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Nondomestic Sexual Assault Personal Protection Orders

Contents

    What Is a Nondomestic Sexual Assault Personal Protection Order?

    A nondomestic sexual assault Personal Protection Order (PPO) is sometimes called a sexual assault PPO. A sexual assault PPO is a court order to protect you from someone who:

    • Sexually assaulted you,

    • Threatened to sexually assault you, OR

    • Gave you obscene material (if you were younger than 18)

    In your sexual assault PPO case you are the Petitioner. The person you want protection from is the Respondent. The Respondent in your sexual assault PPO case cannot be someone with whom you have a domestic relationship. This includes:

    • Your current or ex-spouse

    • Your child’s other parent

    • Someone you have lived with

    • Someone you have dated

    If you have a domestic relationship with the person you want to be protected from, a sexual assault PPO is not the right form for you. Instead, you can ask the judge for a domestic relationship PPO. You can use our Do-It-Yourself Personal Protection Order (PPO) to do this.

    How Can a Sexual Assault PPO Help Me?

    Depending on your situation, your sexual assault PPO could prohibit the Respondent from:

    • Threatening to sexually assault, kill, or hurt you or another person you specify

    • Following you or appearing in your sight

    • Showing up at your work or home

    • Approaching or confronting you

    • Entering your home or another place you specify

    • Going onto or staying on property you own, rent, or occupy

    • Calling you

    • Sending you mail or other messages

    • Cyberstalking you. Cyberstalking can include posting messages through the Internet, a computer, or any other electronic means

    • Buying or having a gun

    • Interfering with you removing your children or personal property from a place the Respondent owns or leases

    • Interfering with you at your job or school, or acting in a way that harms your job or school relationships or environment

    • Any other specific act or behavior that interferes with your personal freedom or makes you reasonably afraid of something violent happening to you. This could include other specific behaviors that you want the judge to prohibit.

    You may ask for specific protections when you fill out your paperwork, but the judge will decide what your order will prohibit.

    How Do I Get a Sexual Assault PPO?

    Filing Your Petition

    To get a sexual assault PPO, file a petition with a circuit court in any Michigan county. You can use our Do-It-Yourself Personal Protection Order (PPO) to do this.

    You cannot use our online forms if the Respondent is younger than 18. Use this petition and order from Michigan’s One Court of Justice website instead.

    While filling out the form, tell the judge as best you can what the Respondent has done to you. Explain how this has emotionally or physically harmed you. Try to give the dates or times of year events happened. Include everything you want the judge to know.

    What You Need to Prove

    If the Respondent was convicted of sexually assaulting you, the judge must give you a PPO. If you’re under 18 and the Respondent was convicted of giving you obscene material, the judge must give you a PPO. In either of these situations you must put in your petition the case number, court name, and name of the judge in the criminal case.

    The judge can issue a PPO even if the Respondent has not been convicted of a crime against you. But, you must prove that the Respondent:

    • Sexually assaulted you, OR

    • Threatened to sexually assault you, OR

    • Made you reasonably afraid of sexual assault

    If you are younger than 18, evidence that the Respondent gave you obscene material is evidence that he or she threatened you with sexual assault.

    You don’t have to have police reports or other evidence to get a sexual assault PPO. But, you should attach copies of them to your petition if you do have them. They can help the judge understand what happened to you.

    Emergency Orders

    You might be afraid you will be harmed if you don’t get a PPO right away. You might be afraid you will be harmed if the Respondent learns you are asking for a PPO. If so, you can ask for an emergency order called an ex parte order. If the judge gives you an ex parte order, you won’t have to wait for a hearing to get your order. The Respondent won’t know you are asking for a PPO until after you get your order.

    An ex parte order is effective as soon as the judge signs it. It is valid for at least 182 days. You must arrange for delivery (service) of the ex parte order on the Respondent. The police have limited authority to arrest a respondent who violates the PPO but has not been served a copy of the order.

    Court Hearing

    The court will schedule a hearing to decide whether to give you a PPO if you did not request an ex parte order in your petition. Or, there will be a hearing if the judge denies your petition for an ex parte order and you request a hearing within 21 days.

    Before the hearing date, you must serve the Respondent with the petition, any attachments, and notice of the hearing.

    There may also be a hearing if the judge grants you an ex parte order. The Respondent can file a motion asking the judge to change or end the ex parte PPO. The Respondent must file the motion within 14 days of getting notice of the PPO. If the Respondent files a motion to modify or terminate the PPO, there will be a hearing where the judge will decide whether to continue, change, or end the ex parte order.

    At a court hearing, you and the Respondent will each have the chance to speak and may be able to ask each other questions. You may also be able to call witnesses and show the judge other evidence.

    If the court schedules a hearing, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer to represent you. Representing yourself at a hearing is not easy. You must follow the same rules that lawyers must follow, such as the Michigan Court Rules and the Michigan Rules of Evidence.

    To learn more about what to expect at a court hearing, see the Going to Court toolkit.

    What Will My Sexual Assault PPO Say?

    A sexual assault PPO will say:

    • That your order is effective immediately and can be enforced anywhere in the state

    • What actions the Respondent is prohibited from doing

    • When your order expires

    • What can happen if the Respondent violates your order

    • The name of the specific law enforcement agency that will enter your order into the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN)

    What Happens After My Sexual Assault PPO Is Signed?

    Your PPO and petition must be served on the Respondent. Your PPO is enforceable in Michigan as soon as it is signed by a judge, even though it has not yet been served. After your order has been served, it can be enforced anywhere in the United States.

    There are several ways to serve the PPO and petition, but you are not allowed to serve them yourself. Have the papers served in a way that keeps you safe. Once the PPO has been served, a form called Proof of Service must be filed with the court clerk. To learn more about serving your PPO, read the article Serving Your Personal Protection Order.

    Staying Safe with a Sexual Assault PPO

    Carry Your Papers

    Always keep a copy of your PPO and Proof of Service with you. Keep a second copy in a safe place. You can ask the court clerk for extra copies of the order to give to your work and others who need to know about it.

    Safety Planning

    While you cannot control the Respondent’s behavior, you can take steps to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Creating a safety plan can help.

    Contact your local domestic violence agency, the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence, or the National Domestic Violence Hotline for help weighing your safety options and making a safety plan.

    Enforce Your Sexual Assault PPO

    If the Respondent violates your PPO, you can call the police and report the violation. You can get support and information about enforcing your order by calling your local domestic violence agency. You can also file a Motion and Order to Show Cause to ask the judge to punish the Respondent for violating your PPO. To learn more about enforcing your PPO, read the Personal Protection Order Violations and Enforcement article.

    To learn more about personal protection orders, read the articles Overview of Personal Protection Orders, Minors and Personal Protection Orders, and Crossing State Lines with a Personal Protection Order.