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  • By: Robert Greenberg, Esq.
  • Published: January 31, 2022
What Is A Peace Order?

A Peace Order is a type of restraining order which a Court can enter restricting a person’s lawful ability to contact another person. Although the terms “Peace Order” and “Protective Order” are often used interchangeably, they are not the same. There are several important differences between each. Whether you should seek a Peace Order or Protective Order largely depends on your relationship with the person from whom you are seeking protection.

Who Is Eligible For A Peace Order?

Before you go into Court, you need to know whether you should be seeking a Peace Order or Protective Order. If you file for the wrong type of restraining order, the Court will dismiss your Petition because you do not satisfy the necessary relationship with the Respondent (the person who you are seeking protection from) in order for the Court to grant such an Order. Generally speaking, if you are in a domestic relationship with the Respondent (i.e. current or former spouse of the Respondent, relative of the Respondent, have a child in common with the Respondent, etc.), then you should seek a Protective Order. If you do not have a domestic or familial relationship with the Respondent, then you likely need to seek a Peace Order. You should consult with an attorney to first determine which type of Petition you must file based on your circumstances.

What Types Of Acts Would Warrant A Peace Order?

In order to obtain a Peace Order, you must demonstrate to the Court that the Respondent committed a certain type of act which warrants the issuance of a Peace Order under the law. The Court may issue a Peace Order if the Respondent has committed any of the following acts against you:

  1. An act that causes serious bodily harm;
  2. An act that places the petitioner or the petitioner’s employee in fear of imminent serious bodily harm;
  3. Assault in any degree;
  4. False imprisonment;
  5. Harassment under § 3-803 of the Criminal Law Article;
  6. Stalking under § 3-802 of the Criminal Law Article;
  7. Trespass under Title 6, Subtitle 4 of the Criminal Law Article;
  8. Malicious destruction of property under § 6-301 of the Criminal Law Article;
  9. Misuse of telephone facilities and equipment under § 3-804 of the Criminal Law Article;
  10. Misuse of electronic communication or interactive computer service under § 3-805 of the Criminal Law Article;
  11. Revenge porn under § 3-809 of the Criminal Law Article; or
  12. Visual surveillance under § 3-901, § 3-902, or § 3-903 of the Criminal Law Article.

Notably, you must prove to the Court that one of the aforementioned acts occurred within thirty (30) days before the filing of your Petition. If the act(s) occurred outside of the thirty (30) day window, you will not be eligible for a Peace Order. This is different from a Petition for Protective Order, which does not require that a qualifying act be committed within the same time frame prior to the filing of your Petition.

If The Court Grants Me A Peace Order Against The Respondent, What Types Of Relief Can The Court Order?

If you have satisfied your burden of proof and demonstrated to the Court that a Final Peace Order is warranted, the Court will enter a Final Peace Order in your favor. But, what does a “Final Peace Order” mean and what can the Court actually order the Respondent not to do? As part of a Final Peace Order, the Court may do any or all of the following things:

  1. Order the Respondent to refrain from committing or threatening to commit any act which qualifies for a Peace Order;
  2. Order the Respondent to refrain from contacting, attempting to contact, or harassing you;
  3. Order the Respondent to refrain from entering your residence;
  4. Order the Respondent to remain away from your place of employment, school, or temporary residence;
  5. Direct the Respondent or yourself to participate in professionally supervised counseling or, if the parties are amenable, mediation; and
  6. Order either party to pay filing fees and costs of the proceedings.

By law, the Court will fashion the Final Peace Order in such a way as to contain only such relief as is minimally necessary to protect you from the Respondent. The Court will often tailor the relief in the Final Peace Order to your specific circumstances (i.e. the Respondent must stay away from your specific residence or place of employment).

How Long Does A Peace Order Last For?

A Peace Order may last for up to six (6) months. This is different from a Protective Order, which may last up to twelve (12) months.

Due to the short time window which you have to obtain a Peace Order, it is critical that you act quickly to receive protection from the Court. The law firm of Greenberg Legal Group LLC has handled many Peace Order matters and is here to help you. Please contact our office at (410) 673-4888 for further assistance.

Robert Greenberg Esq.

Robert Greenberg is an experienced family law and civil
litigator serving clients across the State of Maryland.
Contact Us - (410) 673-4888

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