A Personal Protection action involves seeking an order from the Court to protect you from harassment, assault, beating, molesting, wounding or stalking by another person.
There is no filing fee to file for a Personal Protection Order (PPO).
The person filing for the order is called the petitioner and the person whom you are filing the petition against is called the respondent.
Please Note: The processing of the PPO generally takes 24 to 48 hours. In most cases, the petitioner may expect to return the next business day to pick up the signed order. If the order is not signed, the petitioner will be informed of the reasons for denial.
Criteria for PPO
The petitioner and respondent:
- Are husband and wife and an action for annulment, divorce, or support (is/not) pending
- Were husband and wife
- Reside or resided in the same household
- Have a child in common
- Have or had an intimate dating relationship
- Have some other family relationship
- Are in a stalking situation as defined by: MCLA 750.411(h)*
*MCLA 750.411(h) – “Stalking” means a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested, and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested.
- Personal Protection Orders are not for civil matters such as custody and neighbor disputes.
- The petitioner must be at least 18 years old unless accompanied by someone of that age or older who will consent to be petitioner’s NEXT FRIEND, preferably a parent.
This office makes available the proper personal protection forms, provides direction for completing and filing those forms and offers information on local sources that deal with domestic violence. The initial paperwork (the instruction sheet, petition, and affidavit) can be located at the Circuit Court Records.
You assume certain legal obligations when you apply for a Personal Protection Order. Meeting these obligations is essential for the success of your order and for you and/or your children’s safety.
The following is a list of your obligations as the Petitioner:
- You must avoid contact with the respondent. Once a Personal Protection Order is signed by the judge, the order (although not expressly stated) prohibits you from allowing or giving permission to the respondent to engage in behaviors that the judge has ordered not to occur. If you need to have the order changed or terminated, you must file the appropriate motion requesting the court to do so.
- You must serve the respondent. Service may be completed by one of the following:
- Personal Service – You cannot serve the respondent yourself. A process server or someone you trust, such as a friend or relative, over the age of 18, must complete service, or
- Certified Mail – Restricted delivery to the respondent only.
- After service has been made, the proof of service must be completed and returned to the Oceana County Clerk’s Office. If the respondent is served by certified mail then you must attach the green card which has been signed by the respondent.
- Carry a certified copy of the Personal Protection Order. If you call the police, but the respondent has not been served, the police can use your copy to serve the respondent at the scene.
- Be truthful in all statements you make to the Court. An individual who knowingly and intentionally makes a false statement to the Court in support of his or her petition, or intentionally alters the Court’s order is subject to contempt sanctions.
Please Note: The respondent will receive a letter from the Michigan State Police stating that s/he cannot get a license to purchase a pistol nor a license to carry a concealed weapon. This letter is sent even if the respondent is not served.
PPO Expiration Date
Your PPO is only in effect up to the expiration date. This is located near the bottom right of the order in RED. IF you need to extend your order, you must come into this office approximately three weeks before the expiration date.
Enforcement of Order
If a violation occurs, CALL THE POLICE. A police report is needed to pursue a violation of the respondent through the courts. The petitioner will need to adhere to the PPO conditions as well as the respondent. Please note that only the judge may change the conditions of or dismiss the PPO.
Change of Address
Please keep the Court updated on any address or phone number changes for the duration of the order.
Contact the 51st District CourtStaff
Susan K. Sniegowski Circuit Court Judge
Bradley G. Lambrix Family Court Judge
Tonya Selig Court Administrator / Chief Clerk
Julie Sines Circuit Court Deputy Clerk
Kyla Miller Circuit Court Clerk
Betty Carter Juvenile Court Officer
Jennifer Sill Juvenile Probation Officer
Jonna TenHove Juvenile Probation Officer
Main Phone: (231) 873-3977
Phone Alt: (231) 873-3811 - Juvenile Court
Fax: (231) 873-1943
Oceana County Building
100 S. State Street, Suite M-10
Hart, MI 49420