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Personal Protection Orders

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Personal Protection Orders

You can ask a Michigan Circuit Court for a Sexual Assault Personal Protection Order (PPO). A PPO is a court order to protect a person from someone who has sexually assaulted you, or someone who has made you afraid of being assaulted.

The court can order that person not to:

  • Have contact with you.
  • Follow or approach you.
  • Enter a place where you live.
  • Threaten to sexually assault, kill, or physically injure you or another person.
  • Purchase or possess a firearm.
  • Interfere with you at your place of employment or education.
  • Contact you by phone, email or social media.
  • Do anything that interferes with your personal freedom or that causes you a reasonable fear of harm.

For more information about PPOs and how to file for a PPO, visit Michigan Legal Help at

You can also get help in filing for a PPO by contacting your local sexual assault or domestic violence services program or by hiring your own attorney.


    • what is a ppo

      A Personal Protection Order (PPO) is a court order to stop threats, violence or harassment against you. You can get a PPO to protect you from someone age 10 or older who is threatening, hurting, stalking, or harassing you. However, parents can’t get a PPO to protect them from their child under 18, and children under 18 can’t get a PPO to protect them from a parent. There are three kinds of PPOs: Domestic Relationship PPO, Non-Domestic Stalking PPO, Non-Domestic Sexual Assault PPO. If you have a domestic relationship with a person who sexually assaulted you or threatened to do so, a domestic relationship PPO may be the best fit for you.

    • which ppo for me

      A non-domestic sexual assault PPO can protect you from someone who was convicted in court of sexually assaulting you. It can also protect you from someone who has sexually assaulted you or threatened to do so, even if that person wasn’t convicted of a crime. If you have a domestic relationship with a person who sexually assaulted you or threatened to do so, a domestic relationship PPO may be the best fit for you.

      A Domestic Relationship PPO, can protect you from: 

      • Your spouse or ex-spouse
      • Your child’s other parent
      • Someone you live with now, or used to live with
      • Someone you are dating or used to date

    • how do i get a ppo

      File a petition for a PPO with the county clerk’s office in any Michigan county. You don’t have to live in the county where you file. There is no fee to file the petition. When you file your petition, you will be called the “petitioner” and the person you want protection from is the “respondent.” The petition gives the judge information needed to decide whether to give you the PPO. The petition and other required forms are available from the county clerk. You can also fill the forms out and print them at

      In an emergency, you can ask the judge to give you a PPO without notifying the respondent and without waiting for a hearing where the respondent will be present. To do this, ask for an “ex parte” PPO. Explain why you think you will be harmed if the respondent is told you are asking for a PPO and if you have to wait for a hearing to get the PPO.

      If you don’t think you need an ex parte order, or if the judge requires a hearing before giving you a PPO, you must serve a copy of your petition and a notice of the hearing to the respondent. [help understanding service?  Refer to Michigan legal help section on service?] The respondent will have an opportunity to be at the hearing and to respond to your petition.

    • what's in my ppo

      • A statement that the PPO is effective and immediately enforceable anywhere in Michigan as soon as the judge signs it. In case of a violation, the police can respond to the scene and serve the respondent with the PPO. The respondent can then be arrested if he or she fails to comply with the PPO.
      • An expiration date.
      • The name of a law enforcement agency that will enter your PPO into the state law enforcement database (“LEIN”).

    • what does serving a ppo mean

      It’s important to have the PPO served on (delivered to) the respondent because it’s easier to for the police to make an arrest in case of a violation. Also, if you travel to another state, the police in that state aren’t required to enforce your Michigan PPO unless it’s been served.

      You cannot serve the PPO on the respondent yourself.   However, there are several other ways to serve PPO papers. You can have someone else who is over 18 serve the papers. This can be a friend, a family member, or someone else.  However, the person who serves the PPO should not be involved in the PPO case or be called as a witness in it. You can send them to the respondent by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, delivery restricted to the respondent. You can also ask the sheriff, local police, or a process server to serve the respondent. Some police and sheriff’s departments will serve PPO papers free of charge, but some will not.  If you need help deciding what kind of service is best for you, a local domestic violence or sexual assault program can help.

      If you’re worried the respondent will become more threatening when served with the PPO, ask the person who serves it to tell you when it was served, so you can take steps to protect yourself. A local domestic violence or sexual assault services program can help you plan for safety.

      After the PPO is served, you must file a “proof of service” form with the court clerk.

      For more information about safe service options, see Michigan Legal Help.

    • what if ppo is violated

      If the respondent violates the PPO, call 911 or the local police right away. If the police don’t arrest the respondent, you can file a “motion to show cause” at the court. The respondent must come to court after being arrested, or after you file your motion to show cause. If the respondent is found guilty, the punishment is up to 93 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $500.

      For more information about what can happen when the respondent violates the PPO, see