Is a Maryland protective order enforceable in another state?

If you have had a protective order issued against you, it is important to know what you can and cannot do according to that order. Furthermore, you need to know where the order is enforceable. For example, some people have questions about whether a Maryland protective order is enforceable in, say, Florida. This question is understandable, considering that different states have different laws that apply to protective orders.

The fact is, when it comes to protective orders, every state is bound by federal law to honor the protective orders of other states. Furthermore, when enforcing the terms of the protective order — and the consequences for violating the order — each state must honor fellow states’ protective orders in “full faith and credit.” What this means is that violations of the protective order will be punished according to the laws of the state in which the order was issued.

Under the federal Violence Against Women Act, a particular state’s protective order must be honored by all U.S. territories, states and Native American tribal courts. That said, the protective order must qualify under federal law in order for the Violence Against Women Act to apply. Qualifying protective orders must be:

— Issued in order to prevent threatening or violent acts, sexual violence, harassing behavior or to prevent close proximity or contact by a particular person

— Issued by a court with jurisdiction over the individuals involved in the case

— The alleged abuser was given notice about the order and an opportunity to tell his or her side of the case.

So long as the above conditions are present, then a court-issued protective order will be enforceable in any part of the United States. Maryland residents who have had protective orders issued against them may want to discuss the unique terms of their protective orders with a qualified domestic violence attorney in order to fully understand them.

Source: WomensLaw.org, “Moving to Another State with a Protective Order,” accessed Nov. 11, 2015