Will I have to face the abuser in court to get a PPO?
A judge can issue you an ex parte non-domestic sexual assault PPO without a full court hearing and without the abuser present. An ex parte non-domestic sexual assault PPO is valid for at least 182 days (approximately six months).1 Once the PPO is issued, the abuser will be notified that you have an order against him/her.
The abuser has the right to file a motion to modify (change) or rescind (cancel) the ex parte personal protection order and request a hearing within 14 days of being served with the order (unless s/he has a good reason to extend the time to file the motion). If the abuser does request a court hearing, a hearing will normally be set for some time during the following 14 days1 and you may have to face the abuser at that hearing. (If the abuser is licensed to carry a gun due to his/her job, such as a job in law enforcement, the hearing will take place within five days instead of 14).2 You must attend that hearing if you want to keep your PPO unless the judge gives you permission to appear via video conferencing.3 If you do not appear at the hearing in some way, a judge may take away your PPO.
If the abuser does not request a court hearing, you will probably not have to go back to court. However, you should check with a domestic violence organization or legal resource in your community - the court in your area might have its own rules about this. To find an organization in your area to for legal help please visit MI Advocates and Shelters or MI Finding a Lawyer.
You may have additional court hearings if you want to change or extend your PPO, or if the abuser violates the PPO. The abuser may come to those hearings. See Can my non-domestic sexual assault PPO be extended?
1 MCL § 600.2950a(13)
2 MCL § 600.2950a(14)
3 MCR 3.705(B)(3)