Personal Protective Orders (PPO)

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

Forms:

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).

Expiration Date:

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.

Violation:

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.

Modification/Extension/Termination:

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:

PPO Coordinator

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.

Crosstown Center
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. 

It’s on Us

It’s On Us is a nationwide effort to reduce sexual assault by focusing on three key areas: bystander intervention, consent education, and survivor support. Educational resources can be found here.

For victim-survivors, the organization provides a number of different resources. They provide a “Self-care checklist” (also below).

SELF-CARE TO DO LIST

  1. Think about what you enjoy doing. This could be anything from a walk around the block during lunch to a weekend trip to the national park. Self care looks different for each of us.
  2. Schedule a time to do it each day, week, or however often you feel it is needed. Put time on your calendar for it to remind yourself to do it and to not schedule other things for those times.
  3. Think of ways to incorporate relaxing activities in your day to day schedule. This could be anything from closing your laptop while you eat your lunch to leaving your phone in your bag while you commute to work or school.
  4. Spend time with those that make you happy. Surround yourself with people that are fun and supportive.
  5. It’s okay to say no. If you feel like your body or mind will not benefit from doing something, take a break to rest or do something you do enjoy and that feels relaxing.
  6. Take care of your body. If you are feeling tired, try to get to bed just a few minutes earlier each day.
  7. Think about why you are doing the self care activity. Remind yourself why you are taking time out of your day to do something that is not for work or school — it is for you! Self care helps us recuperate from a stressful or busy schedule and to be more productive afterwards.

My Plan

The myPlan app helps identify, navigate and provides resources for a range of relationship abuse concerns. Protected by a pin-code you’ve selected, the app allows you to create a basic safety plan, assess your (or your friend’s or family member’s) relationship, and learn about relationship behaviors.

The app is available for someone in a potentially harmful relationship, or for friends and family that are worried about their loved ones in a potentially harmful relationship. While the version for the potential victim includes considerations for men, women, and gender non-conforming individuals, it is important to note that the friends and family version focuses on women and gender non-conforming individuals.

What to expect when logging in:

Your first login will ask you to create a pin to protect the information included on the app. It will prompt you with the directions of setting up your plan. Firstly, you will select whether this plan is for your own relationship or if it is for a friend/family member’s relationship.

For your relationship:

You will then select the gender identity that most closely aligns with your identity and whether or not you are a college student. The bottom bar on the app allows you to select from assess, safety plan, and learn. In the Assess tab, you can provide information that is pertinent to your situation (i.e. if you are a parent or pregnant). This tab will go through information about you, what your hope is for the relationship, and your location for resources catered for you. You have the option to skip providing your location. The Assess tab will also review your relationship with questions around “red flag” behaviors. It then moves on to asking about intensity and your safety. Lastly, the Assess tab helps your review your priorities to help you make decisions. By completing this tab, the Safety Plan tab caters resources and strategies for you. Lastly, the Learn tab provides educational content on relationship violence and healthy relationships.

For friend/family’s relationship:

You will select the gender identity that most closely aligns with your friend’s identity and whether or not you are a college student. The bottom bar on the app allows you to select from assess, safety plan, and learn. In the Assess tab, you are able to provide information on the situation and better understand the health and safety of the relationship/situation. You will have several categories to choose from, including the creation of an emergency plan, protecting yourself, reaching out, and education.

My plan website

IOS download

Google Play

Black Men Heal

Black Men Heal is an organization with a mission “to provide access to mental health treatment, psycho-education, and community resources to men of color”. In order to apply for 8 free therapy sessions, the form will need to be filled out. Please note that because of a limited number of slots, an application does not guarantee selection.

Kings Corner

Black Men Heal offers a free support group for men of color, Kings Corner. This is a virtual space for men of color who are seeking free therapy. To register, click this link.

SANE exams

Offered at the YWCA through Bronson Hospital , Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) exams are free of charge and available 24/7 for persons who have been sexually assaulted or have concerns of sexual abuse. SANEs are confidential. The nurse examiners provide uninterrupted exams in a quiet, private, and comforting examination room. Eligible criteria are that the assault/concern for happened within 120 hours, the patient is able to consent and wants to see the SANE team.

What to expect at a SANE exam:

  • Collection of detailed medical history.
  • Head-to-Toe examination looking for areas of injury or abnormalities.
  • Provided medication (Rocephin injection, Zithromax and Flagyl by mouth) for most common STI’s (Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Trichomonas).
  • Provided HIV prophylaxis starter pack (4-day), and testing throughout the remaining time on starter pack
    • Lab work ensures safety in continued treatment after starter pack ends
    • Suggested lab work with continued treatment
  • Offered emergency contraception (i.e. Plan B)
  • If desired, collection of potential DNA evidence to provide to Law Enforcement for testing at the Michigan State Police Crime Lab.
    • Patients DO NOT have to speak with police to obtain medical care.
    • Swabs can also be kept in SANE storage while patient decides if they want to proceed with giving them to Law Enforcement for testing.
  • Provided follow-up recommendations, counseling, and safety planning

Who’s in the room?

  • A supportive advocate is present throughout the entire exam, if desired. This individual can provide emotional support and resources to the victim-survivor.
  • A registered nurse trained in medical forensic care

TransLatin@

TransLatin@ Coalition, founded in 2009 as a grassroots effort to address the specific needs of Transgender, Gender Nonconforming, and Intersex immigrants who live in the US. The Coalition takes part in community led campaigns, policy change, and leadership development.

The Coalition is represented in the following states: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Texas, Washington, and Washington D.C. Additionally, they are located in Mexico City. The Coalition includes information on their legislative platform, a blog covering recent news, and if in Los Angeles a list of services, the Coalition can provide.

Disability Minus Abuse

Disability Minus Abuse, founded in July 2020, aims to address abuse of people with disabilities through public awareness, education and training, policy development, law enforcement, and professional consulting. The organization provides a listserv for individuals to receive an array of resources. You can sign up here.

The organization offers an online platform for topic groups such as the intersections of Deaf individuals and police, the Equal Rights Amendment and people with disabilities, etc. To request to join, please visit here.

Community United Against Violence (CUAV)

Community United Against Violence is an organization that works to build the power of LGBTQ communities to reduce violence and oppression. The organization aims to create safe communities for everyone to thrive.

The organization offers advocacy-based peer counseling. Through this service, individuals within the LGBTQ community can access short-term counseling for emotional support, safety planning, referrals, and limited case follow-up. To schedule an appointment, you can either call 415.333.HELP (4357) or email counseling@cuav.org. I offer counseling through phone or zoom.

Take Care Tuesdays is a support group offered through zoom on Tuesday evenings open to all LGBTQIA2-S survivors of violence. Sign up here.

Seasonal events

Yoga 4 Heart Resilience is a 4-week virtual series for LGBTQI2S Survivors of violence focusing on breathwork and movement. The program is offered in English and Spanish. Sign up here. (Takes place in Fall 2021)