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Should I get a PPO? Personal Protection Orders

The issue of personal protection comes up often in the course of divorce or custody cases, however, this is a little understood area of the law that you should be familiar with if you are thinking about or believe you should have a PPO (Personal Protection Order) granted. First of all, note that a PPO is to protect you from imminent danger. It does not protect you from verbal abuse unless that person is threatening to imminently harm you. It does not protect you from past abuse unless you believe that abuse is going to happen again imminently. If someone harmed you 6 months ago, you stayed with them and now you want a PPO, that is not a threat of imminent harm. Imminent means "about to happen".

There are two types of PPOs, we'll focus on the one that comes up frequently in my practice, the "Domestic Relationship PPO". This means that you have or have had a relationship with the person you are seeking a PPO against.

To obtain an "Ex Parte PPO", or an order of protection without a hearing, you must show that:

  • immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result from the delay required to effectuate notice” or

  • the notice will itself precipitate adverse action before a personal protection order can be issued.”

In non-emergency situations, a hearing will be held. So if your Ex Parte PPO is denied, a hearing will be scheduled if requested.

What behavior can you seek a PPO for? Here are some examples:

  • imminent threats of domestic abuse

  • stalking

  • cyberbullying (sending unwanted images or media)

  • threats of physical or sexual assault

If you have an open custody or divorce case, a PPO will usually be handled by the family law Judge handling the family's case in Circuit Court. Exceptions to PPOs are commonly made to communicate about mutual children or exchange children for parenting time.

Many people that believe they should pursue a PPO may not qualify, always discuss with your family law attorney before pursuing a PPO.

Attorney Allison Greenlee Korr handles cases in Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and all surrounding counties, call today for a consultation. 269-381-4471


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