Michigan law has built in protection for victims in the form of personal protection orders or PPO’s. There are two types of PPO’s:
1. Domestic PPO: You may request a domestic PPO if the person you want protection from is:
You must show the court that this person is interfering with your personal freedom or has threatened or committed violence against you
2. Stalking PPO: You may request a stalking PPO to protect you from anyone else who has committed two or more acts without your consent that make you feel threatened, harassed, frightened or molested.
You may not get either type of PPO against your minor child.
A minor child cannot get a PPO against a parent.
Anyone who knowingly and intentionally makes a false statement to the court in support of a petition for a PPO is subject to the contempt powers of the court
Personal protection orders are appropriate only for protection in domestic violence and/or stalking situations.There must be at least two harassing acts to fall under the stalking category not one isolated incident.
A PPO may be applied for by submitting the appropriate forms to the County Clerk’s office requesting the court to order the protection desired.This can be done by the person needing protection with or without the assistance of an advocate or an attorney.
Victims in Tuscola County can obtain forms or assistance inthe process by contacting Tuscola County Victim Services at the Sheriff’s Department.
Asking the court to enter a personal protection order is avery serious matter.A PPO will authorize the courts and law enforcement throughout Michigan and the United States to enforce it’s provisions.The court will expect both you and the party to be restrained to abide by the by the terms of the order.
You are acting as your own attorney when you apply for a protection order.
Sometimes a hearing to obtain a PPO is required or the respondent may request a hearing to dispute a PPO. If there is a hearing, you must go.
The following information is provided by WomensLaw.
What will I have to prove at a hearing?
You must prove that the respondent has committed acts of domestic violence or stalking as defined by law against you or your children. You must convince the judge that you need protection and the specific things that you asked for in the application you filled out.
What should I do before the hearing to prepare my case?
Contact witnesses who saw the abuse or your injuries.Anyone can be a witness—a friend, family member, children, emergency room nurse, doctor, a stranger who saw or heard the abuse take place, a law enforcement officer, etc.
Some witnesses may not come to court unless they are given a subpoena that commands them to appear and testify.Ask the court clerk about the subpoena process.Let the judge know if the people you subpoenaed do not come to the hearing.
If your children witnessed the abuse you should tell the judge they were present.However, you should seriously consider not having children testify in court to avoid putting them in an uncomfortable position of possibly testifying against their other parent.
The judge may choose not to hear from a witness due to the short amount of time given to each hearing.
Get evidence and documentation to help your case. Evidence can include:
The more evidence you have the greater your chances of being granted the protection order. However the judge will listen to your story even if you have no physical evidence or witnesses.
You may wish to make an outline or notes of the history of violence or stalking. You may take the notes to court with you to look at if you forget something, but if you read from them the judge may order that the respondent be allowed to see them.
Tell your story in your own words, tell the truth without exaggeration. Leave out details that have nothing to do with the domestic violence, threats or stalking and intimidation. Be specific. Rather than saying “he hit me,” tell the judge how and where you were hit and how many times.
Be sure to mention:
On the day of the hearing:
Be prepared to spend all day in court in case there are other hearings before yours.
Stand when the judge enters and leaves the courtroom, sit when the judge or bailiff asks you to.
Once your case is called you may sit at the plaintiff’s table which is on the your left side if you are facing the judge in Circuit and Probate court.
If the respondent comes to court with an attorney and you do not feel capable of representing yourself ask the judge for a “continuance” so you can look for a lawyer.
You will tell your side of the story first, The judge or the respondent may ask you questions, The respondent will tell his or her side which may be very different from yours. The judge may ask him/her questions and you may also ask questions.
Relax and remain calm. Take deep breaths if you feel tense. Never lose your temper in the courtroom. Always tell the truth, If you don’t understand a question, say so.
If you don’t know the answer to a question, just say so. Never make up an answer.
The judge will make a decision after hearing both sides and considering the evidence.
Asking the court to enter a Personal Protection Order is a very serious matter. A PPO will authorize law enforcement throughout Michigan and the United States to enforce its provisions. The court will expect both you and the party to be restrained to abide by the terms of the order.
Anyone who knowingly and intentionally makes a false statement on the motion for the PPO is subject to the contempt powers of the court.
You are acting as your own attorney when filing for a PPO.
A pattern of conduct consisting of 2 or more unconsented contacts that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested.