A Personal Protection Order (PPO) is a court order to stop threats or violence against you. A PPO can help protect you from someone who is threatening, hurting, harassing, or stalking you. You can apply for a PPO if you have a reasonable fear for your personal liberty or safety. Paperwork to file a PPO can be obtained at the Circuit Court Clerk’s office or through YWCA Legal Advocacy. A petition must be filed with the Circuit Court Trial Division – Civil. The order is enforceable anywhere in the United States by any law enforcement agency until the expiration date, included in the order.
Situations in which a PPO is desired may include Domestic or Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking.
Types of PPOs:
Domestic Relationship- when the person you want protection from is:
- Your spouse or former spouse
- Someone with whom you have a child in common
- Someone you are dating or have dated in the past
- Someone who lives now, or has ever lived, in the same household as you
Non-Domestic Relationship: if a person has done a pattern of acts without your consent that make you feel threatened, harassed, frightened or molested. Can include stalking and/or a sexual assault outside of a domestic relationship.
Ex Parte Order: Can be for a domestic or non-domestic relationship. This type of order is granted without a hearing. Once filed, the judge has 48 hours to sign, deny or require a hearing.
- If ex parte order is granted, you will need someone to serve the PPO. This may require you to pay for a process server to serve the PPO papers to respondent. PPO is not activated until the other person has been served the PPO papers.
- If a judge denies the request for ex parte, a hearing will be set. You will have to serve the hearing papers to the person you are wanting the PPO against. The hearing is where both you and the person you want a PPO against will appear in court where the Judge will ask to hear more from both sides. Judge will then decide if the PPO will be granted or not.
Filing a PPO
Only state and locally approved forms for obtaining a PPO may be used. This ensures conformity with statutes, avoids interpretation issues, and provides uniformity for all law enforcement agencies. Locally approved forms are available at the 9th Circuit Court.
Filing a Case:
A PPO is a separate action and will not be filed in conjunction with any other action.
No fee is required to file a petition for PPO, although the petitioner is responsible for the cost of serving papers and for copies of previous judgments or orders.
- The PPO Office has a list of process servers (Cost can range from $45-$100+ depending on location of where PPO needs to be served). YWCA does not have a guaranteed/staffed process server, but may have pro bono volunteers who may be able to serve the PPO. An application with YWCA Legal Department will need to be completed to access this service.
For protection purposes, the petitioner may request that addresses and telephone numbers be kept confidential (Form 9CC-0400, Confidential Information).
All PPOs must contain an expiration date, which is not less than 182 days after entry. Ex-parte PPOs will not exceed one year unless the judge concludes a longer period is necessary.
Notification for LEIN (Law Enforcement Information Network):
Upon entry of a PPO or an order for modification, dismissal or termination of a PPO, the PPO Coordinator will notify the appropriate law enforcement agency of entry of the PPO or changes to the PPO that need entry into LEIN.
If your situation is an emergency, CALL 911. Otherwise, call the nearest police department.
Any violation is criminal “contempt of court”. The Judge can send the violating Respondent to jail for up to 93 days for each violation, and/or impose a fine of up to $500.
Only a court can change a PPO; the parties cannot do this privately or informally. If you decide to reconcile with the person you had restrained, or you no longer want the order to remain in effect, either you or the Respondent must file a motion in court to “dissolve” the order. Otherwise, the order will remain in effect until the date the judge originally set for it to expire. A form to modify (change the terms of) or dissolve (dismiss) the PPO is available in the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office – Trial Division. The same form is used to change any of the terms of the order (i.e. your new home/work address).
Services to Help File a PPO:
The Court’s PPO Coordinator is available to conduct interviews with and assist petitioners seeking PPO’s. The PPO Coordinator interviews petitioners to assess their needs, assists with processing paperwork, and will oftentimes refer petitioners to local agencies for assistance.
PPO intake interviews are conducted on an appointment basis and are available Monday through Friday. Appointments will be scheduled by the 9th Circuit Court Trial Division staff during regular business hours. It is important that you arrive on time for your scheduled appointment otherwise, the appointment will need to be rescheduled.
Circuit Court Trial Division – Civil
150 E. Crosstown Parkway
Kalamazoo, Michigan 49001
YWCA Legal Advocates
YWCA legal department has legal advocates that can help with filling out and submitting PPO applications to the Kalamazoo PPO Office.
- Call 269.385.3587 and ask for a legal referral to be sent for a PPO application.
- Already working with a victim advocate at the YWCA? They can refer you to a legal advocate.