Under Michigan law, Prosecuting Attorneys must assist persons filing for Personal Protection Orders, and must assist PPO plaintiffs during violation hearings, if he/she is not being represented at that hearing by a private attorney.
We hope that our PPO pages will help you better understand the process of getting, serving and enforcing a PPO.
What is a Personal Protection Order (PPO)?A Personal Protection Order ("PPO") is a Circuit Court injunctive order that protects victims of Family Violence, Dating Violence or Stalking. A PPO is filed by a Petitioner against a Respondent to stop or restrain the Respondent from:
- contacting the Petitioner through any means (in person, by phone, by mail or e-mail, etc.)
- entering the Petitioner's residence property or work place
- assaulting, attacking, beating, or wounding the Petitioner
- harassing, stalking or threatening the Petitioner
- removing any minor children from where they live unless their removal is part of court-ordered visitation
- interfering with the Petitioner's efforts to remove her children or property
- purchasing or possessing a firearm
- interfering with or engaging in conduct that impairs Petitioner's employment or educational environment
- allowing a non-custodial parent from having access to Petitioner's home or work address or telephone numbers through a minor child's records
- any other specific act that interferes with the Petitioner's personal liberty or causes a reasonable fear of violence
A PPO Cannot:
- evict a person in a landlord/tenant relationship
- establish custody or parenting time
- protect personal property from damage
- mediate neighbor disputes
- stop a person from being rude or spreading rumors
- remove a person from a place they have a legal right to be, such as the local store
Are there different kinds of PPOs?Yes. There are 3 kinds of PPOs: 1. Domestic Relation PPO --- if the respondent is (i) current/former spouse, (ii) current/former dating relationship, (iii) current/former resident of your household, or (iv) you have a child in common. 2. Stalking PPO --- if you and the respondent do not have a domestic relationship, then you must establish that the respondent has been stalking you. 3. Sexual Assault PPO NOTE: The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that stalking must involve two or more "separate and non-continuous" acts. A single incident comprising a series of continuous acts, each immediately following the other, is not "stalking".
How is a PPO different from a no-contact bond condition?A restraining order (including a PPO) is a civil action between citizens. A "no-contact" bond condition can be imposed on a defendant during a pending criminal prosecution. It means that a defendant can not personally --- or have a third-party --- contact, call, write, etc. the victim or any other party with whom the judge orders the defendant to have "no contact". This is a common bond condition for defendants charged with violent or assaultive crimes, and protects victims if the defendant is released from jail while the charge is pending. Like all other bond conditions (e.g., appearing at future court proceedings, not violating criminal laws, not leaving the state, etc.), any violation could cause the judge to raise or revoke the bond, in which case the defendant could remain in jail until the case is finished. A judge has the discretion to issue (or not issue) any bond condition, as he sees fit. A "no-contact condition" stays in effect for the entire duration of the criminal case, or until the victim requests that it be removed or "lifted" (with the judge's approval). A "no-contact" provision can also be imposed at the sentencing as part of the conditions of probation.
What if I don't qualify for a PPO?If you do not meet the requirements to get a PPO, you may be able to get a "peace bond" which is available at the District Court Clerk's Office. Peace bonds are often used for neighbor and non-violent family disputes that do not support the issuance of a PPO.