Orders that Provide Protection in case of Stalking or Violence
December 6, 2021 Domestic Violence
When someone is stuck in a relationship where the partner threatens or goes beyond threats and is violent, it may be difficult for the victim to quickly find the domestic violence relief necessary and the right type of relief for that situation. We’d like to help you sort out your options.
Michigan judges can provide you with a Personal Protection Order. This order is commonly called a PPO. There are two types of PPOs: a Domestic Relations PPO and a Non-Domestic (Stalking) PPO and in domestic relations proceedings, judges sometimes order a Mutual Restraining order (MRO).
What’s the difference between a Domestic Relations PPO, a Non-Domestic Relations PPO, and a Mutual Restraining Order (MRO).
As the name already suggests, a domestic relations PPO is for someone who needs protection from a current or former spouse or romantic partner or when the petitioner (the person requesting the protection) and respondent (the person against whom the PPO is filed) share a child together.
A non-domestic PPO is to protect someone from stalking and harassing behavior when the petitioner and respondent did not have a romantic relationship or have children in common.
In divorce or child custody proceedings, parties sometimes agree to a Mutual Restraining Order and the judge sometimes orders an MRO as an alternative to a PPO. There are significant differences between a PPO and an MRO which we will describe below.
How to get a PPO or MRO
A Personal Protection Order can be requested on an emergency basis. Each county has its own procedures, and most counties have directions online. When the judge grants the PPO, the respondent is prohibited from contacting the petitioner, entering onto their property or their workplace, and from assaulting, striking, harassing, etc. the petitioner.
A PPO also may include the minor children of the parties and prohibit the Respondent from removing the children from the petitioner’s home or the children’s school or daycare. On the other hand, a judge may also order that the transfer of the children for parenting time is still allowed.
A Mutual Restraining Order can only be issued as part of other court proceedings, such as a divorce or child custody dispute.
The Pros and Cons of PPOs and MROs
All Personal Protection Orders are entered into the Michigan Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN). This is a statewide computerized information network allowing law enforcement to be aware of, and view the PPO when the Petitioner calls 911. The MRO is not entered into LEIN, and thus, can only be enforced by the courts and not by police on an emergency basis.
When a Personal Protection Order is granted, the Respondent is prohibited from having a gun in his/her home or with him/her. Many Respondents object to the PPO due to this prohibition, claiming they can accept the prohibition against contact with the Petitioner, but they want to maintain their right to hunt, target practice, etc.
A Personal Protection Order tends to complicate the custody and parenting time plan when parties will need to find alternatives to avoid entry onto the property or contact between the parties. If parenting time is still a safe option, then you should seek the assistance of a child custody attorney to establish a safe transfer that will not violate the terms of the PPO.
Because a Mutual Restraining Order is often part of divorce proceedings, it can also restrain both parties from squandering the parties’ joint assets. This is helpful if the divorce is contentious, and one party likely will hide assets or waste joint assets.
If you are in an abusive situation, take a moment to review our tips on how to leave the relationship. If you are still married to the abuser, you should take a moment and call our divorce attorneys at 616-285-0808 to discuss your options about divorce or legal separation and when you have a child together, let’s meet and discuss your options about custody and parenting time.