It certainly seems like Maryland has its fair share of busybody neighbors who are so bored that they have to nitpick about the littlest things. This nitpicking often ends up with them filing a peace order against you in court. Or maybe a relationship has gone bad and your ex is just bitter.
If you receive a summons in the mail as a respondent in a peace order or protective order case, you probably have questions, such as:
Can I simply ignore this summons?
Not a good idea. While these orders are not technically criminal matters, they are often viewed as such by prospective employers or landlords. If you fail to show up for the hearing, a public record will be entered indicating that you have been violent, abusive or essentially not a good person based on the allegations made by the petitioner. You should appear to argue against these claims.
What else can happen if an order is entered against me?
If you violate the terms of the order, a warrant may be issued for your arrest. This could happen if the other party claims you contacted them (by any means including by phone, text message, email, etc.). It could also occur if you violated the proximity terms, or in other words, you got too close to the other person. You could be arrested even if the other person is not telling the truth. You should ALWAYS contest a peace order or protective order petition.
Do I need a lawyer?
The Maryland law governing these petitions requires certain conditions be met. An attorney knows what to expect and can likely better prepare your defense. Attorney Michael Cochran has experience defending peace and protective order petitions, and has appeared in Baltimore City and County, Howard County, Montgomery County and Frederick County District Courts.
If you have received a notice that you are the respondent in a protective order or peace order action in Baltimore or anywhere in Maryland, call Michael at 240.463.2512 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org