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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.
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If your situation is an emergency, call 911! Otherwise, call the nearest police department:
No. A police officer may make a warrantless arrest of a personal protection order (PPO) respondent if the officer has "reasonable cause" to believe that he violated the PPO.
Always carry a copy of your PPO! A Police Officer can then quickly confirm the terms of your order when investigating your report that the Respondent has committed a violation.
The personal protection order (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.
The police may arrest the restrained party if he was previously served with a copy of the personal protection order (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.
The police might not arrest the restrained party, especially if the officer did not witness him commit the acts violating the personal protection order (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 and 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 (PDF).
A personal protection order (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.
Personal protection order (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 (PDF).
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. (People v Coones, 216 Michigan App 721, 500 NW2d 600, 603 (1996)).
The personal protection order (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.
Only a court can change a personal protection order (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.
There is no filing fee when parties seek to modify or terminate a personal protection order (PPO).