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Legal Information: Maryland

Statutes: Maryland

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Updated: 
August 13, 2019

§ 5-603. Interim extreme risk protective order

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.