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Know the Laws: Michigan

UPDATED October 23, 2012

Non-Domestic Sexual Assault Personal Protection Orders

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A non-domestic sexual assault personal protection order (PPO) is a civil court order that is designed to protect you from someone who you do not have a family or household member relationship with who has committed or threatened sexual assault against you or given obscene materials to a minor.

Basic info

back to topWho is eligible for a non-domestic sexual assault personal protection order?

A non-domestic sexual assault personal protection order (PPO) can be issued against someone who is not a family or household member who has committed sexual assault against you or threatened sexual assault against you.  In addition, a minor may be eligible to apply against someone who gave him/her obscene material.  (Note: If you have one of the domestic relationships described here, you would file for a domestic relationship PPO instead.)

You may be eligible to file for a nondomestic sexual assault personal protection order if the respondent has done one of the following:

  • previously been convicted of a sexual assault against you;*
  • has not been convicted of sexual assault but has subjected you to, threatened you with, or placed you in reasonable fear of sexual assault;**
  • previously been convicted of giving you (if you are a minor) obscene material;* or
  • given you (and you are a minor) obscene material but has not been convicted of this crime.** (Note: Obscene material is defined as written material containing obscene language, or obscene prints, pictures, figures or descriptions tending to corrupt a child’s morals. You can read the full definition on our MI Statutes page).
* MCL § 600.2950(2)(a)
** MCL § 600.2950(2)(b)

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back to topHow can a non-domestic sexual assault personal protection order help me?

In an ex parte or final non-domestic sexual assault personal protection order, the judge can order the respondent not to:

  • enter onto specific premises (land or a place);
  • threaten to sexually assault, kill, or physically harm you or someone else;
  • buy or have a firearm;
  • interfere with your efforts to remove your children or personal property from a home or place that is solely owned or leased by the respondent;
  • show up at your home or workplace;
  • interfere with you at your workplace or school or do anything that harms your employment or educational relationship/ environment;
  • follow you or come within your sight;
  • approach you or confront you in a public place or on private property;
  • enter onto, remain on, place an object on, or deliver an object to, property owned, leased, or occupied by you;
  • contact you by telephone, text message, mail or email;
  • post messages about you on the Internet or through any other electronic communication that would cause you to be harassed by others and suffer emotional distress (see section 411s of the Michigan penal code for the exact definition of this crime); and/or
  • do any other specific act or conduct that interferes with your personal liberty or that causes you to be in reasonable fear of violence or sexual assault.*
* MCLA § 600.2950a(2),(3)

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back to topWhat kinds of non-domestic sexual assault personal protection orders are there? How long do they last?

A non-domestic sexual assault personal protection order (PPO) can be issued ex parte or after the respondent is notified and a hearing is held.

Temporary ex parte order
When you file for a non-domestic sexual assault personal protection order, you could get a temporary ex parte order, which means it is issued without written or oral notice to the respondent or his/her attorney.  The judge must make a decision on whether to issue you an ex parte order within 24 hours of when you file the petition.  An ex parte personal protection order is only supposed to be issued if the allegations in your complaint clearly show that:

  • immediate and severe injury, loss, or damage will result if you have to wait for the respondent to be notified before you get the order; or
  • notifying the respondent would put you in danger.*
A temporary non-domestic sexual assault personal protection order will last for at least 182 days (approximately 6 months) unless it is shortened or dismissed by a judge at a hearing that the respondent requests.  The respondent generally has 14 days from when s/he is served with (receives notice of) the order in which s/he can file a motion to modify or dismiss the order and request a hearing.  The time to file the motion can be extended beyond 14 days if there is "good cause."**  The hearing will generally be held within 14 days of when the motion was filed, except it will be held within 5 days if the respondent:
  • has a license to carry a concealed weapon and is required to carry a weapon as a condition of his or her employment,
  • is a police officer sheriff, a deputy sheriff or a member of the Michigan department of state police,
  • a local corrections officer or a department of corrections employee, or
  • a federal law enforcement officer who carries a firearm during the normal course of his or her employment.***
Final personal protection order
If there is a hearing on a petition for PPO and the judge issues an order after the hearing, the order will be a final order that can last for any length of time ordered by the judge.

You may also be able to extend your order.  See Can my non-domestic sexual assault PPO be extended?

* MCL § 600.2950a(12); see also MCR § 3.705(A)(1)
** MCL § 600.2950a(13)
*** MCL § 600.2950a(14); see also MCR § 3.707(A)(2)

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WomensLaw.org thanks Cheryl Rogers, Esq., Director of Nonprofit Legal & Management Assistance at the Michigan Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence for her help in reviewing these pages.

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