Selected State Statutes: Maryland

Statutes: Maryland

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§ 4-504.1. Interim protective orders

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.