A Few Basic Facts About Personal Protection Orders in Michigan

Man in suit screaming on office phone
A PPO can help protect you when you’re being harassed, abused, or stalked.

There is a lot of information out there about Personal Protection Orders. Some of it’s correct, some of it isn’t. Some of it’s correct for one state, and not for another (laws differ from state to state in the US). So for many people in Michigan who have questions about PPOs (like how to get one and what they involve), finding answers can be a daunting process. So we’ve decided to put together a very simple info sheet for you. It has answers to some of the most common questions we get asked about PPOs. This way you have the info you need to move forward if a PPO is the right choice for you.

Do I have to go to court to get a PPO?

No, you don’t. It’s possible to file for what is called an ‘ex parte’ order, which means an order without a hearing. However, you would still have to file the necessary paperwork with the court, and pay the required fees. Then, when the Judge’s staff tells you the order is ready, you would pick it up from the courthouse.

Does a Personal Protection Order cost money?

No. There is no filing fee required in order to file the paperwork. There are however other fees that you may have to pay during the process……. More info here

I don’t have a lawyer. Will someone at the court help me?

No. Michigan law specifically states that anyone without an attorney is considered to be acting as their own attorney. In addition, the law also states that Judges and other court staff may not provide you with legal advice.

However, if you have questions about the paperwork that you are filing in order to get a personal protection order, you can ask the court clerk. They are allowed to explain the information in the paperwork to you if you don’t understand it. They just cannot advise you with regards to any legal action.

Is there one kind of PPO for all situations?

No. There are two different types of Personal Protection Orders, based upon your individual situation. One is for PPOs that pertain to domestic relationships, like spouses and live-in partners, and the other is for PPOs that pertain to stalking, which is considered to be a non-domestic relationship. This can be either a complete stranger to the victim, or someone known to them that they do not live with.

How will the person know that I have a PPO out against them?

The person who has been named in your Personal Protection Order will need to be “served” as soon as possible. This means that they will need to receive a copy of the paperwork from the court stating that they are no longer allowed to have any contact with you or be within a certain proximity to you. Anyone can serve them, it does not have to be you. You can have a friend or relative do it for you, or you can hire a professional service that will do it for you safely.

We hope these answers to common questions have been helpful to you. If you have any further questions or concerns, or would like legal assistance in filing a Personal Protection Order against someone who you believe is a danger to you, please contact us immediately at 866 766 5245.  Our experienced and skilled family law attorneys can help you.