Rebekah Jones filed a bogus petition for a peace order against Christina Pushaw. Because she filed her petition outside of normal business hours, she was granted an interim peace order until a judge could evaluate her petition. When she appeared before a judge, she was granted a temporary peace order based on her unchallenged testimony. After Ms. Pushaw was served with a copy of the temporary order, a second hearing was held during which Jones’ testimony was subjected to cross-examination. When her allegations were subjected to the rules of evidence, her petition was denied, and no final order was issued.
Ms. Pushaw was never served with the interim order, but the day after it was issued, Jones filed an Application for Statement of Charges claiming that Ms. Pushaw had violated the order. Her sworn complaint is clearly false because Ms. Pushaw had not been served with the order, but it resulted in a summons being issued to Ms. Pushaw. The online Maryland Judiciary Case Search shows a “trial” date of 7 June. Based on my own experience with this kind of false complaint, if the charge hasn’t been dropped for lack of evidence by that date, there will be a preliminary hearing before a judge to determine if there is probable cause to go forward with the case. Given the lack of service, there should be no finding of probable cause.
An Application for Statement of Charges is signed under penalty of perjury. Perjury is only a misdemeanor in Maryland, but it is punishable by imprisonment for up to 10 years.