How to File a Restraining Order in Michigan

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A restraining order, also called a personal protection order (PPO), is a tool designed to protect vulnerable people from harm. A restrained person cannot legally approach, threaten or harm the PPO holder.

Go to the Michigan Circuit Court nearest to your residence. Bring your personal identification plus any evidence you have regarding the incident(s) that led you to seek the PPO, including police reports, answering machine messages or evidence of injuries caused by the abuser.

Locate the Clerk of the Court's office. Tell the clerk you wish to file a petition for a personal protection order. The clerk will ask you to specify if it is for domestic protection, criminal protection or stalking protection. The Women's Law Organization link in the references section below will help explain which case best fits your needs.

Complete the forms provided to you by the court clerk, including information about the abuse and why you wish to obtain a protective order. You can also provide information about the suspect, including his address, a picture and his license plate number.

Give the documentation to the clerk, who'll provide you with a judge and case number. Proceed to the appropriate courtroom.

If your petition is heard in open court, wait for your case number to be called. The judge will read your petition and ask why you wish to obtain a protective order. The judge will view any evidence you have submitted and decide whether or not to grant the order, and whether to provide an immediate emergency order. This process is called an "Ex Parte" hearing, in which all parties, in this case the defendant, are not present.

If court is not in session, take your petition to the judge's chambers, give it to the clerk and follow the clerk's instructions. If the judge is present, she may review the petition immediately.


  • Consider having an attorney file your petition. Court clerks will help you, up to a point, but they are not permitted to give you legal advice, nor are they likely to advocate for you as thoroughly as a good attorney will.

    Personal protection orders in Michigan are good for up to 182 days. If more time is needed you will have to apply for an extension.

    Make several copies of your protective order. Keep one on your person at all times. Keep one in your car, home, office and anywhere else you may spend time throughout the day.


  • Always provide truthful and concise information to the courts. It is a crime to intentionally provide false information on any legal document.



About the Author

Jesse Futch began writing professionally in 2008. He writes for various websites, including eHow, specializing in topics such as family, technology, travel, history and science. Futch is self-taught in the field of writing. He studied U.S. history, software engineering and missile and space systems at U.S. Air Force Technical College.

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