Understanding How Protective Orders Work
Personal protection orders (also called restraining orders or PPO) are one of the few legal tools available to prevent family violence. If a person has been abused or assaulted by a spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, he or she can seek a legal order that prevents that person from coming near them or contacting them for a specified amount of time. The hope is that at the end of that time, the situation will have cooled down and the chance of violence will be reduced.
At the law office of Marrs & Terry, PLLC, we help people petition for protective orders and we assist people against whom protective orders have been filed. While the forms are designed to be completed by non-lawyers, working with a lawyer can be helpful.
If you want legal advice or help completing the PPO petition, contact us to schedule an appointment at our Jackson or Ann Arbor law office. Your safety is a top priority.
The Process Of Obtaining A Personal Protection Order
You can get and file a personal protection order in any county and it will be valid everywhere. When you file a PPO, you are alleging that you suffered abuse or that there is a realistic threat that you will be abused if the other party is allowed near you. You will be able to see a judge quickly and a temporary order will be issued at that first hearing. The order will not become permanent, however, until there has been a second hearing.
Once the temporary order is filed, the person it was filed against will be required to move out of the family residence, will be prohibited from appearing at your work or school, and must stay a specified distance away from you. They cannot call you, stalk you or harass you.
The “abuser” will be served with court papers. He or she has 14 days to file an objection. If no objection is filed, a permanent order will be granted. If an objection is filed, he or she will have an opportunity to defend themselves in court and the judge may or may not grant the permanent order.
How Can An Attorney Help You?
If you are asking for a PPO: While we can help you file the paperwork, we can also explain what behaviors the court will consider a realistic threat and what exactly the protective order will do for you. We can also help you understand what will be asked of you when you are on the stand and how the judge is likely to view your case.
If a protection order is being sought against you: It’s vital to file a motion to terminate the protection order. Having a domestic violence charge or a protective order on your record can have a big effect on your job and your future. If you suspect that the other person filed the protection order because they want a divorce and they want the upper hand in a child custody case, you need to let your attorney and the judge know that. Most judges see through this scheme; it is damaging to the credibility of the person making the false charges.
Similarly, if the other person is trying to ensure you don’t have parenting time with your children, the court wants to know this. Unless there has been real or threatened violence against the minor child, the temporary order will say that you can still see and communicate with your child.