Rescinding/Extending Protective Orders In Maryland
When domestic violence occurs under Maryland law, protective orders can help the Maryland courts prevent further abuse. Typically, Maryland protective orders have a defined end date — from interim to temporary and final orders. Even so, Maryland law enables the state courts to rescind or extend protective orders under specific conditions.
Rescission of Maryland Protective Order
Maryland Code of Family Law Section 4-507 provides the rules for rescinding a protective order. If a protective order remains in full force and effect, a Maryland court may rescind the order upon:
- Providing notice to all parties concerned, including the accused and the alleged victim; and
- Conducting a hearing to evaluate the merits of rescinding the protective order.
Extension of Maryland Protective Order
Section 4-507 also details the rules for extending a protective order. If a protective order remains in full force and effect, a Maryland court may extend the order for six months upon:
- Providing notice to all parties concerned, including the alleged perpetrator and victim; and
- Conducting a hearing to evaluate the merits of extending the protective order.
If a protective order remains in full force and effect, a Maryland court may extend the order for a maximum of 24 months if:
- The court determines by preponderance of the evidence that the alleged perpetrator committed a subsequent act of abuse against the alleged victim; or
- The alleged perpetrator consents to the extension of the protective order.
For 24-month extensions of a protective order, the Maryland courts must comply with the same requirements as for a six-month extension. More specifically, the court must provide notice to all parties concerned and conduct a hearing to evaluate the merits of an extension.
When considering whether to extend a protective order under Section 4-507, the Maryland courts must consider the:
- Nature and severity of act of abuse in question;
- History and severity of the abuse that occurred between the alleged perpetrator and victim;
- Pendency and nature of criminal charges against the alleged perpetrator; and
- Nature and extent of harm that occurred or the risk of harm that could occur.
Appealing Rescission/Denial of Maryland Protective Order
The guidelines for appealing a rescission or denial of a Maryland protective order appear under Section 4-507. If a District Court judge grants or denies a petition for rescission or extension, the aggrieved party may file an appeal with the Circuit Court.
It is important to note that filing an appeal does not, in and of itself, affect the original rescission or extension order. The original order will remain in place, unless or until the Circuit Court files a superseding order. So if the Circuit Court declines to overrule the District Court, the original rescission/extension order will remain in full force and effect.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you need legal assistance with protective orders under Maryland family law, it can be highly valuable to contact a skilled Bel Air domestic violence attorney. The attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered have more than 60 years of combined legal experience in family and criminal law, including protective orders. If you need legal help, contact us today for an initial consultation.