What is a Personal Protection Order?
A Personal Protection Order, or PPO, is s court order designed to protect one person by restraining another from certain behavior, such as physical violence, harassment, or stalking.
Types of PPOs
Michigan has three types of PPOs: Domestic Relationship PPOs, Nondomestic (Stalking) PPOs, and Nondomestic Sexual Assault PPOs. The latter is available to victims of sexual assault, victims who have received obscene material, and petitioners who have been placed in reasonable apprehension of sexual assault by the respondent. You can find domestic violence resources here.
However, domestic relationship and non-domestic stalking PPOs are by far the most common. They are discussed in greater detail below.
Domestic Relationship PPOs
Domestic Relationship PPOs seek to restrain activity by a respondent who is:
- The petitioner’s spouse or former spouse.
- A person with whom the petitioner has had a child in common.
- A person who resides or who has resided in the same household as the petitioner.
- A person with whom the petitioner has or has had a dating relationship.
If a domestic PPO is obtained against an individual, that person may be restrained from the doing one or more of the following:
- Entering onto premises
- Assaulting a named individual
- Threatening to kill or injure a named individual
- Removing minor children from the individual having legal custody of the children
- Purchasing or possessing a firearm
- Interfering with petitioner’s effort to remove children or property from respondent’s premises
- Appearing or interfering with petitioner’s workplace or school
- Causing the petitioner mental distress or attempting to exert control over the petitioner via the petitioner’s pet.
Nondomestic Stalking PPO
With a Nondomestic Stalking PPO, the court may restrain stalking or aggravated stalking. Stalking, includes, but is not limited to:
- Following or appearing within the petitioner’s sight.
- Appearing at the petitioner’s workplace or residence.
- Approaching or confronting the petitioner is a public place or on private property.
- Entering onto or remaining on property the petitioner owns, leases or occupies.
- Sending the petitioner mail or electronic communications.
- Contacting the petitioner by telephone.
- Placing an object on or delivering an object to property the petitioner owns, leases or occupies.
- Purchasing or possessing a firearm.
Aggravated stalking includes additional actions of stalking after court intervention. For example, if a court orders a PPO and an individual violates the PPO, this may be considered aggravated stalking. Similarly, if an individual violates a court ordered term or probation, parole or pretrial release by stalking.
Defending Against a Personal Protection Order
Having a PPO against you is serious. Although a PPO is not a criminal case and will not give you a criminal record, it can definitely affect your freedom. Possible consequences of having a PPO against you include:
- The PPO is entered the police Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN) and is a matter of public record.
- You can be arrested without a warrant for allegedly violating a PPO.
- You can be charged with criminal contempt for allegedly violating a PPO.
- You can face fines and jail time for violating the PPO.
- The PPO can be a factor in a divorce or child custody case.
Once an individual receives notice that a PPO is being sought or has been achieved, it’s imperative that immediate action be taken to request a hearing with the court to dismiss or modify the PPO. Contact our team of experienced attorneys today for specialized help for your case.
Stephanie Achenbach received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University is 1996. As a political science major, she focused on world politics and studied abroad at the University of London, London, England. Ms. Achenbach her Juris Doctor degree from Michigan State University – Detroit College of Law in 2000. Admitted to practice by the State Bar of Michigan in 2000, she is also admitted to the Federal District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Ms. Achenbach began her legal career at a large firm and then returned to the Michigan Attorney General’s office, where she had clerked throughout law school. During her 10-year tenure as an Assistant Attorney General, she practiced in both the Criminal and Labor Bureaus as a trial litigator and appellate attorney. Ms. Achenbach has successfully tried hundreds of cases and drafted over 50 appellate briefs. Her appellate achievements also include an appeal from 2010 that resulted in a published Michigan Court of Appeals opinion. Today, Ms. Achenbach is a member of the Law Offices of Barton Morris, a criminal boutique law firm. As a Senior Associate, Ms. Achenbach handles state and federal criminal cases, including appeals. She also handles alcohol related driving offenses and license restitution matters.