When a member of a household if violent or threatening against another member of that household or family, the victim may turn to Michigan family courts for a personal protection order (PPO). These orders are also called restraining orders, and can be used to help keep you safe if you are a victim of domestic violence.
What is a Personal Protection Order?
A domestic relationship PPO is a type of personal protection order that is sought through the family court (civil court) system, and is not part of a criminal sentence. Under Section 600.2950 of Michigan code, a PPO prevents the person against whom the petition is being filed from:
- Entering on the premises (when household is shared) by petitioner and respondent;
- Assaulting, beating, attacking, wounding, or molesting anyone named in the petition;
- Taking children from the petitioner;
- Purchasing a gun;
- Entering or interfering with the petitioner’s place of employment or education;
- Causing harm to any animal of the petitioner’s; and
- Gaining access to certain records.
There are a few different types of personal protection orders in Michigan, but the most common type that is sought is a personal protection order for domestic violence, the stipulations of which are described above. In addition, it is also possible to seek a PPO for non-domestic stalking or non-domestic sexual abuse.
How to Obtain a Personal Protection Order
If you would like to obtain a personal protection order to protect you and any children or pets that you may have from abuse, you need to file a petition for personal protection order with the court. Your petition will need to include as many details as possible about abuse that has existed between you and the party you are filing the petition against, as well as the reasons why you are filing a petition for a PPO. As soon as your order is signed by a judge, it is enforceable throughout the state of Michigan, and the person against whom the order pertains does not have to attend an ex parte hearing (which is where you explain to the judge why you want a PPO) in order for the order to be valid. After the petition is signed, the petition will be served to the abusive party. If the abusive party requests a hearing–which they have the right to do–you must go to it. It is smart to have an attorney with you to represent you at this stage in the process.
Family Law Attorneys Helping to Protect You
At the Van Den Heuvel Law Office, our experienced Michigan family law and domestic abuse attorneys understand the difference that a personal protection order can make in your life. If you need help seeking a PPO, preparing for a hearing, or wonder what steps come next–like filing for divorce and seeking custody of your children–we can help. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation by sending our lawyers a message using the form on our website.