Stalking and Sexual Assault (Non-Domestic) Personal Protection Orders

  1. Introduction

    Stalking PPOs are available to victims of stalking or aggravated stalking against the perpetrator, regardless of whether they share any particular type of relationship with the perpetrator. Sexual Assault PPOs are available for victims against someone who sexually assaulted the victim, threatened to sexually assault the victim, or provided a victim under 18 obscene material. The respondent of a sexual assault protection order cannot have a domestic relationship with the victim. Both orders fall under the same statute but are sometimes referred to as a stalking PPO vs. a sexual assault PPO.

  2. Text of Statute(s)

    1. Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 600.2950a - Personal protection orders; stalking or aggravated stalking

      1. Except as provided in subsections (28), (29), and (31), by commencing an independent action to obtain relief under this section, by joining a claim to an action, or by filing a motion in an action in which the petitioner and the individual to be restrained or enjoined are parties, an individual may petition the family division of circuit court to enter a personal protection order to restrain or enjoin an individual from engaging in conduct that is prohibited under section 411h, 411i, or 411s of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.411h, 750.411i, and 750.411s. Relief under this subsection shall not be granted unless the petition alleges facts that constitute stalking as defined in section 411h or 411i, or conduct that is prohibited under section 411s, of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.411h, 750.411i, and 750.411s. Relief may be sought and granted under this subsection whether or not the individual to be restrained or enjoined has been charged or convicted under section 411h, 411i, or 411s of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.411h, 750.411i, and 750.411s, for the alleged violation.
      2. Except as provided in subsections (28), (29), and (31), by commencing an independent action to obtain relief under this section, by joining a claim to an action, or by filing a motion in an action in which the petitioner and the individual to be restrained or enjoined are parties, an individual may petition the family division of circuit court to enter a personal protection order to restrain or enjoin an individual from engaging in any of the following:
        1. One or more of the acts listed in subsection (3), if the respondent has been convicted of a sexual assault of the petitioner, or the respondent has been convicted of furnishing obscene material to the petitioner under section 142 of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.142, or a substantially similar law of the United States, another state, or a foreign country or tribal or military law. Relief under this subdivision shall be granted if the court determines that the respondent has been convicted of a sexual assault of the petitioner or that the respondent was convicted of furnishing obscene material to the petitioner under section 142 of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.142, or a substantially similar law of the United States, another state, or a foreign country or tribal or military law.
        2. One or more of the acts listed in subsection (3), if the petitioner has been subjected to, threatened with, or placed in reasonable apprehension of sexual assault by the individual to be enjoined. Relief under this subdivision shall not be granted unless the petition alleges facts that demonstrate that the respondent has perpetrated or threatened sexual assault against the petitioner. Evidence that a respondent has furnished obscene material to a minor petitioner constitutes evidence that the respondent has threatened sexual assault against the petitioner. Relief may be sought and granted under this subdivision regardless of whether the individual to be restrained or enjoined has been charged with or convicted of sexual assault or an offense under section 142 of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.142, or a substantially similar law of the United States, another state, or a foreign country or tribal or military law.
      3. The court may restrain or enjoin an individual against whom a protection order is sought under subsection (2) from 1 or more of the following:
        1. Entering onto premises.
        2. Threatening to sexually assault, kill, or physically injure petitioner or a named individual.
        3. Purchasing or possessing a firearm.
        4. Interfering with the petitioner's efforts to remove the petitioner's children or personal property from premises that are solely owned or leased by the individual to be restrained or enjoined.
        5. Interfering with the petitioner at the petitioner's place of employment or education or engaging in conduct that impairs the petitioner's employment or educational relationship or environment.
        6. Following or appearing within the sight of the petitioner.
        7. Approaching or confronting the petitioner in a public place or on private property.
        8. Appearing at the petitioner's workplace or residence.
        9. Entering onto or remaining on property owned, leased, or occupied by the petitioner.
        10. Contacting the petitioner by telephone.
        11. Sending mail or electronic communications to the petitioner.
        12. Placing an object on, or delivering an object to, property owned, leased, or occupied by the petitioner.
        13. Engaging in conduct that is prohibited under section 411s of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.411s.
        14. Any other specific act or conduct that imposes upon or interferes with personal liberty or that causes a reasonable apprehension of violence or sexual assault.
  3. Cases

     

    1. Pobursky v. Gee, 640 N.W.2d 597 (Mich. Ct. App. 2001)

      • Procedural Posture: Petitioner obtained protection order (PPO) allegedly assault by Respondent. Respondent moved to terminate the PPO alleging the grounds were insufficient because of single, isolated incident and did not constitute stalking. Trial court found the conduct alleged was sufficient to justify the order. Respondent appealed.
      • Law: civil stalking laws; personal protection orders.
      • Facts: Respondent attacked petitioner at ice arena, allegedly throwing him over a bench into a wall, choking him repeatedly while threatening him.
      • Outcome: PPO reversed; the court found that a series of acts immediately following the other did not separate and noncontinuous as required by the statute. 
    2. Hayford v. Hayford, 760 N.W.2d 503 (Mich. Ct. App. 2008)

      • Procedural Posture: Petitioner sought PPO against father; the Circuit Court, Family Division issued the PPO; father appealed.
      • Law: civil stalking; personal protection order.
      • Facts: Child filed for PPO against father; father continued to place telephone calls to petitioner, show up at petitioner’s school, visit the hospital where petitioner had surgery, contact petitioner’s physician, and placed an ad about petitioner containing personal information in newspapers. Respondent argued there were insufficient acts of stalking or harassment.
      • Outcome: the trial court did not err in finding there were sufficient acts of harassment and petitioner experienced emotional distress sufficient to uphold the PPO.
      • Special Notes: There must be two or more acts of unconsented contact that cause the victim to suffer emotional distress and that would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress; the statute does not require a showing of fear.
  4. Practice Pointers

    • Victims may receive an expedited, temporary ex parte order (defendant need not be present) where victim is in immediate danger; judges must decide request for ex parte order within 24 hours of filing.
    • Ex parte orders are valid for at least 6 months.
    • Victims file at their local circuit court in the family division.
    • If there are pending or prior actions regarding the parties (e.g. a divorce action, prior PPO, criminal case) Michigan’s One Judge / One Family doctrine provides that the PPO should be sought in that county.