Family & Juvenile Law Section “Top 10’s”

Top Ten Tips For New Shielding Law
This bill authorizes a respondent to file a written request to shield all related court records if a petition for a peace order or protective order was denied or dismissed at any stage of the proceedings. The bill also establishes procedures for the shielding of records. Amends CJP 3-1510, FL 4-512, and FL 4-506.

  1. New law takes effect October 1, 2010
  2. The respondent must wait 3 years to file request or file a general waiver and release of all of the respondent’s tort claims related to the proceeding
  3. Court must give notice to the petitioner or petitioner’s counsel and schedule a hearing
  4. The Court shall order the shielding if it finds:
    1. The petition was denied or dismissed
    2. That a final protective order has not been previously issued in a proceeding between the petitioner and respondent.
    3. There are no interim, temporary, or final protective orders pending at the time of the hearing
    4. There are no criminal charges against the respondent arising from the alleged act
  5. The Court may deny the shielding if:
    1. The petitioner appears at the hearing and objects to the shielding and the court may, for good cause, deny the shielding
    2. In determining whether there is good cause to grant the request, the court shall balance the privacy of the respondent and potential danger of adverse consequences to the respondent against the potential risk of future harm and danger to the petitioner and the community.
  6. The following persons are not denied accessing a shielded record for a legitimate reason:
    • Law enforcement officer
    • Attorney representing the petitioner or respondent in the proceeding
    • State’s attorney
    • Employees of local Department of Social Services
    • Victim services provider (as defined by Dept. of Human Resources)
    • Individuals with a legitimate reason may be granted by court
  7. Amends FL 4-506. Before granting, denying or modifying a final protective order the court shall review all open and shielded court records involving the parties, including records of proceedings under:
    • The criminal article
    • Peace order statute
    • Protective order statute
  8. Failure to review the records doesn’t affect the validity of the order.
  9. There is no appeal from a consented to Order.
  10. There is no basis for the court to rescind or dismiss an expired Protective Order.