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Lapeer County 40th Circuit Court - Personal Protection Orders (PPO)

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                      40th CIRCUIT COURT

                   PERSONAL PROTECTION ORDERS


 
 
     

Requests for personal protection orders against another person are filed in the Circuit Court.

What is a Personal Protection Order (PPO)
 
A Personal Protection Order ("PPO") is a Circuit Court injunctive order that protects victims of Violence or Stalking.  A PPO is filed by a Petitioner to stop or restrain the Respondent from:
  • Contacting the Petitioner through any means (in person, by phone, by mail or e-mail, etc.)
  • Entering the Petitioner's residence property or work place.
  • Assaulting attacking, beating, or wounding the Petitioner.
  • Interfering with the Petitioner's efforts to remove her or his children or property (except when a prior court order is in place.)
  • Purchasing or possessing a firearm.
  • Interfering with or engaging in conduct that impairs the Petitioner's employment or educational environment.
  • Any other specific act that interferes with the Petitioner's personal liberty or causes a reasonable fear of violence.

A PPP cannot:
 
  • Evict a person in a landlord/tenant relationship.
  • Establish custody or parenting time.
  • Protect personal property from damage.
  • Mediate neighbor disputes.
  • Stop a person from being rude or spreading rumors.
  • Remove a person from a place they have a legal right to be, such as a local store.

Are there different kinds of PPOs?
 
There are 2 kinds of PPO's:

Domestic Relation PPO:  A domestic PPO is issued if the Respondent is (i) current/former spouse, (ii) current/former dating relationship, or (iii) you have a child in common, or lives with or has lived with the petitioner.

Stalking PPO:  If you and the Respondent do not have a domestic relationship, then you must establish that the respondent has been stalking you.

 

How is a PPO different from a "no-contact" bond condition?
 
A restraining order (including a PPO) is a civil action between citizens.

A "no-contact" bond condition can be imposed on a defendant during a pending criminal prosecution.  It means that a defendant can not be personally, or have a third-party, contact, call, write, etc. the victim or any other party with whom the judge orders the defendant to have "no-contact".  This is a common bond condition for defendants charged with violent or assaultive crimes, and protects victims if the defendant is released from jail while the charge is pending.  Like all other bond conditions, any violation could cause the judge to raise or revoke the bond, in which case the defendant could remain in jail until the case is finished.

 

Who can get a PPO?
 
Anyone who has been physically, emotionally or sexually abused by a current or former spouse, a family member, a domestic partner, the other parent of your child, a current or former roommate, or a current or former person in a dating relationship.  (This is called a "domestic PPO".)

Anyone who has been "stalked", repeatedly harassed to the point of being terrorized, intimidated or threatened.  (This is called a "stalking PPO.)

Can a PPO be issued for a minor?
 
A minor cannot get the PPO in his or her own name.  An adult must be appointed by the court as a "Next Friend" for a minor under 17 years of age (or a legally incapacitated person).  A minor cannot get a PPO against his/her parent.

 

Can a PPO be issued against a minor?
 
Michigan now allows PPOs to be issued against a minor, someone under 18 years old.  But a parent cannot get a PPO issued against his/her own minor child

 
Where can I get a PPO?
 
A PPO packet, containing instructions and all necessary forms, is available in the Lapeer County Courthouse, 255 Clay Street, Lapeer, MI  Circuit Court Clerk's office (2nd Floor)

 
Where can I get help to fill out the PPO forms?
 
The Circuit Court Clerk's staff are not lawyers, and are prohibited from giving legal advice on how to fill the forms out, what to include, etc.  The staff cannot assist  you beyond explaining internal procedures of the court.

Some domestic violence organizations such as LACADA hold clinics to assist with PPO paperwork.  Contact local shelters in your area or local legal aid organizations for this service.

IMPORTANT:
By using the Personal Protection Order packet, YOU ARE CHOOSING TO REPRESENT YOURSELF IN A LAWSUIT.  You have involved the Court, so YOU MUST FOLLOW THE COURT RULES!!  If you miss a required step, or fail to properly and completely fill out required forms, the Order you get from the Court could be ineffective, and you could remain unprotected.

 
Can I get a PPO right away, or do I have to wait for a hearing?
 
