of the person’s occupation.

Prohibited

(c) A person may not with prurient intent conduct or procure another to conduct visual surveillance of:

(1) an individual in a private place without the consent of that individual; or

(2) the private area of an individual by use of a camera without the consent of the individual under circumstances in which a reasonable person would believe that the private area of the individual would not be visible to the public, regardless of whether the individual is in a public or private place.

Penalty

(d) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $2,500 or both.

Civil action

(e)(1) An individual who was under visual surveillance in violation of this section has a civil cause of action against any person who conducted or procured another to conduct the visual surveillance.

(2) In an action under this subsection, the court may award actual damages and reasonable attorney’s fees.

Other remedies

(f) This section does not affect any legal or equitable right or remedy otherwise provided by law.

Effect of section

(g) This section does not affect the application of § 3-901 of this subtitle.

§ 3-903. Camera surveillance

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

“Camera” defined

(a) In this section, “camera” includes any electronic device that can be used surreptitiously to observe an individual.

Scope of section

(b) This section does not apply to:

(1) an adult resident of the private residence where a camera is placed;

(2) a person who places or procures another to place a camera on real property without the intent to conduct deliberate surreptitious observation of an individual inside the private residence;

(3) a person who has obtained the consent of an adult resident, or the adult resident’s legal guardian, to place a camera on real property to conduct deliberate surreptitious observation of an individual inside the private residence;

(4) any otherwise lawful observation with a camera conducted by a law enforcement officer while performing official duties;

(5) filming conducted by a person by or for the print or broadcast media through use of a camera that is not secreted from view;

(6) any part of a private residence used for business purposes, including any part of a private residence used as a family child care home for the care and custody of a child;

(7) filming of a private residence by a person through use of a camera that is not located on the real property where the private residence is located; or

(8) any otherwise lawful observation with a camera of the common area of multiunit family dwellings by a person that holds a license under Title 13 or Title 19 of the Business Occupations and Professions Article, acting within the scope of the person’s occupation.

Prohibited

(c) A person may not place or procure another to place a camera on real property where a private residence is located to conduct deliberate surreptitious observation of an individual inside the private residence.

Penalty

(d) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $2,500 or both.

Prohibited defense

(e) Subject to subsection (b)(1) of this section, it is not a defense to a prosecution under this section that the defendant owns the private residence.

Available defense

(f) A good faith reliance on a court order is a complete defense to a civil or criminal action brought under this section.

Civil action

(g)(1) An individual who was observed through the use of a camera in violation of this section has a civil cause of action against any person who placed or procured another to place the camera on the real property.

(2) In an action under this subsection, the court may award damages and reasonable attorney’s fees.

Other remedies

(h) This section does not affect any legal or equitable right or remedy otherwise provided by law.

Subtitle 11. Human Trafficking

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 3-1102. Sex trafficking

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Prohibited

(a)(1) A person may not knowingly:

(i) take or cause another to be taken to any place for prostitution;

(ii) place, cause to be placed, or harbor another in any place for prostitution;

(iii) persuade, induce, entice, or encourage another to be taken to or placed in any place for prostitution;

(iv) receive consideration to procure for or place in a house of prostitution or elsewhere another with the intent of causing the other to engage in prostitution or assignation;

(v) engage in a device, scheme, or continuing course of conduct intended to cause another to believe that if the other did not take part in a sexually explicit performance, the other or a third person would suffer physical restraint or serious physical harm; or

(vi) destroy, conceal, remove, confiscate, or possess an actual or purported passport, immigration document, or government identification document of another while otherwise violating or attempting to violate this subsection.

(2) A parent, guardian, or person who has permanent or temporary care or custody or responsibility for supervision of another may not consent to the taking or detention of the other for prostitution.

Minor status of victim; use of force, threat, coercion, or fraud

(b)(1) A person may not violate subsection (a) of this section involving a victim who is a minor.

(2) A person may not violate subsection (a) of this section with the use of or intent to use force, threat, coercion, or fraud.

Penalty

(c)(1)(i) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a person who violates subsection (a) of this section is guilty of the misdemeanor of sex trafficking and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both.

(ii) A person who violates subsection (a) of this section is subject to § 5-106(b) of the Courts Article.

