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

Domestic Relationship Personal Protection Orders

Print this page
View All

A domestic relationship personal protection order ("PPO") is a civil order that  provides protection from harm by a family member, household member, someone with whom you have a child in common, or someone you have dated or are dating.

Basic information

back to topWhat is the legal definition of domestic violence in Michigan?

This section defines domestic violence for the purposes of getting a domestic relationship personal protection order ("PPO").

A judge can issue a domestic relationship PPO when the judge believes that a current or former spouse, someone you have a child in common with, someone you are/were dating, or someone who lives/lived in the same household as you may commit 1 or more of the following acts:

  • Entering (unlawfully) onto premises;
  • Assaulting, attacking, beating, molesting, or wounding you;
  • Threatening to kill or physically injure you;
  • Unlawfully removing minor children from you when you have legal custody of them and removing them is not permitted in the custody or parenting time order;
  • Purchasing or possessing a firearm;
  • Interfering with your efforts to remove your children or personal property from premises that are solely owned or leased by the abuser;
  • Interfering with you at your job or school or acting in a way that harms your job or school relationship or environment;
  • Having access to information in records concerning a minor child of both you and the abuser that will tell the abuser about the address or telephone number of you/your child or about your work address;
  • Committing stalking or aggravated stalking against you (even if s/he is not arrested for those crimes);
  • Injuring, killing, torturing, neglecting (or threatening to injure, kill, torture, or neglect) an animal in which you have an ownership interest, with the intent to cause you mental distress or to exert control over you;
  • Any other specific act or behavior that interferes with your personal liberty or that causes a reasonable fear of violence.*

* MCLA 600.2950(1),(4)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topWhat is a domestic relationship PPO and what types are there?

"Domestic relationship personal protection order" is the name Michigan uses for restraining orders in cases of domestic violence.  A domestic relationship personal protection order (PPO) is a civil court order that is designed to stop violent and harassing behavior and to protect you and your family from an abuser. To qualify, you must have a specific relationship with the abuser and s/he must have committed or be likely to commit specific acts -- see What is the legal definition of domestic violence in Michigan? for more information.

When you apply for your PPO, a judge can issue you an ex parte domestic relationship PPO without a full court hearing and without the abuser present.  The judge has to decide whether or not to grant your request for an ex parte order within 24 hours of when you file the petition.**  An ex parte PPO should be issued (and effective) without prior notice to the abuser or his/her attorney if you can clearly show that immediate and irreversible injury, loss, or damage will result from the delay that would be required to notify the abuser or that the notice will itself cause you harm before a PPO can be issued.*  An ex parte domestic relationship PPO is valid for at least 182 days (approximately 6 months).  The abuser can request a hearing to modify (change) or rescind (cancel) the PPO.***  If the judge issues you a PPO after this hearing, it would be called a final domestic relationship PPO.

* MCLA 600.2950(12)
** MCR 3.705(A)(1)
*** MCLA 600.2950(13)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topHow can a domestic relationship PPO help me?

In a domestic relationship personal protection order, a judge may order the abuser to:

  • Not enter specific premises;
  • Stop assaulting, attacking, beating, molesting or wounding you;
  • Stop threatening to kill or physically injure you;
  • Not remove minor children from you when you have legal custody of them and removing them is not permitted in the custody or parenting time order;
  • Stop stalking you;
  • Stop contacting you or harassing you at your work place, residence, school, day care (you must specifically request these places);
  • Not buy or have in his/her possession a firearm; 
  • Not interfere with your efforts to remove your children or personal property from premises that are solely owned or leased by the abuser;
  • Not interfere with you at your job or school or act in a way that harms your job or school relationship or environment;
  • Not have access to information in records concerning a minor child of both you and the abuser that will tell the abuser about the address or telephone number of you/your child or about your work address;
  • Not commit stalking or aggravated stalking against you;
  • Not do (or threaten to do) any of the following with the intent to cause you mental distress or to exert control over you: injure, kill, torture, or neglect an animal in which you have an ownership interest; not remove the animal from your possession or take/keep the animal; and
  • Not do any other specific act or behavior that interferes with your personal liberty or that causes a reasonable fear of violence.*

Whether a judge orders any or all of the above depends on the facts of your case.

 * MCLA 600.2950(1)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to top