If you are in immediate danger, you may request an "ex-parte" order, which will take effect immediately without a hearing and without advanced notice to the other party.  If you want an ex-parte order, you must convince the judge with specific facts contained in your motion that you are in danger of immediate and irreparable injury, harm or damage (injury that cannot be repaired by a court order after the injury happens) if the PPO is not issued.  "Ex-parte" PPOs do not require a court hearing, unless the other party requests a hearing to modify or terminate the order.

If a hearing is requested, the judge will listen to testimony by witnesses regarding what has happened that necessitates a PPO.

 
What facts do I have to include in the papers?
 
The facts that you include in the PPO application are very important!  Tell the judge what your relationship is with the Respondent, and what has happened recently that makes you feel you need a PPO... in short, tell why you need to be protected.  The forms give you very little room to include facts, but you can attach additional pages.  Include detailed facts to support your need for a protection order.

 
What information and documents should I bring when I file for the PPO?
 
If you can support the facts with evidence, do it!  Attach
  • Proof of domestic relationship, marriage license, child's birth certificate or affidavit or parentage, least agreement, etc.
  • Court documents, complain for divorce, annulment or separate maintenance papers, divorce decree, custody orders, lease agreement, etc.
  • Descriptive information about the person to be restrained, such as name, home address, place of employment, date of birth, Social Security number, driver's license number, and physical description (hair color, eye color, height, weight, tattoos, scars, etc.

 
Will the person who is being restrained see everything I file,
including where I am living?
 
A copy of your motion and anything you attach to your request for the PPO will be given to the person you want restrained.  If you do not want to include our home address or phone number in these documents, tell the Court Clerk who assists you.  She can help you fill out an edited version of the documents with that personal information deleted, which will be served on the defendant.  However, you still must give the court a contact address so the Court can send notices to you.

 
How much does a PPO cost?
 
There is no filing fee for PPOs.  However, the cost of serving a copy of the PPO on the restrained person (which is the Petitioner's responsibility) may vary depending on who does it.

 
What happens at the Courthouse when I file for the PPO?
 
  1. Pick up a copy of the PPO packet and all other forms from the Lapeer County Circuit Court Clerk's office, 2nd Floor, Lapeer County Courthouse, 255 Clay Street, Lapeer, MI  48446  (810) 667-0358
  2. Fill out the appropriate PPO Petition (either Form CC 375, CC 375M, CC 377, or CC 377M).  If you are alleging that the Respondent is stalking you, don't forget to check the appropriate box(es).
  3. Re-read your forms and attachments.  Are they complete?  Do they fullly and accurately tell the Judge what the Respondent has done and why you need a PPO?  If you are alleging that he is stalking you, do your facts prove the legal definition?  Do the forms list all affected people who should be protected by the PPO (you, your children, your work location, etc.)?
  4. Bring these completed documents to the Lapeer County Circuit Court Clerk's office.  A court clerk will look the papers over and assign a Judge and a case number.
  5. If you are asking for an ex-parte (emergency) order, the clerk will bring the papers to the Judge's office.  The Judge must personally review the papers.  You may have to wait a while, depending on the Judge's court schedule that day.  The Judge may have you testify as to your reasons for the PPO.
  6. If the Judge signs your ex-parte order, his staff will bring the paperwork back to the Clerk's office for filing.  The Clerk will give you copies and you must serve a copy on the Lapeer County Sheriff's Department.  If the Judge does not sign the Order, he will state his reasons on the order denying the PPO.
  7. It is now your responsibility to sever the Respondent with a copy of your Complaint and Motion for a PPO, all documents supporting your request, and the Court's PPO order.

 
How do I serve the papers?
 
Anyone who is over the age of 18, other than you, can serve the Respondent.

There are 4 ways service of process can be completed:

  1. You may hire your own process server.
  2. By Personal Service: have a friend or relative over the age of 18, who has no involvement in the PPO request, personally hand the PPO paperwork to the person being restrained; or
  3. By Mail: serve the person being restrained by registered mail (return receipt requested) with delivery restricted to him/her.  The registered mail package should include a copy of the notice of hearing (if it is for a Hearing Motion), a copy of the entire packet you filled out and filed with the clerk as the PPO, and a copy of the order.
  4. The court clerk's have a list of court approved process servers in Lapeer and surrounding counties.  They will charge you a service fee and mileage.

 
Can the Respondent be given oral notice of the PPO?
 