(2) A person who violates subsection (b) of this section is guilty of the felony of sex trafficking and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 25 years or a fine not exceeding $15,000 or both.

Venue

(d) A person who violates this section may be charged, tried, and sentenced in any county in or through which the person transported or attempted to transport the other.

Persons who benefit from participation or aiders or abettors to violations

(e)(1) A person who knowingly benefits financially or by receiving anything of value from participation in a venture that includes an act described in subsection (a) or (b) of this section is subject to the same penalties that would apply if the person had violated that subsection.

(2) A person who knowingly aids, abets, or conspires with one or more other persons to violate any subsection of this section is subject to the same penalties that apply for a violation of that subsection.

Ignorance of age of victim not a defense(f) It is not a defense to a prosecution under subsection (b)(1) or (e) of this section that the person did not know the age of the victim.

§ 3-1103. Use of force, threat, coercion, or fraud to compel marriage

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Prohibited

(a) A person may not knowingly:

(1) take or detain another with the intent to use force, threat, coercion, or fraud to compel the other to marry any person;

(2) receive a financial benefit or thing of value in relation to a violation of this subsection; or

(3) aid, abet, or conspire with another to violate this subsection.

Penalty

(b) A person who violates this section is guilty of the felony of forced marriage and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 25 years or a fine not exceeding $15,000 or both.

Venue

(c) A person who violates this section may be charged, tried, and sentenced in any county in or through which the person transported or attempted to transport the victim.

Title 6. Crimes Against Property

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Subtitle 3. Malicious Destruction and Related Crimes

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 6-301. Malicious destruction--Generally

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Prohibited

(a) A person may not willfully and maliciously destroy, injure, or deface the real or personal property of another.

Penalty–Property damage of at least $1,000

(b) A person who, in violation of this section, causes damage of at least $1,000 to the property is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding $2,500 or both.

Penalty–Property damage of less than $1,000

(c) A person who, in violation of this section, causes damage of less than $1,000 to the property is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 60 days or a fine not exceeding $500 or both.

Penalty–Restitution for graffiti

(d)(1) For purposes of this subsection, an act of “graffiti” means a permanent drawing, permanent painting, or a permanent mark or inscription on the property of another without the permission of the owner of the property.

(2) In addition to the penalties set forth in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, the court shall order a person convicted of causing malicious destruction by an act of graffiti to pay restitution or perform community service or both.

(3) Title 11, Subtitle 6 of the Criminal Procedure Article applies to an order of restitution under this subsection.

Aggregation of damages

(e)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, to determine a penalty, the court may consider as one crime the aggregate value of damage to each property resulting from one scheme or continuing course of conduct.

(2) If separate acts resulting in damage to the properties of one or more owners are set forth by separate counts in one or more charging documents, the separate counts may not be merged for sentencing.

Value of damages

(f)(1) The value of damage is not a substantive element of a crime under this section and need not be stated in the charging document.

(2) The value of damage shall be based on the evidence and that value shall be applied for the purpose of imposing the penalties established in this section.

(3) If it cannot be determined from the evidence whether the value of the damage to the property is more or less than $1,000, the value is deemed to be less than $1,000.

Title 8. Fraud and Related Crimes

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

Subtitle 3. Identity Fraud

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 8-301. Identity fraud

Updated: 
August 13, 2019

(a)(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.

(2) “Health care” means care, services, or supplies related to the health of an individual that includes the following:

(i) preventative, diagnostic, therapeutic, rehabilitative, maintenance care, palliative care and counseling, service assessment, or procedure:

1. with respect to the physical or mental condition or functional status of an individual; or

2. that affects the structure or function of the body; and

(ii) the sale or dispensing of a drug, device, equipment, or other item in accordance with a prescription.

(3) “Health information” means any information, whether oral or recorded in any form or medium, that:

(i) is created or received by:

1. a health care provider;

2. a health care carrier;

3. a public health authority;

4. an employer;

5. a life insurer;

6. a school or university; or

7. a health care clearinghouse; and

(ii) relates to the:

1. past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition of an individual;

2. provision of health care to an individual; or

3. past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to an individual.

