Prerequisites to Filing a Claim

In order to file a claim of domestic violence, the following requirements must be met:

1. The existence of a “petition” and a “petitioner.” A “petitioner” is someone who files a complaint of domestic violence (a “petition”) and is either “a person eligible for relief” or “a person seeking relief from abuse on behalf of a child or vulnerable adult.”

A person eligible for relief is one of the following:

  • The current or former spouse of the abuser
  • A person who lives and has a sexual relationship with the abuser and has lived with the abuser for at least 90 days within the one year prior to the filing the petition
  • A person related to the abuser by blood, marriage, or adoption
  • A parent, stepparent, child, or stepchild of the abuser, or of a person eligible for relief who lives or lived with the abuser, or of a person eligible for relief for at least 90 days of the one year prior to the filing of the petition
  • A vulnerable adult
  • A person who has a child with the abuser

A person seeking relief for a child or vulnerable adult is one of the following:

  • A state’s Attorney
  • A Department of Social Services employee
  • A person related to the child or vulnerable adult by blood, marriage, or adoption
  • An adult who resides in the home

2. The abuse is covered under the statute and specific acts alleged to have caused the abuse must be covered under the statute. Abuse includes one of the following:

  • An act that causes serious bodily harm
  • An act that places the victim in fear of immediate or nearly immediate serious bodily harm
  • Assault
  • Actual or attempted rape or sexual offense
  • False imprisonment
  • Child abuse
  • Abuse of a vulnerable adult

To learn more about how we can help you with your particular situation, please email or call us today at (301) 715-3838 to set up your FREE consultation.