As of July 1, 2000, a law enforcement officer or clerk of the court who has knowledge of the existence of a PPO may serve the PPO on the Respondent or give oral notice of the existence of the PPO.  After doing so, he/she must file a proof of service or proof of oral notice with the court.

 
What happens after the person being restrained is served with the PPO?
 
Once the Respondent is served, you must file separate "proofs of service" that your agent has handed both the Petition for PPO (either Forum CC 375, CC375M, CC 377, or CC 377M) and the Court's PPO Order (either Forum CC 376, CC 380, or CC380M) to the Respondent.  The proof of service forms for each are virtually the same, and are located on the back sides of the Petition and PPO forms.  The proof of service requires information on the date, time and place where service occurred.  File the completed forms with the Circuit Court Clerk.  Please remember, if the papers are served by anyone other than a process server, their signature must be notarized.

 
When does the PPO go into effect?
 
The order goes into effect as soon as the Judge signs it.  The PPO can be enforced immediately.  However, if the Respondent has not yet been served with a copy of the PPO, he or she may be informed of the terms of the order by the responding police officer and given an opportunity to comply with the order.

 
How does the PPO get entered into LEIN?
 
It is your responsibility for serving the Lapeer County Sheriff's Department so that it can immediately be entered into the Law Enforcement Information Network (L.E.I.N.)  The Sheriff's Department is located at 3231 John Conley Drive, Lapeer, Michigan.

 
What if the Respondent violates the PPO?
 
If your situation is an emergency, CALL 9-1-1!

ALWAYS CARRY A COPY OF YOUR PPO!
A Police Officer can then quickly confirm the terms of your Order when investigating your report that the Respondent has committed a violation.

 
What happens if he/she is arrested?
 
The police may arrest the restrained party if he was previously served with a copy of the PPO and has violated it's terms.  If arrested, the restrained party will be brought to a Circuit Court judge within 24 hours.  At that time, the Judge can set a bond; if the Respondent posts the bond, he can be released.  The Judge may also set a date for a Show Cause hearing where you and other necessary witnesses will testify about how the Respondent violated the PPO.  The Lapeer County Prosecutor's Office may be involved in this Show Cause hearing. (See below)

 
What happens if he/she is not arrested for violating the PPO?
 
The police might not arrest the restrained party, especially if the officer did not witness him commit the acts violating the PPO, or if there was insufficient proof that the Respondent had been served with the PPO papers before the alleged violation occurred.  If the restrained person is not arrested, you will have to file a motion to show cause in the Circuit Court Clerk's office to have a hearing about the PPO violation.  A "show cause" action focuses on whether the Respondent should be held in contempt of the court for violating the PPO.  Like the original PPO application, you will have to write out what the Respondent did & said, and attach supporting witness statements, police reports, photographs, etc.  Your motion to show cause will be reviewed by the Judge.  If he believes that a violation likely occurred, he will schedule a show cause hearing and will issue a show cause order directing the defendant to appear in Court to respond to your allegations that he violated the PPO.  You must attend the show cause hearing; bring eye witnesses and supporting evidence, because testimony will be needed if the Respondent disputes what you alleged in your motion.

  
What is the punishment for violating the PPO?
 
A PPO is a court order, so any violation proven beyond a reasonable doubt is criminal "contempt of court".  The Judge can send the violating Respondent to jail for up to 93 days for each violation, and/or impose a fine of $500, and (as of July 1, 2000) can place the Respondent on probation up to 2 years in lieu of jail time.

A Petitioner should not "send the wrong signals" to the Respondent by actually or seemingly allowing contact that violates the PPO.  The PPO means what the order says and applies when the order says, not just when it is "convenient" to the Petitioner for the terms to apply.  If you do not want or need the PPO in effect anymore, move to set it aside or modify it.

 
How do I change the terms of the PPO?
How do I dismiss the PPO?
 
Only a court can change a PPO; the parties cannot do this privately or informally.  If you decide you no longer want the order to remain in effect, either you or the Respondent must file a motion in the court to "dissolve" the order.  Otherwise, the order will remain in effect until the date the judge originally set for it to expire, usually at the end of six months.  A form to modify or dissolve a PPO is available in the Circuit Court Clerk's Office.  The same form is used to change any of the terms of the order.

The Respondent may move to modify or rescind the PPO within 14 days after service or actual notice, or for good cause shown after the 14 days have elapsed.  A hearing must be held within 14 days after a request for modification or rescission.  A motion is also necessary to extend a PPO.

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