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Seeking a Michigan Protective Order

A protective order in Michigan is classified as a Personal Protection Order (PPO). The most important thing that a person needs to do when starting the process to issue a Michigan protective order is to obtain and properly fill out all the appropriate paperwork.

There are ways to obtain a personal protection order without a hearing so that the person seeking to have a restraining order issued will never actually have to appear in front of the judge in court. There is also a way to get a protective order with a hearing after a person has filled out the paperwork.

If you are seeking a protective order, then you may want to discuss with an experienced lawyer which type of protective order in Michigan is better for you under the facts and circumstances you face.

Types of Orders

It is important to understand that there are different kinds of protective orders. The most common is a Personal Protection Order. PPOs are relatively easy to get and do not require the court to have any other independent jurisdiction. A person seeking a PPO simply filed the necessary paperwork that is then reviewed and signed by a judge.

The second kind of protective orders arise out of cases where a court already has jurisdiction over the parties as part of some unrelated proceeding. In these cases, the protective order is usually called an injunction or a restraining order. These kinds of protective orders may arise out of a contentious divorce and there was a need or a request for the judge who is presiding over the divorce to issue a protective order to protect a spouse or a child. Also, there can be some other types of unrelated matters or crimes where it becomes apparent that someone is in danger and then the judge can order a protective order. For example, there may be a no-contact protective or restraining order in a criminal case involved an alleged sexual assault.

If any of these are violated, then a show cause order will be issued, and this show cause order schedules a date and time for the parties to be brought before the judge to show a cause as to why a person did or did not the violate the judge’s order. If the judge believes there has been a violation, then a judge can actually put the person found in violation of the PPO in jail for up 93 days. The judge can also order a fine of up to $500, or both.

Step By Step Process

The first thing a person needs to do to issue a Michigan protective order is file the petition and the order with the county clerk in the county where they reside. Once the clerk has stamped it and filed it, the person seeking the protective order will bring it to the courtroom and the judge’s staff will present it to the judge. The judge will review the restraining order and determine whether or not there has been a showing of a reasonable cause before it will be signed.

Remember that after filling out all the paperwork, the most important thing to do when issuing this protective order in Michigan is to have the order signed by the judge. The court speaks through its written orders, so simply filing the restraining order with the clerk is not enough, it must be signed by the judge.

The judge may not sign the order the same day it is delivered so an individual may have to wait a couple of days before the court calls them to come back and pick it up. Then, after it is picked up, the signed order will still need to served, meaning, that the person against whom the order is directed has notice of it. Service of an issued protective order can be done by the police or sheriff.

Serving the Order

Once a judge has signed the order, it still does not afford any protection until it is served on the person requested to be retrained, meaning they must have legal notice of the court’s order. If the person restrained has not been given notice, then the judge cannot punish them for violating the order and the police cannot enforce it.

There are many different ways to have the notice served, meaning brought to and delivered to a person. Often local law enforcement agency will be able to serve it and some actually do it for free. Someone’s lawyer will probably have a relationship with one or more “process servers” who can also be hired to deliver the PPO.

To have a protective order issued and served, it can cost anywhere from $10 to $100. In some instances, a person may be able to have it done for free.

LEIN

Once the restraining order has been served then it is important to call the sheriff or the police and make sure that they have received the order and it has been added into the Law Enforcement Information Network (LIEN). The reason that is important is because if a person is claiming that the Michigan protective order has been violated, the police will not do anything unless they have notice that there is actually a valid order “in the system” and the way they know that is by checking the computers called the LIEN.

If the police see the protective order on the LIEN then they will be able to enforce it. If it is not there, even if has been properly signed and served, a person will have a much more difficult time getting the police to do anything because by acting on an invalid Michigan restraining order, they could violate someone’s rights in trying to enforce a valid PPO.

When issued, Michigan protective orders last usually about six months. Prior to the expiration of the PPO, about 28 days before, a person needs to file a motion with the court to have it extended.