that an incident of domestic violence has occurred.
50 If the victim is able to
do so, the judge can issue a temporary protective order that is effective for
no more than seven days.
51 Temporary orders show the victim that the judge
is taking her claim seriously, and is providing her with a tool to improve her
situation. At this point, victims may leave their abuser for a period of time
to stay with friends or family for their safety, and as a way to enforce the
order. For a protective order that will last for a longer period of time, the
victim must return to court within seven days for a final hearing.
52 In the
time between the temporary and subsequent final order hearing, police must
serve the respondent with the protective order and put him or her on notice
that he or she is to attend the final hearing.
53 If the police are unable to locate and serve the respondent, the victim is responsible for returning to
court every week to get a new temporary issue ordered to notify the respondent with service.
54 Through the Victim Information and Notification
Everyday (VINE) program, petitioners may a track their abusers’ “custody,
probation and parole, court, sex offender, or protective order status” via an
automated system accessible by telephone or internet.
55 At the final hearing,
both the victim and offender may present testimony, witnesses, and evidence such as medical records and photos that show the damage.
56 If a final
protective order issued, it is typically effective for up to one year, but a
judge may extend this time period under certain circumstances.
It is important to note that each order is created to address the particular
nature of the case before the judge. For example, an order may include prohibiting the offender from contacting the victim; requiring the offender to
stay away from a residence, workplace and/or children’s schools; granting
temporary child custody and child support to the person eligible for relief;
50. Id. § 4-505.1(a)( 1).
51. Id. § 4-505(c)( 1).
52. Id. §§ 4-504, 4-506.
53. Nat’l Network to End Domestic Violence, Domestic Violence Protective Orders
(updated Oct. 2, 2012), http://www.womenslaw.org/laws_state_type.php?id=10022&state
54. Note that this does not apply if the victim is voluntarily enrolled in the Victim Information and Notification Everyday program.
55. MD. VICTIM INFO. & NOTIFICATION EVERYDAY SERV., VICTIMS HAVE A RIGHT TO
KNOW (2010), available at
/VINEBrocEng.pdf. Once enrolled in this program, the petitioner can track any changes in
the abuser’s status for safety reasons as well as to see if he has been served a summons to
appear in court. Id. (stating that a petitioner can be “notified by phone or e-mail if an offender is released, transferred, escapes, or appears in court” or notified if the offender “changes
the status of a protective order”). If the offender has not yet been served, the judge may grant
an extension of the temporary order until that time when the respondent is served, up to six
months. FAM. LAW § 4-505(c)( 2).
56. See § 4-506.
57. Id. § 4-506(b)( 1)(iii).