Step 2: Fill out the necessary forms.
The clerk will provide you with the forms that you need to file. On the complaint form, you will be the “petitioner” and the abuser will be the “respondent.” You can write about the most recent incidents of violence, using descriptive language - words like “slapping,” hitting,” “grabbing,” threatening,” “choking,” etc. - that fits your situation. Include details and dates, if possible. Be specific.
Be sure to give a safe mailing address and phone number - and ask to keep your home address confidential if the abuser doesn’t know where you live. If you are staying at a shelter, you may want to ask the shelter if they have a Post Office Box that you can use.
If you need assistance filling out the form, you may want to ask the clerk for help. Some courts may have an advocate that can assist you. Another option is to find help through one of the domestic violence agencies or legal organizations listed on our MI Advocates and Shelters page or MI Finding a Lawyer page. You can also find some of the forms you will need from our MI Download Court Forms page.
Note: Remember to bring some form of photo identification of your own (a driver’s license or other identification that includes your picture) since you may likely have to show that when you sign your petition in court. Be sure to sign the forms in front of the court clerk.