Life’s landscape does not have to alter because of a peace order. There are ways to dispute the allegations behind them. Here’s how to fight back against a peace order, including:
- The first three things you do after getting served with a peace order;
- How to approach a peace order, since defense depends on where the order stands with the courts – opposing, appealing, or dissolving a PO; and
- Having representation makes sure the other side gets heard and proper evidence gathered.
Three Things to Do When Served with A Peace Order
Knock, knock. Who’s there? Peace Order. Say what?!
A peace order served against someone can alter the landscape of everyday life. No contact orders, no visitation with kids, or even getting kicked out of the home are consequences of an active peace order.
But, it is not the end of the world. A peace order is defensible. When first served, it is only an interim order. That means there is still an opportunity to present the other side of the story.
There are some things to do when served with a peace order. First, obey the order. If violated, then criminal charges will be filed.
Secondly, gather any evidence. Anything that proves the order is unneeded, like time cards showing you were at work the times a plaintiff claims stalking took place. A lot of evidence comes from your testimony or witnesses. Just get it together, to prove the interim order is unwarranted.
Next, make sure to show up for the hearing. Not showing up is a guaranteed way for the judge to impose a temporary or final peace order.
And, respond to the court about the order. Not doing so could discount any evidence or testimony brought on your behalf.
Peace Orders move fast through Maryland’s judicial system. Sometimes, life or circumstance prevent an immediate response. (COVID, for instance.) There are still options on the table to fight back.
Fighting the Peace Order
There are three ways to fight back against a peace order. First, oppose the peace order. If known someone will file a peace order and when they will, the defendant can appear at the temporary hearing to disagree with the filing.
The likelihood of having that knowledge is very slim. So, in Maryland a judge will order a temporary peace order with a hearing in 7 days to follow. At this hearing, a defendant can argue their case for opposition.
So, it’s necessary to obey the temporary order. Despite possible criminal charges, the time for the other side of the story will come.
What if a judge grants someone a final peace order, because work or other responsibilities would not allow time to appear at the hearing? This is where the option to appeal a peace order comes in to play.
By appealing the peace order, a new trial is held. Giving an opportunity to argue against the order granted. It also means that the plaintiff must again show proof and reason for the order. Evidence to the contrary will be very helpful in defending against the peace order.
Finally, another option is to dissolve a peace order. In Maryland, better known as rescinding or terminating. A person can ask the court to do either, but must notify all parties involved in the peace order.
A new hearing is held too. So, again the plaintiff will have opportunity to state their case as will the defendant. Again, evidence is needed to prove the case to rescind or terminate.
And a bonus, there is a chance to shield peace orders from public record. Under certain circumstances peace orders can be shielded.
Usually, this request happens three years after denial, dismissal, or consent of a peace order. There is yet another hearing to determine if shielding is appropriate.
Just because there is a peace order served, does not mean it is permanent or necessary. There are times when people falsely file claims for protection. The judicial system defaults to protecting the alleged victim. Meaning there needs to be a defense to the allegations.
How a Lawyer Helps Fight Peace Orders
Having a peace order served is an upsetting time. Why, how, who, and what to do?
There’s life, work, kids, and now this. A juggling act for sure. Where’s the time to fight a peace order?
The final hearing occurs within seven days of serving, so time to plan a defense is very limited. Contacting an experienced litigation firm gives you resources to build your defense. Lawyers to argue the defense. Discovery specialists to find the evidence to prove your case.
The peace order process is so fast in Maryland, that any number of things could come up preventing the defendant from appearing at the hearing. A lawyer can appear on your behalf, eliminating the need to miss a whole day of pay to appear in court.
Trial lawyers are also well versed in the art of arguing and defending. The average person could find it difficult arguing a defense on their behalf.
Emotions are involved and how the defendant behaves or acts at the hearing could sway a judge to order protections. Lawyers are emotionally detached from the ongoing problem. They can be a calming influence. Knowing someone has your back, lifts a huge weight from our shoulders.
Plus, hiring a lawyer increases the odds of winning the case greatly. They know what kind of evidence can prove a peace order unnecessary.
And, all the things that are at stake when a peace order is granted that the average person doesn’t realize. Such as, having to give up firearms to authorities or losing housing.
The Law Office of James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates, LLC defense lawyers have the knowledge and experience to combat peace orders. Time is of the essence, schedule your initial fee consultation today. Keep life moving in the right direction, avoiding obstacles that put life on pause.