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Peace Orders – Protecting Yourself from Abuse Outside the Home

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If you have been a victim of abuse, you should seek protection from your abuser. There are two types of protective orders in Maryland. Protective orders are traditionally thought of as an order to protect you when your abuser is a family or household member. Peace orders protect people who do not qualify for a domestic violence protective order; and, as such, this type of order is not as commonly known as a protective order. The difference between a peace order and a protective order is the relationship between the parties. The specific nature of the relationship between the parties is not a factor when seeking a peace order. A protective order attorney can help victims of abuse, threats or assault obtain legal protection from further harm.

What Type of Order Am I Eligible For?

Whether you are eligible for a peace order or protective order depends on your relationship to the alleged abuser.

Who Can File for a Protective Order? 

Protective orders are civil orders issued by a judge that protect a victim of domestic abuse from harm by someone with whom he or she has a specific relationship. You are eligible for a protective order if you and the alleged abuser:

  • Are current or former spouses;
  • Have lived together in an intimate relationship for at least 90 days during the past year;
  • Are related by blood, marriage, or adoption;
  • Are in a parent-child, or stepparent-stepchild relationship and have resided together for at least 90 days during the past year
  • Are in a caretaker-vulnerable adult relationship;
  • Are the parents of a child together; and/or
  • Have had a sexual relationship within one year before filing the petition.

If you do not fall into one these relationship, you must file for a peace order.

What is a Peace Order?

If the victim’s relationship to the abuser falls under the category for a domestic violence protection order, the victim is not eligible for a peace order. Examples of relationships that qualify for a peace order are:

  • A boyfriend or girlfriend with whom you do not live and you do not have a child in common with;
  • A neighbor;
  • A co-worker;
  • An acquaintance; and
  • A stranger.

What Acts of Abuse Qualify for a Peace Order?

You can file a peace order if one more of the following acts has happened within 30 days before you file the order:

  • An act that causes serious bodily harm;
  • An act that places you in fear of immediate serious bodily harm;
  • Assault in any degree;
  • Attempted or actual rape or sexual offense;
  • False imprisonment;
  • Harassment;
  • Stalking;
  • Trespass;
  • Malicious destruction of property; and
  • Revenge porn.

Types of Peace Orders

If you file for a peace order you can ask the judge for certain types of help. There are three types of peace orders that can be ordered: an interim peace order, a temporary peace order or a final peace order.

In an interim or temporary peace order, a judge a can order that the abuser:

  • Stop abusing you;
  • Stay away from you; and/or
  • N contact you or harass you at your home, school, job or place where you are residing.

In a final peace order, a judge can order any of the above, and can also:

  • Order counseling;
  • Order meditation; and
  • Order the abuser to pay filing fees and court costs.

Your Safety is Our Priority

If you are the victim of abuse, the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink can assist you to obtain a temporary or interim protective or peace order, and represent you at the final order hearing. Do not risk the safety of yourself or your family, hire a Glen Burnie or Columbia family law attorney to protect your safety. A peace order is important because it affords you the ability to seek protection from someone outside of your household. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year to handle any urgent family law situations. Begin with a free case evaluation today before any family matters escalate further.

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