How to Obtain a Personal Protection Order in Michigan

It’s never okay for another person to harass you, threaten you, or harm you, and in the state of Michigan, such actions can sometimes be stopped through the use of a Personal Protection Order, or PPO. What is a PPO, exactly, and how do you go about securing one? Here’s what you need to know.

What is a PPO?
A PPO is a legal order, issued by a judge, that is intended to stop domestic abuse and/or stalking, and the type of PPO you need will depend on your circumstances. A PPO for domestic abuse would apply in domestic relationship cases, involving:

  • Your spouse or former spouse
  • A person with whom you’ve had a dating relationship
  • A person with whom you share a child
  • A person who resides or has resided in the same household as you

As for the prerequisites for a nondomestic relationship, or stalking PPO, these include activities against the petitioner like:

  • Stalking
  • Aggravated stalking
  • Cyberbullying
  • Previous sexual assault conviction
  • Threats of sexual assault
  • Furnishing obscene materials

It’s important to understand that stalking could fall under domestic or nondomestic relationships, so your particular situation could affect which type of PPO you need. Special considerations and procedures may also apply to minors seeking protective orders.

Steps to Obtaining a PPO
Obtaining a PPO can be a complicated process, and there are several steps involved. Once you have determined the type of PPO that applies to your case, you must obtain and fill out appropriate paperwork for the petition you plan to file. You may have to provide:

  • The name, address, and physical description of the respondent
  • Information about shared children (names, dates of birth, SSNs, and current addresses)
  • Prior lawsuits with the respondent
  • Details of why you’re seeking a PPO (including specific incidents, ideally in chronological order, starting with most recent, and including dates and times if possible)
  • Any evidence you have (police reports, ER reports, photos and voice recordings, witness affidavits, etc.)

Once you have obtained and filled out all required paperwork, it’s time to file your petition with the Circuit Court Family Division Clerk’s Office. Make sure you file in the right county – it may vary by the age and place of residence of the respondent.

If you are requesting an ex parte PPO, as in an emergency case where you need immediate protection, you will next visit a judge to seek approval of your petition. If approved, you will have to arrange for a suitable adult (not you) to serve the respondent with the PPO, after which proof of service must be filed with the court.

If you are not requesting ex parte, or if ex parte is denied, a hearing with a judge may be scheduled. In this case, you must arrange for service (not by you) of the petition and a notice of hearing to the respondent, and then file proof of service with the court.

Possible Outcomes
It’s not always easy to tell how a petition for PPO will go. It may depend on the steps you take, the evidence you provide, and information provided by the respondent.

The best way to secure a favorable outcome in your PPO case is to hire a qualified attorney, like the experienced professionals at The Gucciardo Law Firm, to guide you through the process. Contact us today at 248-723-5190 to get started.

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We focus exclusively on family law matters so we are always available to answer your questions and help.

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