What is the Maryland Domestic Violence Central Repository?
The Maryland Domestic Violence Central Repository (“Central Repository”) exists to collect and aggregate data concerning domestic violence or abuse. Managed by the Administrative Office of the Maryland Courts, the Central Repository stores various records of protective and peace orders. This provides greater visibility into domestic violence offenses and enables state actors to better handle these crimes.
What is the Definition of Domestic Violence?
Maryland Code of Family Law Section 4-501 details the definition of domestic violence under state law. First, domestic violence requires the presence of a qualifying act of abuse, including:
- Any act that results in serious physical injury;
- Any act that places a person in fear of imminent and serious physical injury;
- Assault in any degree;
- Rape or attempted rape;
- Sexual offense or attempted sexual offense;
- False imprisonment;
- Stalking; or
- Revenge porn.
Second, domestic violence requires there to be a relationship between the abuser and the victim. More specifically, the relationships that give rise to domestic violence include situations where the victim is/was:
- Presently or formerly married to the abuser;
- Living or cohabiting with the abuser;
- Related to the abuser by blood, marriage, or adoption;
- Parent to a common child with the abuser; or
- Presently or formerly engaged in a sexual relationship with the abuser.
Why Does the Domestic Violence Central Repository Exist?
Maryland Code of Family Law Section 4-512.1 establishes the purposes of the Central Repository, including:
- Access — Providing law enforcement and similarly authorized personnel with immediate access to domestic violence records;
- Response — Improving court response time and coordination in matters of domestic violence;
- Transparency — Enhancing transparency of domestic violence records to eliminate conflicting or redundant court orders;
- Enforcement — Advancing the enforcement capabilities of various domestic violence orders; and
- Facilitation — Ensuring proper facilitation of domestic violence orders and services.
Which Records are Stored in the Domestic Violence Central Repository?
Section 4-512.1 also lists the types of records stored in the Central Repository, including:
- Interim Protective Orders issued under Maryland Code of Family Law Section 4-504.1;
- Temporary Protective Orders issued under Maryland Code of Family Law Section 4-505;
- Final Protective Orders issued under Maryland Code of Family Law Section 4-506;
- Interim Peace Orders issued under Maryland Code of Courts and Judicial Proceedings Section 3-1503.1;
- Temporary Peace Orders issued under Maryland Code of Courts and Judicial Proceedings Section 3-1504;
- Final Peace Orders issued under Maryland Code of Courts and Judicial Proceedings Section 3-1505; and
- Peace Orders for minor children issued under Maryland Code of Courts and Judicial Proceedings Subtitle 8A.
It is worth noting that peace orders for minor children are only stored while the order is active. After such a peace order expires, it is no longer featured in the Central Repository.
Let Us Help You Today
If you have legal questions about domestic violence in Maryland, it can be exceedingly constructive to speak with a skilled domestic violence attorney. The Bel Air domestic violence attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered have more than 60 years of combined legal experience in family and criminal law, including domestic violence. If you need legal help, contact us today for an initial consultation.