Wyandotte Divorce Lawyer | Trenton Family Law Attorney
In Michigan we have a statute allowing courts to issue restraining orders known as Personal Protection Orders.
In brief, the statute allows the issuance of a restraining order where there have been two or more acts of domestic violence which include assaultive behavior, threats of assaultive behavior and stalking.
A person does not need an attorney to obtain a Personal Protection Order.
In Wayne County, Michigan the person seeking the restraining order meets with a representative from the clerk’s office who will assist the person in filling out forms which include names and addresses, whether or not they are related to the person they want a restraining order against, and the acts of domestic violence that have occurred.
After signing the petition for the Personal Protection Order, the court then decides whether to issue a Personal Protection Order on an ex parte basis (then and there) or to schedule the matter for a hearing.
An “ex parte order” is an order issued by the court without first scheduling a hearing and without giving notice to the other party known as the respondent. If the court believes that the conduct of the wrongdoer is continuing and likely to cause the petitioner substantial harm the court has the authority to issue the Personal Protection Order without first having a hearing.
Otherwise, the court will set a time and date for a hearing and mail written notice to the respondent of when and where the hearing will be held on the petition for the Personal Protection Order.
The Personal Protection Order typically prohibits the respondent from engaging in assaultive behavior, from stalking and other similar behavior. The Personal Protection Order can also prohibit the respondent from returning to the marital residence or appearing at the petitioner’s place of employment. It can also bar the respondent from contacting the petitioner by telephone, by mail or in person.
OBJECTING TO THE PERSONAL PROTECTION ORDER
A person served with an ex parte Personal Protection Order has the right to request a hearing to set aside or cancel the Personal Protection Order.
Although it is not required by law to have an attorney to file a motion to set aside a Personal Protection Order, you certainly have a better chance of success by having an experienced attorney represent you in this matter. If you are charged with violating the provisions of a Personal Protection Order the court may order you to appear in court for a contempt hearing. If the court finds you in contempt for violating a Personal Protection Order you can be fined, jailed or put on probation.
If you are accused of violating the Personal Protection Order a second or third time, the punishments only get worse. If you are served with a Personal Protection Order, obey the order and contact an attorney without delay. Many times the Personal Protection Order will be based upon half-truths, total falsehoods or ancient information. You do not want to let a Personal Protection Order stand, if it is based upon misrepresentations.
Once the Personal Protection Order is signed by the court and served on you, a copy is sent to the Michigan State Police who will enter it into their computer system known as the LIEN. So if the police are called to your residence because of an alleged domestic relations dispute, they will know whether or not a Personal Protection Order has been issued.
Also,remember that if a Personal Protection Order is entered against you and not challenged, it could affect your ability to obtain custody or joint custody of your children. It could also be the basis for the court removing you from the marital residence while the divorce is pending.