What if the Respondent violates the PPO?If your situation is an emergency, CALL 9-1-1 ! Otherwise, call the nearest police department.
Does the violation have to occur in front of a law enforcement officer?No. A police officer may make a warrantless arrest of a PPO respondent if the officer has "reasonable cause" to believe that he violated the PPO. ALWAYS CARRY A COPY OF YOUR PPO! A Police Officer can then quickly confirm the terms of your Order when investigating your report that the Respondent has committed a violation.
What if the PPO was issued in another state?As of 04/01/2002, a peace officer, without a warrant, may arrest and take into custody a person when the officer has positive information that a "foreign protection order" has been violated in Michigan. An officer may rely on a copy of the order if it contains all of the following: (i) parties' names, (ii) issuance date that is prior to the date when enforcement is sought, (iii) terms and conditions against the respondent, (iv) name of issuing court, (v) judicial officer's signature, and (vi) no obvious indication that the order is invalid (such as an expiration date occurring before the date when enforcement is sought). Verification on L.E.I.N. or the NCIC national protection order file is not required. The officer may rely on the petitioner's or respondent's statement that the respondent has received prior notice of the order. A person who violates a foreign protection order that is a conditional release order or a probation order issued by another court in a criminal proceeding is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 93 days &/or $500. [See 2001 PA 197; MCL 600.2950m.]
What if the PPO violator has left the scene before the police arrive?The PPO statute does not impose a time limit on the police officer's arrest authority, so a warrantless arrest may happen even if the respondent has left the scene of an alleged violation. If the police cannot find the respondent, they may choose to file a warrant request for Stalking; repeated violations of a PPO may constitute the crime of Aggravated Stalking.
What happens if he is arrested?The police may arrest the restrained party if he was previously served with a copy of the PPO. The police are encouraged to arrest if they have evidence of a PPO violation, but they have discretion to arrest or not arrest. If arrested, the restrained party will be brought to a Circuit Court judge within 24 hours. At that time, the Judge can set a bond; if the respondent posts the bond, he can be released. The Judge will also set a date for a Show Cause hearing where you and other necessary witnesses will testify about the how the Respondent violated the PPO. The Macomb County Prosecutor's Office may be involved in this Show Cause hearing (see below).
What if he is not arrested for violating the PPO?The police might not arrest the restrained party, especially if the officer did not witness him commit the acts violating the PPO, or if there was insufficient proof that the respondent had been served with the PPO papers before the alleged violation occurred. If the restrained person is not arrested, you will have to file a motion to show cause in the Circuit Court Clerk's office to have a hearing about the PPO violation. A "show cause" action focuses on whether the respondent should be held in contempt of court for violating the PPO. Like the original PPO application, you will have to write out what the respondent did & said, and attach supporting witness statements, police reports, photographs, etc. Your motion to show cause will be reviewed by the Judge. If he believes that a violation likely occurred, he will schedule a show cause hearing and will issue a show cause order directing the defendant to appear in Court to respond to your allegations that he violated the PPO. You must attend the show cause hearing; bring eye witnesses and supporting evidence, because testimony will be needed if the respondent disputes what you alleged in your motion.
What is the Prosecuting Attorney's role in PPO contempt hearings?The Prosecuting Attorney must prosecute all arrest and non-arrest criminal contempt proceedings, unless the petitioner retains his or her own attorney for this purpose.
What kinds of punishment can he get for violating the PPO?A PPO is a court order, so any violation proven beyond a reasonable doubt is criminal "contempt of court". The Judge can send the violating respondent to jail for up to 93 days for each violation, and/or impose a fine of $500, and (as of July 1, 2000) can place the Respondent on probation up to 2 years in lieu of jail time.
What can I do to help make a case for a PPO violation?PPO violations happen in seclusion and public, at night and in broad daylight. Many times, police are not present when the violations occur. The constant is you. Therefore, your help is necessary in order to prove that a violation occurred. Preserve all available tangible evidence of the PPO violation, such as notes or letters, answering machine messages, etc. Keep written notes of when and where the violations happened, what was said and done, who else may have seen or heard the respondent's conduct, etc. Take photographs of property damage. Give all of these to the police or Prosecutor.
Can a respondent be charged with both a PPO violation and a separate criminal offense for the same behavior?Yes. Michigan statutes clearly state a Legislative intent that criminal sanctions be imposed in addition to whatever criminal penalties apply for a separate criminal offense. [See MCL 600.2950(23) and 600.2950a(20).] Also, appellate decisions have stated that separate convictions did not violate double jeopardy, even though they were based on the same conduct.
What if I resume contact with the respondent after the PPO has been issued?The PPO is directed to the respondent's behavior, NOT the petitioner's. Regardless of the petitioner's wishes for contact, the respondent will have violated the court's order. The petitioner's invitation or consent may mitigate sanctions, but it is no defense to the violation. A petitioner should not "send the wrong signals" to the respondent by actually or seemingly allowing contact that violates the PPO. The PPO means what the order says and applies when the order says ... not just when it is "convenient" to the petitioner for the terms to apply. If you do not want or need the PPO in effect any more, move to set it aside or modify it.
How do I change the terms of the PPO or How do I dismiss the PPO?Only a court can change a PPO; the parties cannot do this privately or informally. If you decide to get back together (reconcile) with the person you had restrained, or you no longer want the order to remain in effect, either you or the respondent must file a motion in court to "dissolve" the order. Otherwise, the order will remain in effect until the date the judge originally set for it to expire. A form to modify (change the terms of) or dissolve (dismiss) a PPO the PPO is available in the County Clerk's Office. The same form is used to change any of the terms of the order (i.e., your new home/work address). The respondent may move to modify or rescind the PPO within 14 days after service or actual notice, or for good cause shown after the 14 days have elapsed. A hearing must be held within 14 days after a request for modification or rescission. A motion is also necessary to obtain a PPO which is effective longer than the time allowed in the ex-parte order.
Is there a fee to modify or cancel a PPO?There is no filing fee when parties seek to modify or terminate a PPO.
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