Legal Information: Michigan

Restraining Orders

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August 16, 2016

Who is eligible for a non-domestic stalking personal protection order?

A non-domestic stalking personal protection order (PPO) can be issued based on stalking or cyberstalking committed by someone who you do not have an intimate relationship with.  If you have one of the domestic relationships described here, you would file for a domestic relationship PPO instead.

You may be eligible to file for a stalking personal protection order if the respondent has stalked you or cyberstalked you, as described below. The respondent does not have to be arrested for the crime.

1) Stalking is when someone harasses you at least 2 or more times and it reasonably causes you to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested (bothered).*  "Harassment" is repeated or continuing unconsented contact with you that has no legitimate (valid) purpose and reasonably causes you to suffer emotional distress (harm).  For contact to be considered “unconsented contact,” it means that s/he contacts you without your consent (including if you agreed to the contact at first, but now you have asked the person to stop and s/he continues to contact you).  Unconsented contact includes, but is not limited to, any of the following:

  • Following you or appearing within your sight;
  • Approaching or confronting you in a public place or on private property;
  • Appearing at your workplace or home;
  • Entering onto, remaining on, or putting an object on property that you own, lease (rent), or that you are currently occupying;
  • Contacting you by telephone; or
  • Sending you mail, email or text messages.*

Note: This PPO can also be based on the respondent committing aggravated stalking, which is when the respondent stalks you in violation of a restraining order, probation, parole, makes a serious threat, or has a prior conviction for stalking.**  To read the exact definition, go to our MI Statutes page.

2) Cyberstalking, for the purposes of this PPO, is when the respondent commits the crime of posting or attempting to post messages about you through the Internet, computer or any other form of electronic communication without your consent – it doesn’t matter if the information is true or not true.  To qualify for a protection order under this ground, all of the following must be true:

  • The respondent knows or should know that posting the message could cause 2 or more acts of unconsented contact with you (by anyone).  (See above for the definition of "unconsented contact");
  • Posting the message is intended to cause conduct (behavior, acts) that would make you feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested; and
  • The conduct that comes from posting the message reasonably causes you to suffer emotional distress and to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.***

Note: You cannot get a stalking personal protection order if you are currently a prisoner.****

* MCL § 750.411h(a)-(e)

** MCL § 750.411i(2)

*** MCL § 750.411s(1)

**** MCL § 600.2950a(31)