What is a Personal Protection Order?
A Personal Protection Order (PPO) is a Circuit Court Order that protects victims of Domestic Violence, Family Violence, Dating Violence or Stalking. The intent of the order is to provide one party (Petitioner) protection from the other party (Respondent) from all or some of the following:
- Contacting the petitioner through any means (in person, by phone, mail, email or third party contact)
- Entering the petitioner’s residence, property or work place
- Assaulting, attacking, beating, molesting, or wounding the petitioner
- Harassing, stalking, or threatening the petitioner
- Removing minor children from where they live unless their removal is part of a court ordered parenting time or custody order
- Stalking petitioner—which includes but is not limited to: following, approaching or confronting petitioner in a public place or on private property
- Interfering with the petitioner’s efforts to remove their children or property
- Threatening to kill or physically injure the petitioner
- Interfering with or engaging in conduct that impairs petitioner’s employment or educational environment
- Allowing a non-custodial parent to access a petitioner’s home or work address or telephone numbers through a minor child’s records
- Purchasing or possessing a firearm
- Any other specific act that interferes with the petitioner’s personal liberty or causes a reasonable fear of violence
Do I need a PPO?
If you are in fear for your personal safety, you may want to file for a Personal Protection Order. If you need protection from being assaulted, threatened, harassed or stalked by another individual, then you may want to file for a PPO.
Who can get a PPO?
Anyone who has been physically, emotionally, or sexually abused or threatened by someone they have been married to, lived with, have a child in common with or dated can petition for a PPO. Examples include: current or former spouse, family member, current or former partner, the other parent of your child/children, current or former roommate, or current or former person you dated. You would file for a domestic PPO if any of these relationships applied.
You may want to file for a stalking PPO if the person you want restrained is stalking you and none of these relationships apply. Stalking is repeated (two or more instances) harassment that makes you feel scared, threatened, intimidated or terrorized. It can be someone you know or a stranger. If the stalker is someone who you have or had a relationship with, then you would still file for a domestic PPO. The domestic PPO contains a section regarding stalking behaviors that can be prohibited. If there is no relationship, nor ever has been a relationship between you and the stalker, then you would file for a stalking PPO.
How do I get a PPO?
You do not need an attorney to file for a Personal Protection Order and there are no filing fees for a PPO. However, there may be a fee for having the PPO papers served on the Respondent. Currently, the Marquette County Sheriff’s Department charges $18.00 to serve the PPO. They will waive this fee if the Judge has signed the Suspension of Fees/Cost form.
The forms and instructions for both the Domestic and Stalking Personal Protection Orders can be obtained from the Marquette County Clerk’s Office and the Women’s Center. The PPO paperwork consists of:
- Instructions for completing PPO paperwork
- The Petition (may include a copy of the Order form as well)
- Proof of service form
- Optional: Suspension of Fees/Cost form
Once the forms are completed they are returned to the County Clerk’s Office where they are assigned to a Circuit Court Judge to review. The Judge may do one of the following:
- Grant the PPO immediately, without a hearing (“ex-parte”)
- Order a hearing before granting the PPO
- Deny the PPO without a hearing
- Deny the PPO after a hearing
PPO’s are in effect with a Judge’s signature. Respondent has a right to request a hearing to have the PPO terminated if it was signed “ex-parte.” An average length of time a PPO is effective is one year, however, it may be less than that or more than one year. The minimum amount of time a PPO can be effective is 180 days