En Español
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or (TTY) 1-800-787-3224

Know the Laws: Michigan

UPDATED August 16, 2016

Non-Domestic Sexual Assault Personal Protection Orders

Print this page
View by Section

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)

Did you find this information helpful?

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)

Did you find this information helpful?

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)

Did you find this information helpful?

Getting the order

back to topCan I get an order against a minor?

If you were abused by a minor, you may qualify for an order against him/her if the minor is at least 10 years old.  However, you cannot get an order against a minor of any age if the minor is your child (and is unemancipated).  Also, an unemanicpated minor child cannot get an order against his/her parent.*

MCL § 600.2950a(28) 

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topHow do I file and serve a non-domestic sexual assault PPO?

Filing
You can file for a non-domestic sexual assault personal protection order in the family division of circuit court.*  If the respondent is 18 or older, you can file in any county in Michigan, regardless of where you and the respondent live.*1  If the respondent is a minor, you can file in the county where either you live or the respondent lives (if s/he does not live in Michigan, you would file in the county where you live).*2  The respondent does not have to be arrested or charged with a crime to qualify.*  The steps to file may be similar to the steps for getting a domestic relationship PPO.

Service
The order can be served upon the respondent in one of the following ways:

  • personally,
  • by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, with delivery restricted to the addressee (respondent) at his/her last known address(es) or
  • by any other method allowed by the Michigan Court Rules.
If the respondent is under 18 years old, his/her parent, guardian, or custodian must also be served in one of the ways listed above.*3  If it is not clearly written on the order, you may want to ask the judge how you are supposed to serve the order.

Note: If the respondent has not been served, a law enforcement officer or clerk of the court who knows that the order exists may, at any time, serve the respondent with a copy of the order or verbally advise him/her of the existence of the order, of the specific terms of the order, the penalties for violating the order, and where the respondent can get a copy of the order.  This type of oral notice (or oral "service") would still be considered valid service.*3  Often times, oral notice of the order may happen if you call the police due to a violation of the order and the respondent has not yet been served.  At that point, the officer is supposed to serve the respondent with a true copy of the order or “serve” him/her orally with the information described in the first sentence of this paragraph.  Then the respondent would be given the chance to comply with (follow) the PPO before s/he can be arrested for violating it.*4

* MCL § 600.2950a(1)
*1 MCR 3.703(E)(1)
*2 MCR 3.703(E)(2) & MCL 712A.2(h)
*3 MCL § 600.2950a(18)
*4 MCL § 600.2950a(22)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topHow much does it cost to file for and serve a non-domestic sexual assault PPO?

There is no fee to get the forms for a PPO* but it seems that some counties may charge a fee to file the forms in court. Michigan law specifically says that fees cannot be charged to file a motion to modify, terminate, extend, or to enforce a personal protection order if it is violated** and Michigan law states that a fee cannot be charged to start a civil action for a PPO*** (but as of 2017, some counties are still charging to file a PPO). 

When it comes to service, the petition and order can be served by anyone who is not a party to the case who is over 18. However, if you want law enforcement to serve it, service of PPO may cost anywhere from $10.00 to $100.00 depending on the travel costs associated with locating the respondent.****

* See MCLA 600.2950b(4)
** MCR 3.707(D); MCLA 600.2529(1)(e)
*** MCLA 600.2529(1)(a); MCL 3.703(A)
**** See PPO Instructions on Michigan Courts website

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topCan my non-domestic sexual assault PPO be extended?

Yes. To extend a non-domestic sexual assault PPO, you can file a motion to extend the order by requesting a new expiration date.  The motion must be filed with the court that issued the PPO no later than 3 days before the order is to expire.  The court must act on the motion within 3 days after it is filed.

If you do not file the motion to extend within this timeframe, you may still be able to file a new petition for a new PPO against the respondent and start the process all over again.*

* MCR § 3.707(B)(1)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topWill someone be able to search on the Internet to see that I have a PPO?

Probably not.  A new law that went into effect in September 2014 makes it clear that courts are prohibited from making available to the public on the Internet any information regarding the registration of, filing of a petition for, or the issuance of PPO if such publication would be likely to publicly reveal the identity or location of the party protected under the order.*

* MCR 3.705(C)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topWhere can I find additional information on sexual assault?

You can read more about sexual assault on our Sexual Assault/Rape page and our Marital/Partner Rape page.  You can also find support resources on our National Organizations page for Rape/Sexual Assault.

For help with filing for a non-domestic sexual assault personal protection order, you may find legal referrals on our MI Finding a Lawyer page.

Did you find this information helpful?

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.

back to top