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What Exactly is a Restraining Order in Michigan?

In Michigan, a restraining order is known as a personal protection order (PPO).  Issued by the court, a PPO can protect you from harassment, assault, beating, molesting, wounding or stalking.  A PPO can provide you important protection if you are in an abusive domestic relationship, which in Michigan, might mean you are married, engaged or living with a partner.  Then, a PPO can prevent your partner from, purchasing a firearm, entering your home and workplace, and in some cases removing minor children from your care.

Specifically, a PPO may order your partner not to:

  • Enter your property
  • Assault, attack, beat or wound you
  • Threaten to kill or physically harm you
  • Remove your children from you if you have legal custody
  • Interfere at your place of employment
  • Interfere with your efforts to remove your children or personal property
  • Contact you by telephone
  • Send you mail or e-mail
  • Purchase or possess a firearm


In Michigan, there are different requirements for two types of PPOs:

Victims of abuse in a domestic relationship qualify for a Restraining PPO.  The Restraining PPO requires that you prove a domestic relationship current exists or that one existed in the past. This may include a current spouse, former spouse, a person with whom you have child, a person you live with – formerly or currently, or a person you are currently dating or formerly dated.

Victims of stalking qualify for a Stalking PPO.  The Stalking PPO requires you prove:

  • A pattern of behavior
  • At least two separate incidents that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested
  • Incidents that actually cause the person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested

As of March 25, 2010, Michigan law allowed victims of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault to obtain a PPO against their attacker without having to show a pattern of abuse or evidence of an intimate domestic relationship.

Michigan State University has outlined the steps you need to take to file for a PPO.   It’s not a difficult process, but it may feel overwhelming.  If you have suffered violence, reach out to nurturing friends and family for the support you need to heal and protect yourself from further assault.  Our experienced attorneys are here to provide the legal support you need to protect yourself from harm. Contact Boyer, Dawson & St. Pierre in Sterling Heights today at 888-559-4705.

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