Upper Marlboro, MD asked in Divorce and Family Law for Maryland

Q: what evidence is required to disprove that a verbal threat was made

I'm in the process of applying for a divorce. My wife received a temporary protective order against me based on her false statement that i threatened her life on three separate occassions. At the court proceedings the judge issued a 12 month permanent order based on my wife's statement.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Scott Scherr
Scott Scherr
Answered
  • Towson, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: The burden of proof is on your wife to prove that she is entitled to a Protective Order by a preponderance of the evidence. You can testify, call witnesses, and introduce evidence such as texts, e-mails, photographs, video, etc. You should consider retaining counsel for the final hearing.

Mark Oakley agrees with this answer

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
Answered
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: You do not state whether this was a separate court case from the divorce proceeding (e.g., a Petition for Protection from Domestic Violence under its own case number) or whether this 12 month protective order was issued in the divorce action under the divorce case number. The process you would need to follow to reverse the result is different depending on which of these two types of proceedings took place. For a domestic violence petition, the result can be appealed within 30 days; however, the type of appeal further depends on which court (District or Circuit) the order was issued in, since a District Court order is appealed to the Circuit Court and you get a whole new trial, and the result of the new trial in Circuit Court will replace the result in District Court. If the Petition was heard in Circuit Court , the order can only be appealed to the Court of Special Appeals "on the record" and you do not get a new trial but must identify a legal error the judge made (a much harder appeal and far less likely to succeed). If the order was issued in your divorce action and bears the same case number as your divorce case, then the order can be modified at any time on motion to reconsider filed during the pending divorce case, or by appeal to the Court of Special Appeals after the divorce case concludes (in some cases, it is possible to appeal before the divorce case concludes, but that will require more research). Again, an appeal to the Court of Special Appeals is a much narrower review process which has a lower likelihood of success. Trying to reverse the result of a case after you already had a merits trial is difficult in any scenario; the time to have prepared your case to win at trial was before, not after, you lose the case at trial.

Scott Scherr agrees with this answer

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