As people, we love to socialize. We meet people from different walks of life that we either end up loving or staying away from. We make decisions as we live through life. While we often have an intuition to keep off of dangerous people, sometimes it is difficult when we’re avoiding neighbors, co-workers or other people who were once near and dear to us.
On October 11, 2019, a mother and daughter were arrested for stalking their neighbor in Sheridan, Township. According to the county sheriff, they have received complaints dating back to May regarding a dispute between neighbors that escalated over time. The sheriff said that simple arguments like this happen between neighbors ordinarily. As problems pile up, people tend to take measures into their own hands.
Even in places you think you are safe, when you deal with difficult people, your safety and security may be tested. That is why people file petitions in courts for their protection. The court, if warranted, will then grant them a personal protection order. A personal protection order ensures that threats, violence, and stalking by another person are stopped.
Michigan Protection Orders
In Michigan, there are three types of personal protection orders (PPO):
- Domestic Relationship PPO
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, on average, almost 20 people per minute experience physical abuse from their partner. In a study, this happens in 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men.
In cases of domestic harm, Domestic Relationship PPOs are more appropriate. Domestic Relationship PPOs are those issued by the courts to protect a person from violence and threats from not just intimate partners but also from those in the household, namely:
a. A spouse or a former spouse;
b. A person who you have a common child with;
c. Someone who is residing or once had lived in the same household as you; and
d. Someone you had an intimate dating relationship with.
Depending on the observation of the court, the PPO could restrain that person from committing any or all of the following:
a. cause mental stress against you;
b. appear at your workplace or enter your home;
c. carry or buy firearms;
d. threaten to hurt or kill;
e. assault against an individual;
f. remove or take minor children away from you if you have legal custody over your children; and
g. interfere with your effort to remove your children or property from that person’s premises.
- Non-Domestic PPO
Believe it or not, stalking has become relatively common nowadays. According a National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey conducted in 2011, 19.3 million women, and 5.1 million men have experienced being stalked. Based on the stalking fact sheet of the National Center for Victims of Crime, 2/3 of stalkers pursue their victims once a week, some even daily, using more various methods.
If someone you don’t have a domestic relationship with stalks, harasses, or threatens you, then a non-domestic PPO is suitable. That includes cyberstalking where the person posts messages about you, sent messages, posted you online, or through electronic means without consent. For non-domestic PPO, your petition in court must show at least two incidents of these types of harassment.
The court may prohibit that person from:
a. Purchasing or keeping a gun;
c. Threatening to hurt you through any means;
d. Contacting you through any means;
e. Appearing your work, home or entering any property you own, rent or possess;
f. Approaching, or following you;
g. Delivering items to where you work, own, rent, or possess; and
h. Any other specific behavior that the court sees fit.
- Non-Domestic Sexual Assault PPO
Sexual assault is a very serious matter. In fact, rape happens to 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men. For children, the numbers are more concerning. One in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys experience sexual abuse before turning 18. This heinous act causes not only mental and emotional trauma to the victims but also puts stress and worry to their friends and families.
If you were once a victim of sexual assault and your abuser is still contacting you, consider getting a non-domestic sexual assault PPO. It protects you from any person who has sexually assaulted you or threatened to. For minors, the mere act of giving you any form of obscene material is sufficient to avail of the PPO.
The non-domestic sexual assault PPO prevents the abuser from any or some of the following:
a. Buying or possessing a gun;
b. Contacting you through any means;
c. Approaching, following or confronting you;
d. Appearing at your work, home, or any property to own, occupy or rent;
e. Cyberstalking you;
f. Delivering items to the properties you own, rent, or occupy;
g. Interfering directly or indirectly with your job, home, or relationships; and
h. Any other act which the court finds appropriate to prohibit.
Applying for a PPO
To apply for a PPO, you must file a petition in court. The petition must include the important reasons why the court should grant you this petition, which includes providing information or events that make you feel unsafe. The law provides even safer means of applying for a PPO without the knowledge of your abuser. You can get an ex parte order, which can help speed up the process without your abuser’s knowledge.
Find the Right Counsel
Getting a PPO can be very overwhelming, especially if you are already experiencing mental, emotional, and even physical stress. You must consider choosing a counsel that cares for you and prioritizes what is safe for you when getting a PPO. So when it comes to hiring a counsel, go for a lawyer that genuinely considers your time and condition. Get a counsel that has expertise in handling sensitive matters. Choose The Clark Law Office. Our team has been around for several years. We are a firm composed of experienced lawyers with a wide range of knowledge in personal protection orders, personal injuries, and more. Let us guide you through every stage of your proceeding. Contact a Lansing criminal attorney atThe Clark Law Office now!