Written by attorney Daniel P. Hilf

Michigan - Personal Protection Orders part 2

Continued from "Michigan - Personal Protection Orders part 1" The Respondent can challenge the issuance of any of the above PPOs in Court, or petition the Court to modify the terms of the PPO. For Sexual Assault PPOs, the Michigan Rape Shield Act applies to the hearing. The Respondent must file a written motion and offer of proof at least 24 hours before a hearing concerning a violation of a Sexual Assault PPO, or provide a Motion and offer of proof at the time of the filing of a motion to terminate or modify the Sexual Assault PPO. The hearing on a motion to terminate or modify a PPO MUST occur within 14 days of the filing of the motion. If the PPO prohibits the Respondent from purchasing or possessing a firearm, and the Respondent is licensed to cary a CCW, and is required to carry a weapon as a condition of employment, the hearing must occur within 5 days after the filing of the motion. The Petitioner has the burden of justifying the continuation of the PPO at the hearing. If the PPO is denied initially, or at a hearing, the Court MUST state on the record or in writing the reasons for the denial of the PPO. The Petitioner can ask for a hearing if the PPO is initially denied. The Court will grant the request within 21 days of the denial, unless the Petitioner's claims are deemed sufficiently without merit that he action should be dismissed without a hearing. For any motion or hearing to take place, the moving party must make proper service upon the opposing party in accordance with the Michigan Court Rules. The order to grant or deny a PPO can be appealed to the Court of Appeals. Persons under the age of 18 years, or who is legally incapacitated, can get a PPO if a next friend is appointed. A minor, however, cannot get a PPO against a parent unless the minor is emancipated. The Circuit Court cannot issue mutual PPOs, and the parties cannot stipulate to the same. However, separate PPO orders are permitted against each party if the Court makes separate findings to support the PPOs against each party. The Police are authorized to make a warrantless arrest if the officer has reasonable cause to believe that the Respondent is violated or has violated the PPO. Persons accused of violaton of a Personal Protection Order have the right to a lawyer, and a contested hearing, to challenge the accusation. Persons found guilty of violating the PPO are subject to criminal and or civil contempt of Court sanctions. Violation of a PPO carries a possible penalty of up to 93 days in jail, and a fine of up to $500. Minors that are subject to a PPO are subject to the jurisdiction of the juvenile court if he or she violates a PPO. Reasons why a Petitioner for a PPO may wish to hire a lawyer: 1. To make sure the petition is properly drafted, filed, and served to help avoid it from being rejected by the Court, filed; 2. To pursue any violations of the Personal Protection Order with the Court; 3. To modify the terms of the PPO when necessary, or to extend the length of the PPO when it is set to expire; 4. To have the peace of mind that a lawyer will help end stalking, harrassment, or other negative or dangerous behavior exhibited by a Respondent. Reasons why a Respondent to a PPO may wish to hire a lawyer: 1. PPOs can interfere with employment. Employees that are subject to background checks, security clearances, or who must possess a firearm in connections with work can be harmed by the entry of a PPO; 2. PPOs can infringe upon an individual's 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. This can impact an individual's personal safety, employment, and ability to hunt or engage in any recreational use of a firearm; 3. PPOs are often improperly obtained to gain the advantage or upper hand in child custody and divorce proceeedings; 4. If found in violation of a PPO, a Court can impose jail time, and other negative conditions on the Respondent; 5. PPO information is entered into the law enforcement LEIN system. This may make an officer less sympathetic with a Respondent when stopped; 6. The PPO file is a public record. A Respondent may wish to address negative, false information that is available for others to see; 7. Hiring an experienced lawyer will help with efforts to set aside or modify a PPO that was entered against the Respondent, including conducting a hearing when necessary. Hiring the right lawyer may be one of the most important decisions you make for yourself and your family. There are many lawyers who claim to do more than what they are able - just as there are many surgeons in the world that are no better than butchers. Do not settle for a legal hack job. Practicing law is a skill that develops over time with experience, commitment, dedication, and God given talent. There are no amateur attorneys at Hilf & Hilf, PLC – only professionals that are guided by the humanity in the individuals we serve, and the drive not to settle for what is easy over what is right. Daniel Hilf, Esq. of the law firm of Hilf & Hilf, PLC, is a criminal defense lawyer who is driven by a commitment to winning. His legal career is distinguished by an ability to think on his feet, to analyze issues in both conventional and unconventional ways, and to react effectively against the challenges presented by Prosecutors and Courts.

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