The purpose of a PPO is to offer a measure of protection to one person who is experiencing a pattern of physical, verbal, or emotional abuse, or threats of two or more incidents of stalking from another person.
Sometimes people are improperly advised to ask for a personal protection order to try to solve a problem that they are having with another person.
Please Review the Following to Determine if a PPO is the Best Action for You
Are you seeking help with:
A neighborhood argument
A personal property issue
A dispute between landlord and tenant
Small claims case
Concerns about the behavior of your minor child
If you answered "yes" to any of the above, you probably are in need of another action other than a Personal Protection Order. Mediation may be one course to consider.
Personal Protection Orders - General Civil
Personal Protection Orders are usually filed Pro Per (no attorney). A Personal Protection Order is an order signed by a Circuit Court Judge that forbids or requires a person to do something. The person obtaining the PPO is the Petitioner and the person against whom the PPO is filed is the Respondent.
A PPO may order the Respondent not to:
Enter your property
Assault, attack, beat or wound you
Threaten to kill or physically harm you
Remove children from you if you have court-ordered custody
Interfere with your place of employment
Interfere with your efforts to remove your children or personal property
Contact you by telephone
Send you mail (including electronic mail)
Purchase or possess a firearm
To be eligible to obtain a PPO, you must establish that there is reasonable cause to believe that the Respondent will commit one or more of the above behaviors. PPO’S are always assigned a new case number even if a divorce is filed at the same time. There is no filing fee for filing of the petition.
The Family Court Coordinator or the Domestic Assault Advocate will assist people in completing the papers if they are available. The Clerk will provide packets or assist if necessary.
When a PPO case is filed the Clerk copies the papers and takes the file to the Judge. The Judge either grants the order, denies it or sets a hearing. The Clerk runs copies of the order or notice of hearing. The petitioner must make arrangements to have respondent served with the papers. The Clerk serves the Sheriff's Department with a copy of the PPO after it is signed and re-serves the Sheriff's Department after the filing of a proof of service showing that the respondent has been served with a copy of the PPO.
The penalty for violating a PPO is:
Maximum 93 days in jail and or
Maximum $500.00 fine
Types of Personal Protection Orders
To qualify for a Domestic Relationship PPO, you must establish one of the following relationships with the respondent:
Current or former spouse
Current or former dating relationship
Reside or resided in the same household
A child in common
To qualify for a Non-Domestic PPO, you are not required to show a relationship with the Respondent. Instead, you must establish that the Respondent has shown:
A pattern of behavior
...including at least two separate stalking incidents
...that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, threatened, frightened, intimidated, harassed, or molested
...and that the incidents actually did cause the Petitioner to feel terrorized, threatened, frightened, intimidated, harassed, or molested.
If you do not meet these requirements, you still may be eligible for a Peace Bond, which is available at the District Court Clerk's Office. Peace Bonds are often used for neighbor and non-violent family disputes not covered by the PPO law.