(4) “Interactive computer service” means an information service, system, or access software provider that provides or enables computer access by multiple users to a computer server, including a system that provides access to the Internet and cellular phones.

(5) “Payment device number” has the meaning stated in § 8-213 of this title.

(6)(i) “Personal identifying information” includes a name, address, telephone number, driver’s license number, Social Security number, place of employment, employee identification number, health insurance identification number, medical identification number, mother’s maiden name, bank or other financial institution account number, date of birth, personal identification number, unique biometric data, including fingerprint, voice print, retina or iris image or other unique physical representation, digital signature, credit card number, or other payment device number.

(ii) “Personal identifying information” may be derived from any element in subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, alone or in conjunction with any other information to identify a specific natural or fictitious individual.

(7) “Re-encoder” means an electronic device that places encoded personal identifying information or a payment device number from the magnetic strip or stripe of a credit card onto the magnetic strip or stripe of a different credit card or any electronic medium that allows such a transaction to occur.

(8) “Skimming device” means a scanner, skimmer, reader, or any other electronic device that is used to access, read, scan, obtain, memorize, or store, temporarily or permanently, personal identifying information or a payment device number encoded on the magnetic strip or stripe of a credit card.

Prohibited–Obtaining personal identifying information without consent

(b) A person may not knowingly, willfully, and with fraudulent intent possess, obtain, or help another to possess or obtain any personal identifying information of an individual, without the consent of the individual, in order to use, sell, or transfer the information to get a benefit, credit, good, service, or other thing of value or to access health information or health care.

Prohibited–Disclosing personal identification number of an individual to annoy, threaten, embarrass, or harass that individual

(b-1) A person may not maliciously use an interactive computer service to disclose or assist another person to disclose the driver’s license number, bank or other financial institution account number, credit card number, payment device number, Social Security number, or employee identification number of an individual, without the consent of the individual, in order to annoy, threaten, embarrass, or harass the individual.

Prohibited–Assuming identity of another

(c) A person may not knowingly and willfully assume the identity of another, including a fictitious person:

(1) to avoid identification, apprehension, or prosecution for a crime; or

(2) with fraudulent intent to:

(i) get a benefit, credit, good, service, or other thing of value;

(ii) access health information or health care; or

(iii) avoid the payment of debt or other legal obligation.

Prohibited–Use of re-encoder

(d) A person may not knowingly, willfully, and with fraudulent intent to obtain a benefit, credit, good, service, or other thing of value or to access health information or health care, use:

(1) a re-encoder to place information encoded on the magnetic strip or stripe of a credit card onto the magnetic strip or stripe of a different credit card or use any other electronic medium that allows such a transaction to occur without the consent of the individual authorized to use the credit card from which the personal identifying information or payment device number is being re-encoded; or

(2) a skimming device to access, read, scan, obtain, memorize, or store personal identifying information or a payment device number on the magnetic strip or stripe of a credit card without the consent of the individual authorized to use the credit card.

Prohibited–Sale or transfer of personal information

(e) A person may not knowingly, willfully, and with fraudulent intent possess, obtain, or help another possess or obtain a re-encoder device or a skimming device for the unauthorized use, sale, or transfer of personal identifying information or a payment device number.

Prohibited–Claim to represent another without consent

(f) A person may not knowingly and willfully claim to represent another person without the knowledge and consent of that person, with the intent to solicit, request, or take any other action to otherwise induce another person to provide personal identifying information or a payment device number.

Restitution and costs

(g)(1)(i) A person who violates this section where the benefit, credit, good, service, health information or health care, or other thing of value that is the subject of subsection (b), (c), or (d) of this section has a value of at least $1,500 but less than $25,000 is guilty of a felony and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding $10,000 or both.

(ii) A person who violates this section where the benefit, credit, good, service, or other thing of value that is the subject of subsection (b), (c), or (d) of this section has a value of at least $25,000 but less than $100,000 is guilty of a felony and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $15,000 or both.

(iii) A person who violates this section where the benefit, credit, good, service, or other thing of value that is the subject of subsection (b), (c), or (d) of this section has a value of $100,000 or more is guilty of a felony and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 20 years or a fine not exceeding $25,000 or both.

