How do I get my PPO enforced in another state?
Federal law does not require you to take any special steps to get your personal protection order (PPO) enforced in another state.
Many states do have laws or regulations (rules) about registering or filing of out-of-state orders, which can make enforcement easier, but a valid PPO is enforceable regardless of whether it has been registered or filed in the new state.1 Rules differ from state to state, so it may be helpful to find out what the rules are in your new state. You can contact a local domestic violence organization for more information by visiting our Advocates and Shelters page and entering your new state in the drop-down menu.
Note: It is important to keep a copy of your PPO with you at all times. It is also a good idea to know the rules of states you will be living in or visiting to ensure that your out-of-state order can be enforced in a timely manner.
1 18 U.S.C. § 2265(d)(2)
Do I need anything special to get my PPO enforced in another state?
In some states, you will need a certified copy of your PPO. A certified copy says that it is a “true and correct” copy; it is signed and initialed by the clerk of court that gave you the order, and usually has some kind of court stamp on it. In Michigan, a certified order has a court seal on it and either the judge’s original signature or a stamp of the judge’s signature along with a “true copy” stamp.
The copies you originally received should have been certified copies.1 If your copy is not a certified copy, you can go to the court that gave you the order and ask the clerk’s office for a certified copy. There is usually no fee or a minimal fee for certified copies of orders.
1 MCL § 600.2950(15)(b)
Can I get someone to help me? Do I need a lawyer?
You do not need a lawyer to get your PPO enforced in another state.
However, you may want to get help from a local domestic violence advocate or attorney in the state to which you move. A domestic violence advocate can let you know what the advantages and disadvantages are for registering your PPO, and help you through the process if you decide to do so.
To find a domestic violence advocate or an attorney in the state you are moving to, select your state from the Places that Help page.
Do I need to tell the court in Michigan if I move?
You are not required to tell the court in Michigan if you move. However, it might be a good idea to give the court a current address so that you can be notified of any actions that are taken regarding your PPO.