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Protective order bill clears House unanimously

Friday - 3/7/2014, 1:40am  ET

A group of bills passes

WTOP's Kate Ryan reports.


Associated Press

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- A bill that would make it easier for abuse victims to obtain protective orders has cleared the House of Delegates with a unanimous vote.

In a news conference after the vote Thursday, Kathleen Dumais, vice-chair of the House Judiciary Committee, said legislators want to balance victims' rights with due process. But Maryland is the only state where victims must provide clear and convincing evidence of abuse in order to get long-term protective orders.

Last year judges denied 1,700 petitions for insufficient evidence, Sen. Brian Frosh said.

Issuing a protective order often means forcing accused parties out of their homes. But Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown said other states don't have outcries about too many orders being issued.

The House also approved two other domestic violence backed by Gov. Martin O'Malley.

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