Personal Protection Order Violations

UPDATED: February 03, 2009


QUESTN2 Get your PPO SERVE1 GAVELSM links-32
What is a PPO?

Getting Your PPO

(inc. Court Forms)

Serving Your PPO PPO Violations Other PPO Sites

PPO Violations

What if the Respondent violates the PPO?

If your situation is an emergency, CALL 9-1-1 !

Otherwise, call the nearest police department:

Bellevue Police Department (269) 763-9429
Charlotte Police Department (517) 543-1552
Eaton County Sheriff's Department (517) 543-3512
(517) 323-8480
Eaton Rapids Police Department [2] (517) 663-8118
Grand Ledge Police Department (517) 627-2115
Lansing Police Department (517) 483-4600
Michigan State Police Post 11 (517) 322-1907
Olivet Police Department (269) 749-9961
Potterville Police Department (517) 645-7641

Does the violation have to occur in front of a law enforcement officer?

No. A police office may make a warrantless arrest of a PPO respondent if the officer has "reasonable cause" to believe that he violated the PPO.

A Police Officer can then quickly confirm the terms of your Order when investigating your report that the Respondent has committed a violation.

What if the PPO violator has left the scene before the police arrive?

The PPO statute does not impose a time limit on the police officer's arrest authority, so a warrantless arrest may happen even if the respondent has left the scene of an alleged violation. If the police cannot find the respondent, they may choose to file a warrant request for Stalking; repeated violations of a PPO may constitute the crime of Aggravated Stalking.

What happens if he is arrested?

The police may arrest the restrained party if he was previously served with a copy of the PPO. The police are encouraged to arrest if they have evidence of a PPO violation, but they have discretion to arrest or not arrest. If arrested, the restrained party will be brought to a Circuit Court judge within 24 hours. At that time, the Judge can set a bond; if the respondent posts the bond, he can be released. The Judge will also set a date for a Show Cause hearing where you and other necessary witnesses will testify about the how the Respondent violated the PPO. The Eaton County Prosecutor's Office may be involved in this Show Cause hearing (see below).

What if he is not arrested for violating the PPO?

The police might not arrest the restrained party, especially if the officer did not witness him commit the acts violating the PPO, or if there was insufficient proof that the respondent had been served with the PPO papers before the alleged violation occurred.

If the restrained person is not arrested, you will have to file a "motion to show cause" in the Circuit Court Clerk's office to have a hearing about the PPO violation. A "show cause" action focuses on whether the respondent should be held in contempt of court for violating the PPO. Like the original PPO application, you will have to write out what the respondent did & said, and attach supporting witness statements, police reports, photographs, etc. Your motion to show cause will be reviewed by the Judge. If he believes that a violation likely occurred, he will schedule a show cause hearing and will issue a show cause order directing the defendant to appear in Court to respond to your allegations that he violated the PPO. You must attend the show cause hearing; bring eye witnesses and supporting evidence, because testimony will be needed if the respondent disputes what you alleged in your motion.

To help you document PPO violations, download our Stalking Victim's Log!

What is the Prosecuting Attorney's role in PPO contempt hearings?

The Prosecuting Attorney must prosecute all arrest and non-arrest criminal contempt proceedings, unless the petitioner retains his or her own attorney for this purpose.

What kinds of punishment can he get for violating the PPO?

A PPO is a court order, so any violation proven beyond a reasonable doubt 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 $500, and (as of July 1, 2000) can place the Respondent on probation up to 2 years in lieu of jail time.

What can I do to help "make a case" for a PPO violation?

PPO violations happen in seclusion and public, at night and in broad daylight. Many times, police are not present when the violations occur. The constant is you. Therefore, your help is necessary in order to prove that a violation occurred.

Preserve all available tangible evidence of the PPO violation, such as notes or letters, answering machine messages, etc. Keep written notes of when and where the violations happened, what was said and done, who else may have seen or heard the respondent's conduct, etc. Take photographs of property damage. Give all of these to the police or Prosecutor.

To help you document PPO violations, download our Stalking Victim's Log!


Can a respondent be charged with both a PPO violation and a separate criminal offense for the same behavior?

Yes. Michigan statutes clearly state a Legislative intent that criminal sanctions be imposed in addition to whatever criminal penalties apply for a separate criminal offense. [See MCL 600.2950(23) and 600.2950a(20).] Also, appellate decisions have stated that separate convictions did not violate double jeopardy, even though they were based on the same conduct. See People v Coones, 216 Mich App 721, 500 NW2d 600, 603 (1996) .


What if I resume contact with the respondent after the PPO has been issued?

The PPO is directed to the respondent's behavior, NOT the petitioner's. Regardless of the petitioner's wishes for contact, the respondent will have violated the court's order. The petitioner's invitation or consent may mitigate sanctions, but it is no defense to the violation.

A petitioner should not "send the wrong signals" to the respondent by actually or seemingly allowing contact that violates the PPO. The PPO means what the order says and applies when the order says ... not just when it is "convenient" to the petitioner for the terms to apply. If you do not want or need the PPO in effect any more, move to set it aside or modify it.


How do I change the terms of the PPO?
How do I dismiss the PPO?

Only a court can change a PPO; the parties cannot do this privately or informally. If you decide to get back together (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) a PPO the PPO is available in the County Clerk's Office. The same form is used to change any of the terms of the order (i.e., your new home/work address).

The respondent may move to modify or rescind the PPO within 14 days after service or actual notice, or for good cause shown after the 14 days have elapsed. A hearing must be held within 14 days after a request for modification or rescission.

A motion is also necessary to obtain a PPO which is effective longer than the time allowed in the ex-parte order.


Is there a fee to modify or cancel a PPO?

There is no filing fee when parties seek to modify or terminate a PPO.



