The Protection Order Advocacy and Representation Project (POARP) can provide you with a free attorney to represent you in protection order hearings if you have been abused by an intimate partner (current or past boyfriend/girlfriend, current or ex-spouse) and your case is in Baltimore City, Baltimore County or Carroll County.
Protective orders help you be safe from abuse. If the judge grants the protective order, which can last for up to one year, the judge can:
- Order the abuser to leave the house
- Order the abuser not to abuse, threaten, contact or harass you
- Order the abuser to stay away from your work, school or daycare providers
- Order the abuser to attend counseling
- Decide custody and visitation for minor children
- Order the abuser to turn in any firearms
- Order the abuser to provide financial support
With the attorney’s help, you will be able to present a stronger case to get protection and other court orders to help you.
The POARP staff will help you understand the protective order process. They will meet with you to discuss your situation and legal options. If you qualify for the program, they will go to court with you and represent you before a judge to seek to get a protective order against the abuser. The services are available to women and men who are victims of domestic violence.
POARP services are free and can include:
- Help filling out the Petition for Protection from Domestic Violence
- Representation in court in protective order hearings
- Help enforcing or changing a protective order
- Helping you develop a plan to keep yourself safe
- Accompaniment to criminal court hearings and assistance through the criminal process
- Referrals to other programs in the community that may be able to help you