Personal Protection Orders (PPO’s)
What is a Personal Protection Order?
Many people also refer to Personal Protection Orders as “restraining orders.” PPOs are court orders signed by a judge which prevent contact with a protected person.
In Michigan, there are three types of PPOs:
- Domestic relationship PPOs
- Nondomestic stalking PPOs
- Nondomestic sexual assault PPOs
The domestic PPOs involve situations where the Petitioner (person seeking the PPO) and Respondent (person against whom the PPO is sought) have a current or past relationship including, but not limited to, marriage, dating, or having a child in common. The other PPOs involve all other types of relationships.
HOW CAN I OBTAIN A PPO?
To obtain a PPO, a Petitioner has to demonstrate a need for protection to the Court. This can be done either orally or in writing. A Petitioner typically shows a need for protection by laying out behavior allegedly carried out by a Respondent that is intimidating, threatening or harassing.
PPOs may be obtained either “ex parte” (which is without the Respondent present and without a hearing) or by a hearing. A Judge may deny an ex parte request for a PPO and request that testimony be given at a hearing. In those situations, the Respondent receives notice and may contest the PPO.
HOW LONG DOES A PPO LAST?
PPOs can be issued for 6 months or one year, depending on the severity of the allegations. If a Respondent violates the PPO, he or she may be held in contempt and may be arrested and/or spend time in jail. Criminal charges may also arise out of violating a Personal Protection Order. Oftentimes, the Prosecuting Attorney will charge a Respondent who is alleged to have violated a Personal Protection Order with “Aggravated Stalking,” which is a felony.
PPOs can be very damaging to Respondents. They may have an effect on your job, your reputation, and your constitutional rights. As a result, it is very important that you hire an experienced attorney to defend you against a PPO. If you have been served with a Personal Protection Order and need to defend yourself, call us immediately – you only have a limited time to try to terminate the Personal Protection Order and protect your rights.
As attorneys specializing in Personal Protection Orders, we can help parties on either side of a PPO. If you are a Petitioner who needs to get a PPO against someone and are overwhelmed with the process, we can help you out.
We know how to protect your rights and are available to assist you at any time.
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