Out-of-State PPOs

Can I get my Michigan PPO enforced in another state?

Yes. If you have a valid Michigan PPO that meets federal standards, it can be enforced in another state. The Violence Against Women Act, which is a federal law, states that all valid PPOs granted in the United States receive "full faith and credit" in all state and tribal courts within the US, including US territories.

Each state must enforce out-of-state PPOs in the same way it enforces its own orders. Meaning, if your abuser violates your out-of-state PPO, s/he will be punished according to the laws of whatever state you are in when the order is violated. This is what is meant by "full faith and credit." To make this even clearer, every Michigan PPO says that the order is enforceable in any state as long as the defendant has been notified of the order. MCL 600.2950(11)(b).

A PPO is valid anywhere in the USA if:

  • It was issued to prevent violent, threatening, or harassing behavior against another person, OR it was issued to forbid contact or communication with another person
  • The court that issued the order had jurisdiction over the people and case (i.e., had the authority to hear the case)
  • The abuser received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story. For ex parte and emergency orders, the abuser must receive notice and have an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story at a hearing that is scheduled before the temporary order expires. 18 USC 2265.


I have a temporary / e-parte PPO. Can it be enforced in another state?

Yes. Temporary ex-parte orders can be enforced by other states, just like any regular PPO, as long as the abuser has been served and will have the opportunity to have a court hearing set before your temporary order expires.

The state where you are going cannot extend your temporary order, or issue you a permanent order when the temporary one expires. If you need to extend your temporary order, you will have to contact the state that issued the order and arrange to be at the hearing in person or by telephone (if that is an option offered by the court).


What if the PPO was issued in another state?

As of 04/01/2002, a peace officer, without a warrant, may arrest and take into custody a person when the officer has positive information that a "foreign protection order" has been violated in Michigan. An officer may rely on a copy of the order if it contains all of the following: (i) parties' names, (ii) issuance date that is prior to the date when enforcement is sought, (iii) terms and conditions against the respondent, (iv) name of issuing court, (v) judicial officer's signature, and (vi) no obvious indication that the order is invalid (such as an expiration date occurring before the date when enforcement is sought). Verification on L.E.I.N. or the NCIC national protection order file is not required. The officer may rely on the petitioner's or respondent's statement that the respondent has received prior notice of the order.

A person who violates a foreign protection order that is a conditional release order or a probation order issued by another court in a criminal proceeding is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 93 days &/or $500. [See 2001 PA 197; MCL 600.2950m.]


How do I get my PPO enforced in another state?

Federal law does not require you to take any special steps to get your PPO enforced in another state. But, many states have laws or regulations about enforcement of out-of-state orders. These rules differ from state to state, so it is important to find out what the rules are in the other state before you try to get your PPO enforced there. For example, a state may ask you to "register" or file your order so that the court and the police know about it.

Although knowing the state rules can make enforcement easier, a valid PPO is enforceable regardless of whether it has been registered or filed in the new state.

Note: It is important to keep a copy of your PPO with you at all times. It is also a good idea to know the rules of states you will be living in or visiting to ensure that your out-of-state order can be enforced in a timely manner.


Do I need anything special to get my PPO enforced in another state?

In some states, you will need a certified copy of your PPO. A certified copy says that it is a "true and correct" copy; it is signed and initialed by the clerk of court that gave you the order, and usually has some kind of court stamp on it or embossed (raised) seal.

In Michigan, a certified order has a court seal on it and either the judge’s original signature or a stamp of the judge’s signature along with a “true copy” stamp. When the PPO was issued, you should have received two (2) certified copies of the order. MCL 600.2950(15)(b). If your copy is not a certified copy, go back to the court that gave you the order and ask the clerk's office for a certified copy. There is usually no fee to get a certified copy of a Michigan PPO, but you may have to pay for the copies.

Note: It is a good idea to keep a copy of the order with you at all times. You will also want to bring several copies of the order with you when you move. Leave copies of the order at your work place, at your home, at the children's school or daycare, in your car, with a sympathetic neighbor, etc. Give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work. Give a copy of the order to anyone who is named in and protected by the order.


What are the advantages and disadvantages of registering my out-of-state PPO?

Advantages: If your PPO is registered in the new state, it is easier for law enforcement officials to verify that your order is valid. When police officers arrive on a scene, they generally check to see if your PPO is registered in the state's registry. If it is not listed in the state registry, the police officer will have to look through the national registry or call the court where the order was issued. This takes longer and it could mean that your PPO is not enforced right away.

Disadvantages: When you register your PPO in a new state, some states (not all) will notify your abuser that the PPO has been registered in the new state. If you do not want your abuser to find out what state you have relocated to, it is important to understand what the rules are in your new state.


Do I need a lawyer to help enforce a PPO in another state?

You do not need a lawyer to get your PPO enforced in another state.

However, you may want to get help from a local domestic violence advocate or attorney in the state that you move to. A domestic violence advocate can let you know what the advantages and disadvantages are for registering your PPO, and help you through the process if you decide to do so.

You may also want to check with the prosecutor in the county where you are to see if that office can help. PPO violation hearings can turn into "mini trials" with witnesses, testimony, exhibits, etc. The local prosecutor may be required by state law to help put your evidence before the court.


Do I need to tell the court in Michigan if I move?

You are not required to tell the court in Michigan if you move. However, it might be a good idea to give the court a current address so that you can be notified of any actions that are taken regarding your PPO. Ask the court to keep your contact informaton confidential if you do not want the defendant or others to find you by looking in the court file.



QUESTN2 Get your PPO SERVE1 GAVELSM links-32
What is a PPO?

Getting Your PPO

(inc. Court Forms)

Serving Your PPO PPO Violations Other PPO Sites


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