WomensLaw is not just for women. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Important note: Although courts may be closed or accepting limited cases due to COVID-19, there should still be a way to file for a protection order and other emergency relief. See our Frequently Asked Questions Involving Courts and COVID-19, or call your local courthouse for more details.

Legal Information: Michigan

Restraining Orders

View all
Updated: 
December 11, 2019

Step 4: Service of process

The abuser must be “served,” or given papers that tell him/her about your domestic relationship PPO.

A police officer, a process server, or another adult must personally serve the respondent with the PPO and other court paperwork. You cannot serve the respondent yourself. The abuser may also be served by certified mail, return receipt requested. The mail must be specifically directed to the abuser (you must include his/her name as the name for delivery and not some other person who lives with the abuser). Check with the clerk to be sure of the proper instructions for service. If the abuser is a minor (under 18), his/her parent, guardian or custodian must also be served either personally or by certified mail.1

In most counties, there is no charge to have the authorities serve the abuser (although some sheriff’s offices may charge a fee for service and mileage). You cannot serve the papers on the abuser yourself.

1 MCLA 600.2950(18); Michigan Court’s Instructions for Personal Protection Forms

You can find more information about service of process in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section, in the question called What is service of process and how do I accomplish it?