If you receive a personal protection order (ppo), you will need knowledgeable attorneys to defend you. The law firm of Aleck & Jenkins was the first law firm to challenge the ppo laws in the Court of Appeals. While protecting victims of harassment and abuse is an admirable goal, in our view, the ppo laws are poorly written which subjects innocent people to being abused with a ppo.
In general personal protection orders (formerly restraining orders) (pursuant to MCLA 600.2950) are orders of the circuit court designed to protect domestic violence victims. The victim must demonstrate to the circuit court that there is reasonable cause to believe that the person they are seeking the order against may commit one or more of the prohibited acts in the law. Unfortunately, it appears that more often than not, the circuit court review is less than desirable and it appears that most ppos are granted. This may be because once a ppo is issued it is up to the person receiving it to contest it within 14 days of receiving the ppo. So if you receive one unfairly, you need to consult an attorney immediately.
There are two types of personal protection orders
No attorney is needed to present the petition to the circuit court. The request must state specific incidents of assaults and/or threats, and may describe injuries sustained and names of witnesses. ppos are issued for people who are associated domestically and for those who are not and are being harassed or stalked.
Personal protection orders (pursuant to MCLA 600.2950) are for domestic violence victims. A relationship must exist between the victim and the perpetrator. They must be: married, formerly married, residing together, formerly residing together, have a child in common, or have a dating or formerly dating relationship.
Personal protection orders can prohibit the assailant from: assaulting, beating, molesting or wounding, entering on to the premises, removing minor children from the individual having legal custody, threatening to kill or physically injure a named person, interfering with the victim at her place of employment, engaging in conduct which impairs the victim's employment relationship or environment, and any other specific act that imposes a restraint upon the victim's personal liberty or causes a reasonable apprehension of violence. A ppo can prohibit a person from purchasing or possessing a firearm.
If the person that is being restrained is not domestically related, there must be 3 or more prohibited acts before a ppo can be issued. If stalking is an issue, language (MCLA 600.2450A) can be added to either type of personal protection order that restrains the assailant from: following or appearing within the sight of the victim, approaching or confronting the victim in a public place or private property, approaching at the victim's home, work or school, entering, going into, or remaining on property owned, leased or occupied by the victim, contacting the victim by telephone, mail or electronic mail, placing an object on or delivering an object to property owned, leased, or occupied by the victim.
The circuit court judge decides whether to issue a personal protection order. If the judge does not, s/he must immediately state in writing and on the record the reasons for so refusing. The victim may keep her address confidential.
The order goes into effect immediately after the judge signs it. Service may be by registered mail. The assailant has an opportunity to object and to appear for a hearing. Police may arrest without a warrant when an assailant violates a personal protection order. A "show cause" hearing is held. If the assailant is found by the judge to have violated the order of the court, the assailant could be sentenced to up to 93 days in jail and receive a $500 fine or both.
*We have appeared in most counties in Lower Michigan and may be able to represent you in other counties not listed above