Protective Orders

Protective orders are commonly associated with domestic violence; domestic violence refers to abuse or threats of abuse that occurs between married couples, domestic partners, couples that live or lived together, or people who have a child together. Domestic violence is abuse that is:
1. Either physically hurting or attempting to hurt someone intentionally or recklessly
2. Sexual assault
3. Making someone reasonably afraid they will be harmed or someone else will be harmed
4. Harassing, stalking, disturbing the peace, threatening, hitting, or destroying a person’s property

Domestic violence is not limited to just hitting or punching, it can include kicking, shoving, throwing objects, pulling hair, scaring a person, following them, keeping them from moving about freely, or even physically harming the family pets. In addition to physical abuse, domestic violence can include verbal threats, or emotional or psychological abuse. A victim does not have to be hit to be abused, and oftentimes abusers employ a variety of tactics to gain control over the victim.

Obtaining a Domestic Violence Protective Order

Victims of domestic violence can seek out a domestic violence protective order, which is a court order that helps protect victims of domestic violence from their abuser, who is usually someone they have a close relationship with such as a boyfriend, girlfriend or a spouse. You can request a domestic violence restraining order if the person has abused or threatened to abuse you, and if you have a close relationship with that person. Qualifying relationships include:

  • Married couples or registered domestic partners
  • Individuals who are separated or divorced
  • Individuals who are dating or used to date
  • Individuals who live together and are involved in an intimate relationship
  • Individuals who have a child together
  • Close relatives (parent, child, brother, sister, grandparent, in-law)

If you and/or your child is being abused by your spouse or your boyfriend or girlfriend, you can file a protective order on behalf of your child in order to keep your child. The protective order can also safeguard you and other family members as well.

If you or a loved one is in need of filing a Protective Order or Peace Order, contact The Koslow Law Firm today

Peace Order

If you do not qualify for a Protective order because you are not married, in intimate relationship with the abuser, married to, related, or have a child together, you can still obtain protection by filing a Peace Order. The only difference is that a Peace Order can only be valid for 6 months instead of a year.

Effects of Protective Orders

There are three types of restraining orders: Emergency Protective Orders (EPO), Temporary Protective Orders (TPO), and Permanent Protective Orders (PPO). EPOs can only be requested by law enforcement and they obtain these by calling a judge; these can be issued by a judge 24 hours a day and can last up to 7 days.

When someone goes to court asking for a protective order, they will fill out the paperwork and explain their side of the story to the judge and why they think they need a restraining order. If the judge agrees that protection is necessary, then he or she will issue a temporary protective order which will last between 7 days until the court hearing (with possible extensions if the other side is not served within the 7 days. Once the victim goes to court at their scheduled hearing for their TPO, the judge may decide to issue a “permanent” protective order which can last up to 1 year (with possible extension).

A protective order can be a powerful instrument when it comes to stopping the abuse. It can tell your abuser that he or she cannot go near you, your children, your family, or anyone else who lives with you. It can tell the abuser to stay away from our home, your work, or your child’s school. It can order him or her to move out of your house, it can prohibit them from owning a gun, and it can order them to pay child support or spousal support (known as family maintenance).

A protective order can tell them to stay away from your pets, it an order them to follow a child custody or visitation order, it can order them to pay certain bills, and it can order them to return certain property. For the abuser, the consequences of having a protective order against them is very serious.

  • The restrained person will be prohibited from going certain places.
  • He or she may be ordered to move out of their own home.
  • It may affect their ability to see or gain custody of their children.
  • He or she will not be allowed to own a gun. He or she will have to sell or turn over any guns they have and they won’t be allowed to purchase a gun while the protective order is in effect.
  • If the person is a non-U.S. citizen, the protective order may affect their immigration status.
  • If the abuser violates the protective order, he or she may be ordered to pay a fine, or go to jail, or both.

In October of 2018 Maryland came out with a new type of Protective Order in which an individual can file a petition with the court to ask that someone turn in their guns if they can prove that the person is a possible harm to themselves or others.

“Mr. Koslow went above and beyond in assisting us and walking us step by step through this very difficult process. He was understanding, supportive and caring. His expertise and dedication were unsurpassed. He is professional, considerate and knowledgeable.”