Welcome back to our four part series on what to do if your spouse of partner is threatening you, or has made you feel as if your life may be in danger. It’s a very difficult position to be in, and one that many Michigan residents have struggled with in the past. You are not alone, and there is help out there for you!
In the previous two articles we looked at things like what situations would be grounds for a restraining order, and also what the first steps are in getting a PPO to keep yourself safe. Moving on, we’re going to be talking about the most important aspects of the process, and what an emergency restraining order is.
What are the most important steps in the process?
The three most important aspects of getting a restraining order and making sure it’s legally enforceable are:
- Getting the order signed by a Circuit Court judge.
- Providing legal notice of the court’s order to the person that has been restrained.
- Following up with local law enforcement agencies to make sure that they’ve entered the order into LEIN (Law Enforcement Information Network)
Forgetting any of these steps, or not completing them properly, can interrupt your process. There are no exceptions! A PPO must be signed by a judge; the person you’re hoping to be protected from must be notified of the order, and you really should follow up with the police afterwards. The Michigan legislature created the Personal Protection Order law so that it’s effective the moment the judge signs it. However, many judges won’t enforce a PPO unless the person being restrained knows about it.
What is an emergency PPO?
An emergency order is called an ‘ex parte order’, and it’s effective the moment the Judge signs it. The purpose of an ex parte order is to protect people who believe that there is an immediate threat to their safety. For example, if you suspect your spouse or partner would hurt you if they found out your were in the process of getting a restraining order against then. This way the process is quick and immediate, and the order goes into effect right away!
What information is included on my restraining order?
Your PPO will contain some very specific information, and it’s important that you know exactly what’s on there, and that it be correct. You also need to be familiar with what’s on your restraining order, so you know what to expect when talking to the police in future about any specific incidents. This is the information you’ll find on your PPO:
- The fact that your order is effective and immediately enforceable anywhere in the state of Michigan
- Exactly what actions your abuser is prohibited from doing (eg: talking to you, call your phone, coming to your home or work place, etc…)
- Exactly what happens if your abuser violates the order
- The name of the specific law enforcement agency that will enter your order into the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN).
- And how long your PPO is good for (the exact date it expires)
Feeling threatened is a terrible feeling! Get the help you need!
One important thing to remember is that a PPO isn’t a replacement for common sense! As Brandy Thompson, a family law attorney says, “If you are being threatened try to avoid going places alone or putting yourself in a vulnerable situation. Stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times.”
Join us next time to wrap up this series, with a look at exactly what a PPO can do to help keep you safe. Until then, if you or a loved one are feeling threatened by a current or former spouse, and need help getting a restraining order, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. Our skilled family law attorneys have helped hundreds of Michigan residents protect themselves and their children over the years, and we can help you too.