Enforcement of out of state protective orders
If you have a protective order from another state or Native American tribal court, your protective order is entitled to full faith and credit in Maryland. This means that Maryland courts and police have to enforce the order. You can also ask another state to enforce your Maryland protective order.
The abuser is bound by terms and conditions of the order of protection and may be arrested and charged with violating the order and committing other substantive crimes wherever the abuser violates a valid order. It does not make any difference where the order was granted. The abuser must be arrested for a violation of an order of protection if the law of jurisdiction where the violation occurred requires an arrest.
Each state may handle things differently. Generally, if an order of protection is valid in the issuing jurisdiction, it must be enforced in every other jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions grant orders:
- to victims who might not be eligible for orders in the enforcing jurisdiction;
- for periods of time longer than authorized in the enforcing jurisdiction; or
- containing directives against abusers that might not be available in the enforcing jurisdiction.
In Maryland, the order is only enforceable to the extent that the relief provided in the order is permitted under Maryland's protective order laws. If you have an out-of-state protective order that you need enforced, register your order with the District or Circuit Court, or show a copy of the order to the police.
- Law enforcement officers are not required to know the laws of the issuing jurisdiction in order to enforce orders of protection.
- Law enforcement officers in the enforcing jurisdiction must comply with all laws, policies, and procedures of their own jurisdiction concerning violation of orders of protection, such as mandatory arrest and victim notification, if applicable.
- Maryland law protects law enforcement officers who enforce out-of-state protection orders or who answers a call for help from a person who claims to be a victim of domestic violence from civil liability for reasonable, good faith actions taken to help the victim.
Maryland law provides full faith and credit to protective orders issues by other courts. Full faith and credit requires that valid orders of protection must be enforced to protect victims of domestic violence wherever a violation of an order occurs, regardless of where the order was issued. This is important because when victims of domestic violence leave, they and their children are at an increased risk of violence. Abusers who cross jurisdictions in pursuit of victims may be engaged in stalking, which is a significant risk indicator of life-threatening violence.
Under the full faith and credit concept, the jurisdiction issuing the protective order determines:
- whether an order of protection should be issued;
- who is to be protected;
- terms and conditions of the order; and
- duration of the order.
The jurisdiction enforcing the protective order determines:
- how the order is enforced;
- arrest authority of responding officer;
- detention and notification procedures; and
- crimes charged for violation of an order.
Domestic Violence: Enforcing or Changing a Protective Order from the Maryland Courts