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What Is the Difference Between a Peace Order and a Protective Order in Maryland?

Peace Orders and Protective Orders are similar in their purpose, which is to protect the person seeking the order against violence or abuse from another. There are some important distinctions, however.

Protective Orders:

– Persons eligible for relief: current/former spouses; parent/stepparent/stepchild; person related to the respondent by blood/marriage/adoption; person who has had a child with the respondent; person who has had a sexual relationship with the respondent within 1 year prior to filing; and person who alleges that within the 6 months prior to filing, the respondent committed rape/sexual offense/attempted rape or sexual offense

– Can be filed any time after the alleged act; do not need to show the act likely to occur again

– There is no filing fee

– Final Orders are valid for up to 1 year, and in some cases up to 2 years

– District Court and Circuit Court have jurisdiction

Peace Orders:

– Persons eligible for relief: anyone who is not eligible for a protective order but who has suffered abuse

– Can be filed only within 30 days of the alleged act; and must show the act likely to occur again

– There is a filing fee and service fee (filing fee can be waived if indigent)

– Final Orders are valid for up to 6 months

– District Court, only, has jurisdiction

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