Many people have heard the term
“Restraining Order.” But, in Michigan,
restraining orders are actually known by a confusing acronym, “PP0,” which stands
for Personal Protection Order. PPOs are
court orders signed by a Circuit Court Judge which typically prevent any
contact with a protected person. They
are civil orders, and are therefore sought by individuals, not by prosecutors
or police. And they are often signed by
Family Court Judges, and held before those judges.
Dan Geherin, owner of the Geherin
Law Group PLLC (GLGMichigan) in Ann Arbor, is an ex-prosecutor and
board-certified criminal trial attorney who only handles cases with a criminal
justice element. As part of this
practice, GLG handles many PPO cases—including both seeking and defending PPOs
Every day, Dan answers calls from
people seeking to get or defend a PPO, many of whom ask the same questions:
“How do I get a PPO?”
“Do I have to testify in court to
get or defend a PPO?”
“What happens if I violate the
“How will a PPO entered against
me affect my job, my life, my record?”
“How long will the PPO last?”
PPOs are generally divided into
two categories: Domestic and
Non-Domestic. Domestic categories require
that the Petitioner (person seeking the PPO) and Respondent (person against
whom the PPO is sought) have a current or past relationship (usually defined as
marriage, dating, living together, or child in common). Non-Domestic encompasses all other relationships. To get a PPO, a Petitioner has to show a need
for protection, usually some legitimate fear of intimidation/harassment in the
relationship. Judges can sign these PPOs
“ex-parte,” meaning without a hearing and only upon the Petitioner’s
written request. However, if the Judge
requires testimony before signing the PPO, then a hearing will be scheduled at
which both the Petitioner and Respondent would testify and a judge would decide
if enough evidence exists to sign the Order.
PPOs generally stay in place for
one year, and sometimes longer. If a
Respondent contacts a Petitioner in violation of the PPO, he/she will usually
face a Contempt of Court charge, at which time the Judge will likely impose
jail. Additionally, the county
prosecutor will often then charge the Respondent with Aggravated Stalking, a
felony which can result in prison time.
A PPO can have a very damaging effect on a person’s reputation/freedom,
as the entry goes onto police computers, and often results in a people losing their
jobs, being denied weapons permits, and facing other obstacles.
Unfortunately, PPOs are occasionally
levied by a disgruntled lover/neighbor/co-worker, or by an angry spouse aiming
to get advantage in a divorce/custody fight.
So, for people facing these reputation-altering Orders, the best option
is to consult with an experienced, aggressive, intelligent criminal defense
attorney with a history of successfully defending PPOs.
On the flip side, people who want
to get a PPO often don’t understand the process or are intimidated to seek one
on their own. Having an experienced
attorney with the knowledge, experience and resources to help can soothe that
fear and become a powerful ally.
So, if you are in need of a PPO
and don’t know where to turn; or, if you are served with a PPO in Ann Arbor or
throughout Washtenaw County, please contact Dan Geherin and his firm at GLG
Michigan immediately. We’re available
24/7, and we will put our 20+years criminal justice experience to work in
protecting your interests. Schedule
online at GLGMichigan, or call 24/7 (734) 263-2780. GLG
Michigan: Handling PPO cases throughout
Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County and Southeastern Michigan.