Welcome back and thanks for joining us again. We’ve been discussing what kinds of behaviors are grounds for a personal protection order, and which kind of PPO you would need if the person threatening you is a current or former partner. If you’re just joining us now, we recommend you spend a moment getting caught up, but otherwise let’s just pick up where we left off last time…
Do you need a lawyer to file a restraining order in Michigan?
No, you don’t. It’s completely legal to ask the court for a PPO on your own without an attorney. However we don’t recommend it. Knowing exactly what needs to be filed, along with where and when, can be really confusing. Also, making even the smallest mistake on your paperwork can mean having your request rejected by the court. Providing incorrect information, or not enough information, can result in delays in getting your PPO signed by a judge which means even longer periods where you’re not protected from someone who might hurt you.
If I don’t hire a lawyer, can someone at the court help me?
Unfortunately not. Michigan law is very specific that anyone without an attorney is considered to be acting as their own attorney. That means you’ll be required to know and understand what’s required of you. In addition, the law also states that Judges and other court staff may not provide you with any legal advice.
So how do I file a Domestic Relationship PPO?
If you have an attorney helping you, they will walk you through every step of the process. If you’re doing this alone, your first step is to fill out the required paperwork and file the PPO with the court in the county where you live. You’ll need to include as much information as possible for the Judge. So take the time to describe the ways your partner or former partner has hurt or harassed you. Include dates and times if possible. Also, if you have police reports of any of these incidents, include them as well as evidence.
Will my ex know I took out a restraining order against them?
Yes, your ex will know about your PPO as soon as they’re served the court documents, but getting them serves as soon as possible is very important! This means that they’ll need to be given a copy of the paperwork from the court, stating that they’re no longer allowed to have any contact with you, or be within a certain proximity to you. However, anyone can serve them, it doesn’t 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 if safety is a concern.
Getting a PPO can be a scary process! We’re here to help.
Join us next time for a look at emergency PPOs, and a breakdown of what a PPO can do for you in Michigan. Until then, if you or a loved one have been threatened or harmed by a current or former spouse, and need help getting a PPO, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. Our highly skilled family law attorneys have helped countless Michigan residents protect themselves and their children over the years, and we can help you too.