Sea Girt, NJ asked in Civil Litigation for Maryland

Q: Can law enforcement enforce an executive order?

After talking with a chief of police in the state of PA, they told me that police cannot enforce an executive order as it is not a law. They said code enforcement and municipal authorities can but not police. Therefore how could one get jail time for violating an executive order?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: You have asked this question under Maryland law, not Pennsylvania law. In Maryland, the state legislature passed a statute many years ago making it a misdemeanor offense to violate an executive order relating to a public health emergency. It carries a $1,000 fine and up to 1 year in jail. It is a state law, not a local ordinance. All police officers throughout the state have the legal authority to enforce this law and make arrests. MD Health-Gen Code § 18-907 (2019).

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