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Michigan Family Law Blog

Monday, October 23, 2017

How to Obtain a Michigan Personal Protection Order

How to Obtain a Michigan Personal Protection Orders

Michigan courts offer you protection if someone is threatening, harassing, or harming you. You can go to court and ask the judge to order the person to stop hurting or frightening you. These orders have different names in different states. In Michigan, they are called Personal Protection Orders (PPOs). If you are in fear that someone is going to hurt you, or if you are experiencing violence at the hands of someone, you need to contact a lawyer experienced in obtaining personal protection orders.

The Three Types of Personal Protection Orders in Michigan

Michigan law created three categories of Personal Protection Orders. All three kinds require you to show the judge that you have a reasonable fear for your personal safety or liberty. The three types of Michigan PPOs are:

  1. Domestic Relationship PPO
    This type of PPO requires that you have one of the listed relationships with the alleged abuser. You cannot get a Domestic Relationship PPO against a co-worker, neighbor, or friend, for example, unless they also fit into one of these categories:
    • Your current or former spouse
    • A person with whom you have had a child
    • A person you live with, or have lived with in the past
    • A person you have dated
  2. Non-Domestic (Stalking) PPO
    Some stalkers prey on people with whom they have not had a romantic or other domestic relationship. While the laws of many states leave the victims in these situations unprotected, Michigan offers PPOs in these scenarios.
    You must be able to testify about at least two separate occasions in which the person has stalked you. For purposes of a Non-Domestic (Stalking) PPO, stalking is ongoing harassment that frightens you, and that would be frightening to a reasonable person. If a person comes to your home or workplace repeatedly, continues to call or text you despite your wishes, or follows you around, the behavior might be considered stalking. The judge will look at the totality of the circumstances. The standard is legitimate fear, not mere annoyance.
  3. Non-Domestic (Sexual Assault) PPO
    If someone with whom you do not have a domestic relationship has threatened to sexually assault you or has been convicted of sexually assaulting you, you might be able to get a Non-Domestic (Sexual Assault) Personal Protection Order. A person who gives or tries to give obscene material to someone under the age of 18 can face charges of sexual assault.

How a Personal Protection Order Can Help You

Depending on the type of PPO you receive and the details of your specific court order, a Michigan PPO can order the alleged abuser not to harm or threaten to harm you or someone else. The PPO can prohibit the person from coming to your home, job or another place. PPOs often order the individual not to have any contact with you, including cyberstalking. PPOs usually ban them from purchasing or possessing guns. Michigan law allows the judge to tailor your PPO to your specific needs.
Regardless of what your PPO says, you must remember that the order is just a piece of paper. It does not stop bullets. When you are in a situation that is dangerous enough to warrant a PPO, you must be vigilant constantly. Stay out of vulnerable, risky scenarios, and call 911 at the first sign of trouble.
This article gives an overview of the Michigan laws on this subject.  The statutes and case law are more complicated than this summary. Courts around the state of Michigan have slightly different procedures for Personal Protection Orders. You should talk with a Michigan divorce lawyer in your area to learn the best way to proceed in your situation. Contact Michigan spousal support attorney Cameron C. Goulding today to schedule a consultation.


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