Protective Orders

Protective Orders are civil orders issued by a judge that order one person to refrain from committing certain acts against others. The relationship between the person seeking protection and the person they are seeking protection from determines the type of order filed. Protective orders are generally available to people in domestic relationships.

To qualify for a protective order, you must have one of the following relationships with the person you seek protection from:

  • The current or former spouse of the respondent
  • A cohabitant of the respondent
  • An individual related to the respondent by blood, marriage, or adoption
  • A parent, stepparent, child, or stepchild of the respondent or person eligible for relief who lives or lived with the respondent or person eligible for relief for a period of at least 90 days within one (1) year before the filing of the petition.
  • A vulnerable adult
  • An individual who had a child with the respondent
  • An individual who has had a sexual relationship with the respondent within one (1) year before the filing of the petition.
  • An individual who alleges that within six (6) months before the filing of the petition the respondent committed rape or a sexual offense or attempted rape or sexual offense against the individual.

To receive a protective order, you must prove one of the following has occurred:

  • An act that causes serious bodily harm or places an individual in fear of imminent serious bodily harm.
  • An assault in any degree
  • Rape or sexual offense or attempted rape or sexual offense
  • False imprisonment (keeping an individual in a place against their will)
  • Stalking
  • Child abuse
  • Vulnerable adult abuse
  • Revenge pornography

How to apply for a protective order?

  1. Obtain a petition for a protective order from either the Montgomery County District Court Clerk or you can obtain one at www.
  2. File the petition with a Circuit or District Court clerk during normal business hours. You will be directed to a courtroom as soon as a judge is available to hear your case.
  3. You will have a temporary hearing before a judge where you will be required to answer questions under oath. If the judge finds reasonable grounds to believe you are entitled to a protective order, he will grant a temporary order.
  4. A final hearing is usually scheduled within 7 days after the temporary order is served to allow both parties to present evidence.

Important Phone Numbers:

24-Hour Domestic Violence Help line


Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence


House of Ruth


Family Justice Center


Additional Protective/Peace Order Information