November 28, 2023
Annapolis, US 40 F

How to legally handle your own Ray Rice situation

domestic-violence-400x258Last year, there were 3,287 domestic violence incidents reported in Anne Arundel County.

Recently, we all saw the horrific video of Baltimore Ravens star running back Ray Rice allegedly assaulting his then fiancé and now wife in an elevator in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In Maryland this is classified as a domestic violence incident. According to Maryland’s 2013 Uniform Crime Report, last year in Anne Arundel County there were 3,287 reported incidents of domestic violence. What Ray Rice did was inexcusable but what can we learn from the heightened awareness from it? What does one do in case they are victim of a domestic violence incident in Anne Arundel County?

Domestic Violence: What to do in Anne Arundel County

1.  Are you in imminent danger of abuse? If so, immediately call 911.

2.  Three Potential Hearings (2 Potential Hearings if you initially file during normal courthouse hours)

3.  Interim Restraining Order Hearing (After Hours Restraining Order)

For an immediate restraining order (formally called a “Protective Order” generally for immediate family members or a “Peace Order” for non-immediate family members) go to the District Court Commissioner’s office at any time of day and obtain a 24 hour interim stay away order. You can contact the YWCA for legal guidance at 410-222-6800 or an attorney who handles domestic violence matters. My office number is 443-494-9775.

Locations of Anne Arundel County Commissioners:

Annapolis Location

Robert F. Sweeney District Court Building
251 Rowe Boulevard
Annapolis, MD 21401

Glen Burnie Location

George M. Taylor Multi-Service Center
7500 Governor Ritchie Highway
Glen Burnie, MD 21061-3756

You can also go to the above addresses during the day (during regular business hours) and obtain a temporary order from a judge, as opposed to a commissioner. If you are filing during normal courthouse hours and you have a pending divorce or custody case with the alleged abuser, then file in Circuit Court (Located at 7 Church Circle, Annapolis, MD).

4.  Temporary Restraining Order Hearing

A temporary restraining order hearing will be held either 48 hours after your interim order or soon after you file a petition during normal courthouse hours. The alleged abuser is not normally present at these hearings. The judge needs to be able to find that there are reasonable grounds that you (the petitioner) has been abused.

5.  Final Restraining Order Hearing

A Final Restraining Order hearing will be held 7 days after your temporary restraining order a final stay away order hearing before a judge will be held. You will need to prove the alleged abuse through a higher standard of evidentiary proof to the judge. A local domestic violence attorney can help present evidence at this stage.

What are some things to bring to court that will help your prove the higher standard at a final restraining order hearing?

  • Police reports
  • Pictures of any bruises
  • Threatening emails or text messages
  • Witnesses of the abuse

6.  Potential Length of Restraining Order

  • Abuser is a family member or someone you share a child with, then up to 1 year.
  • Abuser is a non-family member, then up to 6 months.
  • Restraining orders can be extended for longer.

The YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County provides counseling and a safe house for domestic violence victims. The YWCA can be reached at 410-222-6800. You can call my office at 443-494-9775 or email me at [email protected] if you have any questions regarding your restraining order case. You can visit my website at for more information.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It does not create the attorney-client relationship. Please contact Scott MacMullan Law, LLC at 443-494-9775 if you seek legal advice.

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