Tag Archive for: Abuse

The Maryland Legislature, effective October 1, 2016, expanded  the definition of “Abuse” covered by domestic violence Peace Orders to also include the following acts:  

  • (ix) Malicious destruction of property under 6-301 of the Criminal Law Article;
  • (x) Misuse of telephone facilities and equipment under 3-804 of the Criminal Law Article;
  • (xi) Misuse of electronic communication or interactive computer service under 3-805 of the Criminal Law Article;
  • (xii) Revenge porn under 3-809 of the Criminal Law Article; or
  • (xiii) Visual surveillance under 3-901, § 3-902, or § 3-903 of the Criminal Law Article.

These are in addition to the other acts included in my prior article on Maryland Peace Orders.

To obtain a Protective Order in the District of Columbia complete a “Petition And Affidavit for Civil for Protective Order” .  You file it with the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Domestic Violence Unit, 500 Indiana Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 2001, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. However, if the court is closed the only location where you can file for a Temporary Protective Order is the Seventh District D.C. Metropolitan Police Station on Alabama Avenue, N.W.

The hearing for the Temporary Protective Order is “ex parte”, meaning that the court can grant you a Temporary Protective Order without the Respondent being present. The Temporary Protective Order, Notice of Hearing and Order to Appear are then served upon the Respondent, free of charge, by the D.C. Metropolitan Police.   If the person lives in Maryland or Virginia, service may also be free as part of an agreement between Washington, D.C. and the sheriff departments in the surrounding areas of Maryland and Virginia.

The Temporary Protective Order issed by the Court will contain a date and time, fourteen (14 days later) on which you and the Respondent must show for an evidentiary hearing to determine if you qualify for a Final Protective Order.

In the District of Columbia, a Temporary Protective Order can order that the abuser:

  • Stop abusing you.
  • Stay away from you and to not try to contact you or harass you at your home, school, job, or the place where you may be staying, stay away from your child’s school, and from your family members’ homes.
  • Stay out of your house.
  • Leave the home where the two of you live, if you are married to the abuser, AND you were living with your abuser at the time of the abuse.
  • Leave the home if you are not married to the abuser, but were living with the abuser at the time of the abuse, AND your name is on the lease or deed for the house, OR you lived with the abuser.
  • The judge can also give you temporary custody of any children that you have with the abuser.
  • The judge can award temporary possession of any pet of the person eligible for relief or the respondent

For purposes of a Domestic Violence “Protective Order,” Maryland law defines “Abuse” as the occurrence of one or more of the following acts:

  • Assault
  • An act that places a person in fear of imminent serious bodily harm
  • An act that causes serious bodily harm
  • Rape or sexual offense
  • Attempted rape or sexual offense
  • Stalking
  • False imprisonment, such as interference with freedom, physically keeping you from leaving your home or kidnapping you.