This blog will discuss Personal Protection Orders (PPOs) in the state of Michigan.
Primarily, this blog will review when a trial court must issue a PPO.  A trial court must issue a PPO if it finds there is reasonable cause to believe the individual to be restrained may commit certain acts, including engaging in stalking.  Stalking is defined as “a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.”
The person seeking the PPO has to establish reasonable cause for issuance of a PPO.  He or she also has to establish justification for a PPO to continue if someone attempts to terminate the PPO.
In a recent Court of Appeals case, Rashida Johnson v. Corey Anderson, Mr. Anderson attempted to have the PPO against Ms. Johnson continued.  At the motion hearing, Mr. Johnson testified about several incidents when Ms. Johnson’s boyfriend harassed or threatened Mr. Johnson.  Ms. Johnson subsequently testified Mr. Anderson was the one threatening and harassing her.  She also indicated she never encouraged her boyfriend or anyone else to harm Mr. Anderson.  She also was not with her boyfriend when he threatened Mr. Anderson.
The trial court in that case held the evidence provided was insufficient to maintain the PPO.  The evidence demonstrated Ms. Johnson was not the one harassing or threatening Mr. Anderson, nor was she responsible for her boyfriend harassing or threatening Mr. Anderson.  Mr. Anderson was unable to satisfy his burden of proof without properly connecting the unauthorized conduct to Ms. Johnson.  The Court of Appeals affirmed this decision and did not continue the PPO.
If you or a loved one is involved with a PPO matter and need consultation from an attorney, please feel free to contact our office.

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