A Personal Protection Order (also known as a PPO) is a civil protection order against violence, the threat of violence, and various forms of stalking. In other words, if someone has stalked you, threatened you, tried to hurt you, or has successfully hurt you, you can get a PPO which will state that they aren’t allowed to come to your home or job, or make contact with you in any way. Anyone who violates a PPO is subject to criminal charges under Michigan law. For example, you can be arrested without a warrant if you violate a PPO. This means that a person accused of violating a Personal Protection Order can be immediately arrested by police without the need for an arrest warrant.
The parties involved in a PPO action are called the petitioner and the respondent. The petitioner is the person seeking the protection of the PPO (this person is sometimes called the Plaintiff). The respondent is the person named in the PPO as the stalker or abuser (this person is sometimes called the defendant).
In Michigan, there are distinct types of Personal Protection Orders.
Domestic Relationship PPO:
A Domestic Relationship PPO (MCLA 600.2950), is available to restrain certain behaviors (including stalking) that interfere with a person’s personal freedom, or that cause a reasonable fear of violence. The Domestic Relationship PPO applies if the respondent:
(i) is a current spouse or former spouse;
(ii) has a child in common with the petitioner;
(iii) lives or has lived in the same household as the petitioner; or
(iv) has or had a dating relationship with the petitioner.
Non-Domestic Stalking PPO:
The second type is a Non-Domestic Stalking PPO (MCLA 600.2950a). This type of PPO protects victims of stalking, regardless of the relationship between the parties. “Stalking” is defined as:
I. A willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual;
II. That would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested; and
III. That actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.
How is a PPO issued in Michigan?
A court may issue a PPO after the accused is provided notice that a PPO has been requested, and a hearing is held to determine whether it’s warranted. However, in many circumstances, a PPO is issued without a hearing or notice to the alleged offender. This is called an ex parte PPO (or an emergency PPO). The judge must issue a PPO immediately if it’s clear from the facts that immediate and irreparable harm would result from any delay made by the court trying to contact the accused.
An Ex Parte PPO is effective when it’s signed by the judge and is immediately enforceable whether or not the respondent has even received notice of the order. If an Ex Parte PPO has been issued against you, there’s a very short period of time in which to object to the PPO, and ask the court to set aside or terminate it. DO NOT wait! Contact an attorney before it is too late! You can reach an experienced PPO defense attorney by calling 866 766 5245.
How to serve a PPO?
You can either pay a process server to serve the paperwork, or you may have someone you know personally serve the paperwork. You cannot serve the Respondent yourself.
If you choose someone you know to serve the paperwork, they must be at least l8 years old and must have a valid LD. since notarization of the Proof of Service form is required.
The delivery must be restricted to the Respondent.
Once the mail is delivered, you will receive a green card (the “return receipt”) in the mail. You will want to double-check that it has the Respondent’s signature on the return receipt.
Make a copy of the return receipt for your own records. Attach the original return receipt to the Proof of Service form, then fill out and file the Proof of Service form with the court. It will be notarized at that time.
Service by Mail can be cheaper than hiring a process server; however, it can take longer for service to be completed (anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.)
First Class Mail:
NOTE: This is only allowed for Extended/Modified PPOs, unless granted by the court through Alternate Service.
Place paperwork in a sealed envelope with first-class postage fully prepaid, addressed to the person to be served, and then place it in the U.S. mail.
Fill out a “Certificate of Mailing” and file with the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office after placing the paperwork in the mail; it can be found at the bottom of the “Order on Motion to Modify, Terminate, or Extend PPO.”
NOTE: If you have made many unsuccessful attempts to serve the other party in the ways allowed above, you may petition the court for a different way to serve by filling out a Motion for Alternate Service
The paperwork is available from the PPO Office and from the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office
If getting paperwork from Clerk’s Office, make sure you ask for both the Motion and Verification for Alternate Service (MC303) and the Order Regarding Alternate Service (MC304).
If the judge does permit alternate service, you will then need to have the other party served through the means specified on the Order Regarding Alternate Service.
After service is complete, whoever served needs to fill out and file the Proof of Service form for the Order Regarding Alternate Service with the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office.
PPOs affect every area of your life:
PPOs can be devastating to an individual’s personal and professional life. Once a PPO is issued against you, you may no longer have the right to purchase firearms or even possess the firearms you currently own, including guns used for hunting and/or sport. For certain types of employment where you’re required to carry firearms, such as corrections officers and police officers, your employer will be notified of the PPO.
You may also be prohibited from entering certain premises which may effect both your employment and your recreation. It is possible to prevent a PPO from being issued, or to terminate an existing PPO, but you should contact an attorney immediately before your time runs out! Michigan law protects your right to challenge a PPO in court. Our firm safeguards your right to challenge the PPO aggressively.
Why do people choose to get PPOs?
PPOs are often initiated during a divorce or custody proceeding. A PPO’s potential effect on access to children makes it tempting for some parties to use in order to gain an advantage over custody or parenting time. Because a PPO may affect the parties’ access to children – particularly if it excludes a parent from premises – it may, as a practical matter, grant custody to one parent.
Additionally, parenting time is to be granted in accordance with the best interests of the child. Domestic violence, regardless of whether directed against or witnessed by the child, is relevant to a child’s well-being and is a best interest factor considered by courts.DO NOT wait! Contact an experienced attorney before it is too late! Our firm has successfully handled many PPO cases during pending divorce cases. When necessary, we will involve both a PPO attorney and a family law attorney to fight for you.
Personal Protective Order defense attorneys:
The attorneys at The Kronzek Firm handle PPO cases throughout mid-Michigan. We are an experienced and aggressive team of defense attorneys, who will fight vigorously and persistently to protect your rights and reputation. The right attorney is critical. We can help you.
Call us today at 1-517-886-1000, or e-mail us today!