Legal Information: Michigan

Restraining Orders

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August 16, 2016

How do I file and serve a non-domestic sexual assault PPO?

You can file for a non-domestic sexual assault personal protection order in the family division of circuit court.1  If the respondent is 18 or older, you can file in any county in Michigan, regardless of where you and the respondent live.2  If the respondent is a minor, you can file in the county where either you live or the respondent lives (if s/he does not live in Michigan, you would file in the county where you live).3  The respondent does not have to be arrested or charged with a crime to qualify.1  The steps to file may be similar to the steps for getting a domestic relationship PPO.

The order can be served upon the respondent in one of the following ways:

  • personally,
  • by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, with delivery restricted to the addressee (respondent) at his/her last known address(es) or
  • by any other method allowed by the Michigan Court Rules.

If the respondent is under 18 years old, his/her parent, guardian, or custodian must also be served in one of the ways listed above.4  If it is not clearly written on the order, you may want to ask the judge how you are supposed to serve the order.

Note: If the respondent has not been served, a law enforcement officer or clerk of the court who knows that the order exists may, at any time, serve the respondent with a copy of the order or verbally advise him/her of the existence of the order, of the specific terms of the order, the penalties for violating the order, and where the respondent can get a copy of the order.  This type of oral notice (or oral "service") would still be considered valid service.4  Often times, oral notice of the order may happen if you call the police due to a violation of the order and the respondent has not yet been served.  At that point, the officer is supposed to serve the respondent with a true copy of the order or “serve” him/her orally with the information described in the first sentence of this paragraph.  Then the respondent would be given the chance to comply with (follow) the PPO before s/he can be arrested for violating it.5

1 MCL § 600.2950a(1)
2 MCR 3.703(E)(1)
3 MCR 3.703(E)(2) & MCL 712A.2(h)
4 MCL § 600.2950a(18)
5 MCL § 600.2950a(22)