How to Obtain a Restraining Order in Michigan. A Step-By-Step Guide

In Michigan, a restraining order is legally known as a Personal Protection Order (PPO).

It is a legal document issued by the court to protect individuals from harassment, stalking, or abuse.

How to Obtain a Restraining Order in Michigan
How to Obtain a Restraining Order in Michigan

This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to obtain a PPO in Michigan, along with answers to frequently asked questions.

ALSO READ: What Is the Difference Between Protective Orders and Restraining Orders?

How to Obtain a Restraining Order in Michigan

In Michigan, you can seek a Personal Protection Order (PPO) to protect yourself from someone who has sexually assaulted you or made you afraid of being assaulted. Here are the steps to obtain a restraining order in Michigan:

1. Petition the Circuit Court

The person seeking the restraining order (known as the petitioner) should file a petition with the Michigan Circuit Court. This initiates the process.

2. Obtain an Ex Parte Order

Before the final restraining order is filed, the court may issue an ex parte order.

This temporary order provides immediate protection while the case is pending.

3. Serve the PPO

The respondent (the person against whom the order is sought) must be served with a copy of the petition and notice of the upcoming hearing.

Proper service ensures that the respondent is aware of the legal proceedings.

4. Attend the Final Order Hearing

Firstly, both parties will attend a hearing where they can present evidence and arguments.

Secondly, the judge will decide whether to grant the final Personal Protection Order (PPO) based on the evidence presented.

Remember, you can find the necessary forms at the family law division of your county circuit court or online.

Lastly, once you’ve filled out the forms and submitted them, the judge may grant an order effectively blocking your abuser from contacting you or engaging in other prohibited activities for up to six months.

Regarding Personal Protection Orders:

A PPO is specifically designed to stop threats or violence against an individual.

It can actively protect you from someone who is threatening, hurting, harassing, or stalking you. This ensures a legal means of safeguarding one’s personal safety.

Types of PPOs in Michigan:

In Michigan, there are three main types of Personal Protection Orders (PPOs) that individuals can obtain, each designed for specific situations:

1. Domestic Relationship PPO

This type of PPO is for individuals who are or were in a domestic relationship with the abuser.

It applies to spouses, former spouses, individuals who have a child in common, individuals who are or have been in a dating relationship, or residents or former residents of the same household.

2. Nondomestic Stalking PPO

This PPO is available if you are being stalked by someone with whom you do not have a domestic relationship.

Stalking is defined as a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment that would cause a reasonable individual to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.

3. Nondomestic Sexual Assault PPO

If you have been sexually assaulted or threatened with sexual assault by someone with whom you do not have a domestic relationship, you can seek this type of PPO.

Each type of PPO has specific forms and procedures, and the eligibility requirements vary.

It’s important to choose the correct type of PPO for your situation to ensure that you receive the appropriate legal protection.

Eligibility for a PPO

To be eligible for a PPO, you must demonstrate a reasonable fear for your personal liberty or safety.

The Application Process

Step 1: Petitioning the Circuit Court

The first step is to petition the Circuit Court in the county where you reside.

You will need to fill out the appropriate forms, which are available at the courthouse or online.

Step 2: Ex Parte Order

In urgent situations, the court may issue an ex parte order, which provides immediate protection before a final hearing is held.

Step 3: Serving the PPO

Once the ex parte order is issued, the respondent (the person you are seeking protection from) must be served with a copy of the petition and notice of the upcoming hearing.

Step 4: Final Order Hearing

You must attend the final order hearing, where the judge will decide whether to grant a permanent PPO based on the evidence presented.

How quickly can I get a PPO?

In Michigan, the speed at which you can obtain a Personal Protection Order (PPO) can vary depending on the urgency of the situation and the specific court procedures.

However, in cases where immediate protection is needed, an ex parte PPO can be issued rapidly, often on the same day you file the petition.

This type of order provides immediate protection before a full court hearing is held.

For a final PPO, the process may take longer as it involves a court hearing where both parties can present their case.

The time frame for this hearing can vary, but it typically occurs within a few weeks after the ex parte order is issued.

It’s important to note that all filings for PPOs are currently being done via email, and the paperwork will be processed as soon as possible in the order it is received.

If you are in an emergency situation and require immediate assistance, you should dial 911 or contact your local police department.

What if the PPO is violated?

If a Personal Protection Order (PPO) is violated in Michigan, it is considered a serious offense. Here are the consequences that may follow:

1. Immediate Arrest

The police can arrest the violator immediately if they have reasonable cause to believe the PPO has been violated. This can happen without the need for an arrest warrant.

2. Criminal Charges

Violating a PPO can lead to criminal charges.

The violator may face jail time, a fine, or both. For example, a violator could face up to 93 days in jail, a fine of up to $500, and additional criminal penalties.

3. Court Hearing

If the violator is not arrested, the petitioner (the person who obtained the PPO) can file a motion to show cause, stating that the PPO was violated.

This will lead to a court hearing where a judge will determine if a violation occurred.

4. Impact on Other Legal Proceedings

A PPO violation can also be considered in other legal proceedings, such as divorce or child custody cases, potentially affecting the outcome.

Do I need an attorney to file for a PPO?

While it is not required to have an attorney, legal assistance can be beneficial.

You can seek help from local domestic violence services or hire an attorney.

Can a PPO be modified or terminated?

Yes, in Michigan, a Personal Protection Order (PPO) can be modified or terminated. Here’s how the process works:

1. Modification

If you have a PPO and wish to change its terms, you can file a motion to modify the PPO.

This could involve adding or removing protections based on changes in your situation.

2. Termination

If you want to end the PPO before it expires, you can file a motion to terminate it.

This might be relevant if the circumstances that led to the issuance of the PPO have changed significantly.

3.Filing a Motion

Petitioner’s Motion

As the petitioner, you can file a motion to modify or terminate the PPO at any time after it is issued.

Respondent’s Motion

As the respondent, you can file a motion to modify or terminate an ex parte PPO within 14 days after being served with, or receiving actual notice of, the order.

4.Requirements

The moving party must serve the motion to modify or terminate the PPO and the notice of hearing at least 7 days before the hearing date.

5.Hearing Procedures

Generally, a hearing will be scheduled within 14 days after a motion to modify or terminate a PPO is filed.

At the hearing, the judge will decide whether to grant the motion based on the evidence and arguments presented.

Conclusion

Obtaining a PPO in Michigan is a legal process designed to provide protection and peace of mind for those facing threats or violence.

Finally, by understanding the types of PPOs, the eligibility criteria, and the application process, individuals can take the necessary steps to ensure their safety and well-being.

 

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