Criminal Justice

Temporary Protective Orders (TPO)

In Maryland, the Lethality Assessment Program-Maryland Model (LAP) is conducted in some civil courts for domestic violence victims seeking Temporary Protective Orders (TPO).

See Implementers by State for a current list of agencies conducting screening during TPO.

Conducting the LAP during the TPO Process

In most court settings, an advocate from the local domestic violence service program or an officer from the agency tasked with civil process service initiates the LAP. Typically, the agency is the county’s Sheriff’s Office.

Why Conduct the LAP during the TPO Process

Research shows that a victim’s risk of lethality and overall danger increases when they separate from an abusive partner. Often engaging in court proceedings is the beginning of that separation. Accordingly, a victim whose circumstances may not have created a high risk of lethality before they applied for a TPO may now have an increased risk. These victims, who are seeking relief from the Maryland Courts, need to be connected to local domestic violence service programs. Research shows that domestic violence services are life-saving and effective. Administering the LAP during the TPO process is another avenue for serving victims who may not have contact with the police, health care provider, or other services.

See How LAP Works for more information.