Know the Laws: Maryland
UPDATED May 22, 2012
If you are planning to move to MD or are going to be in MD for any reason, your protection or restraining order can be enforced.
Yes. Your protective order can be enforced in Maryland as long as:
* 18 U.S.C. § 2266(5)
** 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a) & (b)
No. Only the state that issued your protection order can change, extend, or cancel the order. You cannot have this done by a court in Maryland.
To have your order changed, extended, or canceled, you will have to file a motion or petition in the court where the order was issued. You may be able to request that you attend the court hearing by telephone (if that is an option) rather than in person, so that you do not need to return to the state where the abuser is living. To find out more information about how to modify a restraining order, see the Restraining Orders section for the state where your order was issued.
If your order does expire while you are living in Maryland, you may possibly be able to get a new one issued in Maryland but this may be difficult to do if no new incidents of abuse have occurred in Maryland. To find out more information on how to get a protective order in Maryland, visit our MD Domestic Violence Protective Orders page.
You will have to contact the court that issued your order to find out why your order has changed or is no longer valid. The police in Maryland cannot enforce an order that has expired or has been canceled in the issuing state.
If this does happen, you may want to contact a lawyer or domestic violence organization in your area. They may be able to answer some of your questions, or help you fill out the necessary court forms to petition for a new order in MD. You will find information on legal assistance and domestic violence organizations in MD on the MD Where to Find Help page.
Federal law, which applies to all states, considers custody, visitation, and child support provisions that are included in a PO to be enforceable across state lines under the theory of "full faith and credit." Law enforcement and courts in another state are generally required by federal law to enforce these provisions* assuming they comply with certain federal laws, specifically the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), and the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980.
Note: Maryland law states that an order for protection does not include a support or child custody order** so to be certain that your custody provision from your out-of-state order will be enforced in MD, contact a lawyer familiar with custody and restraining orders. To find a lawyer in your area, go to our MD Finding a Lawyer page.
* See 18 USC § 2266(5)(b)
** MD Code, Family Law, § 4-508.1(a)(2)