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Modifying a Maryland Protective Order 

A protective order can be modified or vacated when the petitioner files a request in writing to have the order vacated or modified. This is an important step that many people fail to do. It is so important that the petitioner takes that step. Sometimes the parties reconcile, so they are both breaking the protective order because they have contact with each other. They may even reconcile and move back in with each other. Regardless of that, the protective order is still in place and only applies to the behavior of the respondent. If you have questions about changing protective orders in Maryland, contact a professional Maryland attorney today.

How a Protective Order is Modified

A protective order can be changed or extended through a process that takes place in court. For the order to be modified or extended in Maryland, the petitioner must file a request in writing that explains the reason for the order to be changed or extended. The court schedules a hearing and sends notice to both parties to come to court to be heard on the issue. Even if the petitioner requests a change, the court does not necessarily agree to the request. However, the only way to make that happen is for the parties to go back to court and have a hearing about it.

It is important to note that if the petitioner feels the need to continue of the protective order, they need to file a request for an extension about 30 days before the protective order expires. The other side must be served and has the right to be heard about the extension as well. There is no way to accomplish that if the petitioner does not file the extension until the day it is set to expire.

Violating a Protective Order

Violating a protective order is a criminal offense. In an instance where people reconcile, but then an argument takes place and the police are called, the respondent would be violating the protective order by having contact with the petitioner and they are residing together. At that point, the police officer can arrest the respondent for violating the protective order, even when the petitioner invited the respondent back into the home and was pushing for the reconciliation.

That is why it is important to file a request with the court to ask them to modify or vacate the protective order in Maryland when the couple thinks they want to get back together. There is no modification or change of the order unless there is a hearing that both of the parties attend. The judge would get paperwork that shows the order was vacated or modified. Even asking the court to change it does not achieve the goal. The only way that happens is when both parties return to court and a judge makes changes on the record and gives them new paperwork.

How Long a Protective Order Can Last

The temporary protective order lasts up to seven days. A final protective order can last for up to one year. At that point, if the petitioner can prove the necessity to have it extended, the court could extend the protective order beyond one year. If the parties go to court and the respondent wants to consent, sometimes the parties can agree that the protective order lasts for only six months or some other time frame that accomplishes the goals for both parties. The protective order does not have to be in place for one year. Under the statute, one year is the maximum amount of time for which the court can issue a protective order.

Protective Orders in Maryland Assault Cases