How do I obtain an order of protection?
Personal Protection Orders
Navigating systems like Personal Protection Orders can be tricky. Below is some information about your rights and how to obtain a Personal Protection Order. Rachel, our Victim Advocate, can help you file a Personal Protection Order. Michigan Legal Help is a great website that can help you fill out the forms for a Personal Protection Order as well.
What are my rights?
In the State of Michigan, a victim/survivor of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking has the following rights if the case is prosecuted in the courts:
The right to be treated with fairness and respect for their dignity and privacy throughout the criminal justice process.
The right to timely disposition of the case following arrest of the accused.
The right to be reasonably protected from the accused throughout the criminal justice process.
The right to notification of court proceedings.
The right to attend trial and all other court proceedings the accused has the right to attend.
The right to confer with the prosecution.
The right to make a statement to the court at sentencing.
The right to restitution.
The right to information about the conviction, sentence, imprisonment, and release of the accused.
(Victims Rights Act, PA 87 of 1985)
What is a Personal Protection Order?
Personal Protection Orders can be obtained by petitioning a court. In a Personal Protection Order (PPO), a court orders another person to stop threats or violence against you. Generally there are three types of PPO orders:
Domestic Relationship PPO: A PPO is available if the person you want protection from is:
- Your spouse or former spouse.
- Someone with whom you have a child in common.
- Someone you are dating or dated in the past.
- Someone who lives now, or has ever lived, in the same household with you.
It must be shown that this person is interfering with your personal freedom or has threatened or committed violence against you.
Non-Domestic Relationship (Stalking) PPO: A stalking PPO is available to protect you from anyone else who has engaged in a pattern of two or more acts without your consent that make you feel threatened, harassed, frightened, or molested.
Non-Domestic Sexual Assault PPO:
- If the person has previously been convicted of a sexual assault against your, or
- If the person subjected you to, threatened you with, or placed you in reasonable apprehension of sexual assault, or
- If the person previously has been convicted of furnishing you, or a minor, with obscene material, or
- If the person furnished you, or a minor, with obscene material.
Who can help me with a Personal Protection Order?
- The University complies with the law in the State of Michigan recognizing Personal Protection Orders. Officers of the Department of Public Safety Services or the Campus Victim Advocate from the Center for Women & Gender Equity will meet with members of our community to discuss how to obtain a Personal Protection Order.
- Campus police officers will transport members of the campus community who do not have any means of transportation to a local court to obtain the order.
- If obtained, campus police will serve the order at no cost if the respondent is in the vicinity of the Allendale or Pew Campus. Pew Campus Security and Regional Centers does not offer this service.
- Members of the University who obtain a Personal Protection Order within the State of Michigan or any other state outside of Michigan against another person should contact and provide a copy of the order to the campus police.
- Public Safety Services will keep the order on file and assist in directing the complainant to resources within the campus to develop a Safety Action Plan.
- Public Safety Services, Housing, Office for Title IX and Institutional Equity, and the Center for Women & Gender Equity are resources available to assist in developing a plan. The plan is intended to reduce the risk of harm while on campus.
- The plan may include but is not limited to change of academic, housing, transportation, working or other special safety factors on a case by case basis.
- Pew Campus Security and Regional Centers does not offer this service.
A State of Michigan guide for Personal Protection Orders is available online here.
What if I don't want a Personal Protection Order? What else can I do?
No Contact/Cease and Desist Order
- Under circumstances where a community member does not wish to obtain a PPO for domestic or stalking incidents, yet does not want contact with another person, Public Safety Services can assist with a “No Contact/Cease and Desist” letter.
- To obtain such a letter, a community member is required to file a report with the Public Safety Services summarizing the nature of the incident.
- The letter outlines that a community member is making notice to another person that the other person is prohibited from contacting the community member by various means including in person, telecommunication devices, or by a third party.
- The document serves as notice that no contact is wanted.
- If contact continues, the letter has the potential to be used as evidence towards a stalking complaint.
- Individuals who are suspects in sexual assault, dating/domestic violence or stalking and are not part of the campus community may be trespassed from entering onto University property.
- Public Safety Services and Pew Campus Security and Regional Centers can assist with the trespass order. A report is required to be filed with Public Safety Services outlining the nature of the incident.
- Under certain circumstances, a member of the community can be trespassed from specific areas on the campus.