COVID-19 Information Update
Courts will hear new peace and protective order cases during court hours. To file a new peace or protective order case after court hours, visit a District Court commissioner. Your case will be heard.
The District Court of Maryland's Communication Regarding Domestic Violence Protective Orders, Peace Orders and Extreme Risk Protective Orders (May 6, 2020) provides clarification about hearing dates and interim orders. All pending interim and temporary domestic violence protective orders, pending interim and temporary peace orders and pending interim and temporary extreme risk protective orders will remain in effect (even if the date has passed on the order) until such time that the court has conducted a hearing or has otherwise communicated with the parties.
Under certain circumstances, the Petitioner or the Respondent may ask the court to shield the court records relating to a peace or protective order.
- The Petitioner is the person who asked the court for the peace or protective order.
- The Respondent is the person against whom the peace or protective order was filed.
- Court Records are a court's official records about a proceeding that are kept by the clerk of the court or other court personnel. This can include physical records, such as an index, docket entry, documents (e.g., petition, order, judgment), and transcripts as well as electronic records, such as electronic recordings and information about the proceeding on a website maintained by the Maryland Judiciary.
- Shielding court records means that the records are removed from public view.
- For physical records kept in the courthouse, this means that the record must be moved to a separate, secure area where people who do not have a legitimate reason to access the record cannot do so.
- For electronic information on the Judiciary's website, including Case Search, this means removing all of the information concerning the proceeding fro public view (e.g., names, case numbers, references to the proceeding, references to removing the proceeding from the public website).
- This does not mean that the court records are eliminated. People with a legitimate purpose for viewing the records can still do so.
- A Consent Order ("entered by consent") means that the Petitioner and Respondent agreed to the peace or protective order.
If the case was denied or dismissed, you may file a request to shield IF:
- the Respondent was found not guilty;
- there is no pending interim or temporary peace or protective order against the Respondent in a proceeding between the same Petitioner and Respondent;
- there are no pending criminal charges against the Respondent in a proceeding between the same parties arising from the abuse of the petitioner (protective order) or acts covered by the peace order; AND
- no other final peace or protective order was previously issued against the Respondent in a case involving the Petitioner.
If the peace or protective order is expired AND was entered by consent, you may file a request to shield IF:
- the Petitioner agrees to the shielding;
- the Respondent did not violate the order;
- the Respondent has not been found guilty of a crime against the Petitioner arising from the abuse of the Petitioner (protective order) or acts covered by the peace order;
- there are no pending interim or temporary peace or protective orders against the Respondent;
- there are no pending criminal charges against the Respondent arising from the abuse of the Petitioner (protective order) or acts covered by the peace order; AND
- no other final peace or protective order has been previously issued against the Respondent in a case involving the Petitioner.
- Generally, a request for shielding may not be filed earlier than 3 years after the denial or dismissal of the Petition or after the consent expires unless you file a Request for General Waiver, which is a release of all your claims for damages relating to this proceeding and any tort claims that may arise out of this proceeding.
- After you file your request and send copies to the appropriate parties, the court will schedule a hearing on the request to shield. After the hearing, the judge will decide whether to grant the request to shield.