What can I do if the abuser violates the order?
You can call the police, even if you think it is a minor violation. It can be a crime and contempt of court if the abuser knowingly violates the order in any way. A judge can punish someone for being in contempt of court if you file a violation/contempt petition in the court where you got the order to report the violation to the judge. In addition, the police can arrest him/her. In Michigan, if an abuser violates a domestic relationship personal protection order and is 17-years-old or older, the police can arrest him/her, and if s/he is found guilty of criminal contempt, the judge can sentence the abuser to serve up to 93 days in prison and pay a $500 fine.1 If the abuser is younger than 17-years-old and violates the order, police can take the abuser into custody and s/he may be subject to juvenile proceedings.2 If the police are not involved or do not arrest him/her, you still have the right to go to the Circuit Court and file a motion for criminal contempt (or motion to show cause) against the abuser.3 It may be a good idea to write down the name of the responding officer(s) and their badge number in case you want to follow up on your case.
For more information about contempt, including the difference between criminal contempt and civil contempt, go to our general Domestic Violence Restraining Orders page.
1 MCLA 600.2950(11)(a)(i)
2 MCLA 600.2950(11)(a)(ii)
3 Michigan Court Motion and Order to Show Cause for Violating Valid Personal/Foreign Protection Order form.