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Exploring the Characteristics of a Peace Order in Maryland


The subject for examination today involves an exploration of a vital mechanism for protecting the victim of certain criminal acts or threats from the alleged perpetrator – the peace order. In general terms, a peace order is a legal device designed to prevent additional criminal acts and keep an alleged perpetrator away from the victim.  The following sections will explore key characteristics of a peace order in Maryland.

What is the Definition of a Peace Order in Maryland?

A peace order allows victims to enlist help from the court in ending harassment. Whether the victim is dealing with violence, intimidation, trespass to person or property or destruction of property, the courts can issue a legal order for the perpetrator to cease and desist.

Unlike a protective order – which is only available if the victim has a specific relationship with the abuser – a peace order is available to almost anyone. This is a catch-all mechanism designed to stop abuse in any circumstance, regardless of the relationship between the victim and the abuser.

It is important to note that a victim must choose between filing for a peace order or a protective order. The same victim cannot use both mechanisms simultaneously. To learn more about the protective order process, interested parties are encouraged to review this recent blog post – Protective Orders in Maryland.

What Are the Benefits of a Peace Order in Maryland?

Maryland operates two different varieties of peace orders – Interim or Temporary Peace Orders and Final Peace Orders.

When issuing an Interim or Temporary Peace Order, the judge can order the abuser to:

  • Cease any and all abuse of the victim; and
  • Stop any and all contact with or harassment of the victim.

When issuing a Final Peace Order, the judge can:

  • Direct counseling for treatment purposes;
  • Order amenable parties to attend mediation for dispute resolution; and
  • Require the abuser to pay all court expenses and filing costs.

It is crucial to note that a Final Peace Order can include the same orders and directives from the Interim or Temporary Peace Order.

How Can Victims File for a Peace Order in Maryland?

In order to secure a peace order in Maryland, the victim must complete and file a Petition for Peace Order (DC-PO-001). Once the victim enters all requested information on the form they can file the petition with the clerk of the nearest district court. If the victim needs to file their petition outside of standard business hours the commissioner of the nearest district court will accept it. The commissioner’s office is available whenever the clerk’s office is closed.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you are dealing with violence, threats of serious harm or other abuse and need a peace order, it can be expedient to seek legal counsel from a seasoned domestic violence attorney. Don’t hesitate to contact Schlaich & Thompson Chartered in Bel Air for assistance with your case.

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