Parkton, MD asked in Domestic Violence for Maryland

Q: Hi, My final protective order was dismissed. Will shielding hide the interm and temporary RO too?

I was granted an interm and a temporary restraining order against my sister-in-law, but the final protective order was dismissed b/c all of my evidence came from my brother-in-law’s phone and he was not present at the hearing (he had given me copies of all of the texts and voicemails).

If she files to shield the record, will it shield the interm and the temporary ones

also, or just the final one that was dismissed?

Is there any benefit for me to show up at the shielding hearing to contest it.?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Marie-Yves Nadine Jean-Baptiste
Marie-Yves Nadine Jean-Baptiste
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Towson, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: It will hide the entire record from public view. Once the final is denied, the temp and interim do not matter. They are expired. If you believe that you have reason to contest, then yes.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: You can contest it and state it was not dismissed on the merits (I.e., the court did not make a finding that the harassment didn’t happen), but because you didn’t know how to introduce the harassing text messages into evidence, and you as an unrepresented litigate we’re unfamiliar with the technical rules of evidence. You should also argue, if true, that you fear she will commit similar acts in the future, and this history will be important to preserve. If the shielding petition is granted, all of the case entries will be shielded, not just the last hearing date. If this petition was filed in district court, you could have appealed the dismissal to circuit court within 30 days and had a new hearing from scratch. I assume that time is now expired, but if not, that is a better option to fix this issue.

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