There’s an old adage that those who you love can hurt you the most. When they do, it feels like a betrayal of the highest order – you should feel safest in your own home, with the people you love, but domestic violence makes this impossible. If this is your life, it may be time for a personal protection order.
What is a personal protection order?
A personal protection order (PPO) is an order from the Michigan family court. It is directed at an individual (the person committing abuse) and is designed to protect the person they are abusing. A PPO contains a series of order with which abuser must comply. If they do not, they are in violation of the law and can be arrested. The specific orders contained within a PPO will vary depending on the circumstances, but common examples include instructions not to assault or threaten the protected party, not to enter their home, not to remove children from the protected party’s custody and not to interfere with the protected party’s work or education.
How do I get a PPO?
The idea of going to court and getting a PPO can be intimidating. If you are concerned about your ability to do so on your own, speak to an experienced professional who is knowledgeable in cases involving domestic violence. A petition must be filed with the family court. The PPO can be obtained against a spouse or other person with whom you have had children, or simply dated.
A hearing will be scheduled for the PPO. Evidence must be presented to the court, in the form of testimony, documents, photographs, video or any other relevant medium. To issue the order, a court must have sufficient evidence to conclude there is reasonable cause to believe the offending party will threaten, abuse or otherwise harm the protected party. Although evidence like police reports or medical reports can be helpful, they are not necessary for the court to issue a PPO.