What is the Process for Requesting a Peace Order in Maryland?
A peace order is a legal command from the Maryland courts that protects victims of recent criminal acts or threats of harm. Unlike protective orders — which only protect victims who are related to the abuser through blood, marriage, or other factors — peace orders are available to just about anyone.
The process for requesting a peace order starts with a standard form. The victim or their representative must complete and submit this form to the local district court. The following sections will provide an overview of the information required to request a peace order from a Maryland district court.
- List Contact Information
The first step in requesting a peace order involves listing certain contact information for the victim and the alleged abuser. Specifically, the person requesting a peace order must include the:
- Legal names of the victim and the alleged offender;
- Permanent addresses of the victim and the alleged offender; and
- Phone numbers of the victim and the alleged offender.
- Identify the Victim
The next step in the process of requesting a peace order involves victim identification. Any victim is allowed to request a peace order on their own behalf. In exceptional situations, a person may request a peace order on behalf of someone else, including the:
- Parent of a minor victim;
- Guardian or custodian of a minor victim;
- Guardian of an adult; or
- Individual with power of attorney over an adult.
- Describe the Alleged Abuse
The next peace order requirement centers on a description of the alleged abuse, using as much precision as possible. Specific details are required, including exact dates and locations, if possible. Commonly, victim request peace orders with allegations of:
- Assault and battery;
- Shooting or stabbing;
- Rape or attempted rape;
- Sexual offense or attempted sexual offense;
- Harassment or stalking;
- Property destruction; or
- Visual surveillance.
It is worth noting that there is a timeline for peace orders in Maryland. Peace orders are only available if the alleged abuse occurred within the past 30 days.
- Specify Desired Action
Next, the person requesting a peace order must specify what they would like the Maryland courts to do. Depending on the circumstances of the alleged abuse, the desired outcome can change from victim to victim.
In requesting a peace order, a person may request that the Maryland courts order the alleged abuser to stop:
- Committing or threatening to commit similar acts of abuse;
- Contacting, attempting to contact, or harassing the victim;
- Visiting the victim’s residence, school, or workplace; or
- Engaging in similarly intimidating or threatening behavior.
Finally, the person requesting the peace order must sign and date, attesting that the information contained is truthful under penalties of perjury.
Contact Us Today for Help
If you or a loved one need help obtaining a peace order in Maryland, it can be greatly advantageous to consult with a knowledgeable 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 peace orders. If you need legal help, contact us today for an initial consultation.