(2) A person who violates this section where the benefit, credit, good, service, health information or health care, or other thing of value that is the subject of subsection (b), (c), or (d) of this section has a value of at least $100 but less than $1,500 is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $500 or both.

(3) A person who violates this section under circumstances that reasonably indicate that the person’s intent was to manufacture, distribute, or dispense another individual’s personal identifying information without that individual’s consent is guilty of a felony and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $25,000 or both.

(4) A person who violates subsection (b-1), (c)(1), (e), or (f) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $500 or both.

(5) When the violation of this section is pursuant to one scheme or continuing course of conduct, whether from the same or several sources, the conduct may be considered as one violation and the value of the benefit, credit, good, service, or other thing of value may be aggregated in determining whether the violation is a felony or misdemeanor.

Applicability of Courts Article

(h) A person described in subsection (g)(2) or (4) of this section is subject to § 5-106(b) of the Courts Article.

Restitution of costs

(i) In addition to restitution under Title 11, Subtitle 6 of the Criminal Procedure Article, a court may order a person who pleads guilty or nolo contendere or who is found guilty under this section to make restitution to the victim for reasonable costs, including reasonable attorney’s fees, incurred:

(1) for clearing the victim’s credit history or credit rating;

(2) for clearing the victim’s record or history related to health information or health care; and

(3) in connection with a civil or administrative proceeding to satisfy a debt, lien, judgment, or other obligation of the victim that arose because of the violation.

Separate sentences

(j) A sentence under this section may be imposed separate from and consecutive to or concurrent with a sentence for any crime based on the act or acts establishing the violation of this section.

Department of State Police

(k) Notwithstanding any other law, the Department of State Police may initiate investigations and enforce this section throughout the State without regard to any limitation otherwise applicable to the Department’s activities in a municipal corporation or other political subdivision.

Other law enforcement agencies

(l)(1) Notwithstanding any other law, a law enforcement officer of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, the Maryland Port Administration Police, the Park Police of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, or a municipal corporation or county may investigate violations of this section throughout the State without any limitation as to jurisdiction and to the same extent as a law enforcement officer of the Department of State Police.

(2) The authority granted in paragraph (1) of this subsection may be exercised only in accordance with regulations that the Department of State Police adopts.

(3) The regulations are not subject to Title 10, Subtitle 1 of the State Government Article.

(4) The authority granted in paragraph (1) of this subsection may be exercised only if an act related to the crime was committed in the investigating law enforcement agency’s jurisdiction or if the complaining witness resides in the investigating law enforcement agency’s jurisdiction.

Notification of investigations

(m) If action is taken under the authority granted in subsection (l) of this section, notification of an investigation:

(1) in a municipal corporation, shall be made to the chief of police or designee of the chief of police;

(2) in a county that has a county police department, shall be made to the chief of police or designee of the chief of police;

(3) in a county without a police department, shall be made to the sheriff or designee of the sheriff;

(4) in Baltimore City, shall be made to the Police Commissioner or the Police Commissioner’s designee;

(5) on property owned, leased, or operated by or under the control of the Maryland Transportation Authority, the Maryland Aviation Administration, or the Maryland Port Administration, shall be made to the respective chief of police or the chief’s designee; and

(6) on property owned, leased, or operated by or under the control of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, to the chief of police of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission for the county in which the property is located.

Immunities and exemptions

(n) When acting under the authority granted in subsection (k) or (l) of this section, a law enforcement officer:

(1) in addition to any other immunities and exemptions to which the officer may be entitled, has the immunities from liability and exemptions accorded to a law enforcement officer of the Department of State Police; but

(2) remains an employee of the officer’s employing agency.

Prosecution by State’s Attorney or Attorney General

(o)(1) A State’s Attorney or the Attorney General may investigate and prosecute a violation of this section or a violation of any crime based on the act establishing a violation of this section.

(2) If the Attorney General exercises authority under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Attorney General has all the powers and duties of a State’s Attorney, including the use of a grand jury in any county or Baltimore City, to investigate and prosecute the violation.

Venue

(p) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the prosecution of a violation of this section or for a violation of any crime based on the act establishing a violation of this section may be commenced in any county in which:

(1) an element of the crime occurred; or

(2) the victim resides.