A Brief Introduction to Michigan Personal Protection Orders

A Personal Protection Order (PPO) is a court order intended to stop someone from threatening you with violence or acting on those threats. If you have reason to believe that your safety or freedom are at risk, you can apply to a Michigan court for a PPO.

Types of Michigan PPOs

The state recognizes three categories of PPO intended to protect you from threats, stalking, harassment, and violence. Which one you apply for depends on your circumstances and the person presenting the potential danger.

  • Domestic Relationship PPO: This type of protective order applies when you have a domestic relationship with the abuser. Examples include a current or former spouse, your child’s other parent, a current or former roommate, or someone you used to date. Once issued, a Domestic Relationship PPO prohibits the other party from entering your home, threatening or attacking you, removing your children if you have legal custody, and otherwise interfering with you. He or she may also be prohibited from buying or owning a firearm.
  • Non-Domestic (Stalking) PPO: The purpose of this PPO is to protect you from being stalked by someone who is not a past or current domestic associate. Once in place, the order may prohibit him or her from showing up repeatedly and unexpectedly at your home or workplace, sending you unwanted messages via phone or text, stalking you on social media, or even buying or owning a gun.
  • Non-Domestic (Sexual Assault) PPO: A sexual assault PPO is intended to protect you from someone with whom you do not have a domestic relationship and who has either been convicted of sexually assaulting you or has threatened to harm you in this way. If you are a minor, assault can also include exposing you to obscene material. The PPO can prohibit the abuser from coming to your house or other places you frequent, threatening to sexually assault or kill you, and otherwise interfering with you. He or she may also be prohibited from purchasing or owning a firearm.

Each type of PPO will contain the following details:

  • Confirmation that the order is effective immediately and enforceable throughout Michigan
  • A list of prohibited actions
  • The consequences of violating the order

How to Apply for a Michigan PPO

To apply for a PPO, you have to file a petition with the court. This document must go into detail about what the abuser has done in the past and why you fear for your safety. If you are worried that he or she may harm you if they find out you are asking for a PPO, you may request an ex parte order, which is an emergency measure that allows you to get the order without having to wait for a hearing.

If a hearing is required, it will be held within 21 days of the petition being filed. The abuser will receive a copy of the petition and a notice of the hearing so that he or she may respond to the allegations in the petition.

Once the PPO is signed, it can be enforced throughout the state. After it is served, it can be enforced anywhere in the country.

What If the Abuser Violates the PPO?

If a violation occurs, call the police and report it immediately. You may also file a Motion to Show Cause asking the court to penalize the abuser for violating the order. If he or she is found to have violated of the PPO they can be arrested and punished by up to 93 days in prison and / or be fined up to $500.

If you fear for your safety and need assistance in putting together a legally enforceable PPO, call Melissa Peace & Associates, PLC today.

~Originally published in December 2016~

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