When considering a restraining order (commonly referred to as a Personal Protection Order or PPO), it’s important to understand the legal process and method to obtaining one. Your safety and well-being are our top priority at Martin Foldie Law. We will do everything in our power to ensure that you are fully protected by the law.
Restraining order documents are commonly referred to in Michigan as Personal Protection Orders (PPOs) and can be handled in two different court systems, depending on the severity of the harassment or abuse and the level of protection needed to ensure your safety and well-being.
The civil law system typically handles PPOs for abuse victims. While this does not legally accuse a person of abuse, it allows the person petitioning for a PPO more comfort and security as they progress through their daily lives. In a civil law process, you have the ability to drop the charge at any time if you so wish.
The criminal law system for PPOs protects victims or family members against charged criminals who have been accused of assault, harassment, murder, or theft. Unlike a civil law case, it is the State arguing for your PPO and not you individually. If you wish to drop the charges, a prosecutor may go against your wishes to continue the legal process, potentially resulting in a court order demanding that you testify.
Type of PPOs
There are two distinct types of PPOs that you can apply for in Michigan, depending upon your relationship with the intrusive individual.
To apply for a domestic relationship PPO, you must first prove that you are in a domestic relationship with the offending party. This could be either a spouse of ex-spouse, a person you used to live with, or your child’s other parent.
Once a domestic relationship PPO is signed, there is a list of actions that are prohibited by the offendee, including:
- Approaching you at home or at work
- Confronting you either in private or in a public area
- Delivering or placing objects onto your property
- Entering your property
- Following you
- Sending you messages through text, mail, or e-mail
- Owning a gun
- Other specified behavior not included in this list
There are two distinct types of non-domestic PPOs that you can apply for depending upon your situation. In order to apply for a PPO, there must be at least two documented accounts for threatening behavior in either of the following two circumstances.
- In addition to the behavior listed in the domestic relationship segment, a stalking PPO can also prohibit contact via social media or any other type of cyber-bullying.
- In addition to the behavior listed in the domestic relationship segment and the stalking PPO, a sexual assault PPO also prohibits violent threats to you or a person close to you.