Labre Law Office | Family Law & Criminal Defense Lawyer | Edwardsburg, MI

Protective Orders

LaBre Law Office can help you understand and pursue protective orders, with excellence as our standard.

Do You Need a Protective Order in Edwardsburg, Michigan?

LaBre Law Office understands the urgency of protecting individuals and their families from harmful or threatening situations. Is someone harassing you or a loved one? Have you or a loved one suffered abuse at someone else’s hands? We recognize the profound implications such harassment and threats can impose on your life. Constantly living with debilitating fear of being a victim of violence has dire consequences for your emotional, mental, and physical health. Rest assured, you are not alone. With over 43 years of combined experience, we have helped countless clients in these harrowing situations, and we can help you, too.

One legal tool available is a protective order, also known as a restraining order or personal protection order (PPO). A protective order offers vital safeguards and provides legal recourse in various scenarios where someone feels threatened or endangered.

Reasons You Might Seek a PPO or Protective Order

In Michigan, a protective order and a restraining order fall under the same statute and have the same purpose of providing protection and preventing further harm. They establish boundaries, prohibit contact, and enforce legal consequences for violations of the order.

While different terms may be used interchangeably, in cases of domestic violence, the legal document is known as a personal protection order (PPO). This order provides legal protection and safeguards for individuals who are experiencing harassment, threats, or abuse from another person.

A Michigan Court Can Issue Two Types of PPOs

Domestic Violence PPOs

Domestic violence remains one common reason for seeking a personal protective order (PPO). If you are a victim of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse committed by a family or household member, such as a spouse, partner, ex-spouse, or someone with whom you share a child, obtaining a PPO can help ensure your safety. It restricts the alleged perpetrator’s contact with you, prohibits them from coming near your home or workplace, and establishes other necessary boundaries.

Stalking or Harassment PPOs

If you are experiencing persistent stalking or harassment, take proactive measures to protect yourself. Stalking refers to a pattern of behavior that causes the person seeking the order to feel threatened, harassed, or fearful. A PPO can provide legal protection against individuals who are engaging in unwanted behaviors that cause fear, distress, or emotional harm. It can outline specific actions that the alleged harasser must refrain from, such as contacting you, following you, or approaching your residence or workplace.

Other Reasons for Restraining Orders

Child Abuse or Neglect

When you have concerns about the welfare of a child, you can seek a restraining order to safeguard their well-being. If you believe that a child suffers from abuse or neglect by a parent, guardian, or someone else in their life, a restraining order can limit the alleged abuser’s access to the child and establish conditions for visitation or custody arrangements that prioritize the child’s best interests.

Elder Abuse

You can pursue restraining orders to protect vulnerable adults who may be victims of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. If you have reason to believe that an individual is mistreating or taking advantage of an elderly family member or loved one, you can petition for a restraining order to intervene and prevent additional harm by restricting the alleged abuser’s contact with the elderly individual and prevent future incidents.

Sexual Assault

In cases of sexual assault or rape, restraining orders can protect and support survivors by establishing boundaries and prohibiting the alleged perpetrator from contacting or approaching the survivor. Additionally, restraining orders can help maintain privacy and a sense of security during legal proceedings and throughout the healing process.

These are just a few examples of the various scenarios under which a person might seek restraining orders. Each case is unique, and consulting an experienced family law attorney is critical to understanding the specific legal requirements and procedures involved in obtaining a protective order. An attorney can guide you through the process, represent your interests, and support your safety and well-being.

Understanding The Purpose of a Restraining Order

The primary purpose of a restraining order is to establish boundaries and restrictions on the actions of the alleged abuser. It seeks to prevent more harm, maintain peace, and provide a sense of security to the person seeking protection. By obtaining a restraining order, the individual can legally enforce certain provisions that prohibit the alleged abuser from engaging in specific behaviors, such as:

  1. Contact: The restraining order can restrict any form of contact by the alleged abuser, including in-person communication, phone calls, text messages, emails, or social media interaction.
  2. Proximity: The order can establish a specific distance that the alleged abuser must maintain from the protected person, their residence, workplace, or other specified locations.
  3. Residence Exclusion: The restraining order may require the alleged abuser to vacate a shared residence or prohibit them from entering the protected person’s home.
  4. No Harassment: The order can prohibit the alleged abuser from engaging in any form of harassment, stalking, or surveillance against the protected person.
  5. Child Custody and Visitation: In cases involving children, a restraining order can address custody and visitation arrangements to protect the child’s well-being and prevent additional harm.

Obtaining a restraining order is a legal process that involves filing a petition with the appropriate court and providing evidence of the abuse, harassment, or threats. Once granted, the order is enforceable by law enforcement agencies, and violation of the order can result in legal consequences for the alleged abuser.

Consult an experienced Michigan family law attorney to understand the specific legal requirements and procedures for obtaining a restraining order in your situation. An attorney can guide you through the process, assist with gathering evidence, and represent your interests in court hearings.

How a Protective Order Can Keep You Safe

When violence has been perpetuated against you; for example if you have been sexually assaulted, or if a particular party threatens to commit acts of violence against you, a restraining order can keep you safe by:

  1. Establishing Boundaries: Protective orders clearly define the boundaries the alleged abuser must respect and prohibit any form of contact, such as in-person interactions, phone calls, text messages, emails, or social media communication. A protective order creates a physical and emotional distance between you and the person causing harm by establishing these boundaries.
  2. Providing Legal Recourse: Once a filed protective order takes effect, if a respondent violates any violation of its provisions, it becomes a legal offense. If the alleged abuser disregards the order and attempts to contact or harass you, they can face legal consequences, including fines or even imprisonment. Knowing that breaking the order carries legal repercussions can act as a deterrent to the respondent, giving you a sense of security.
  3. Enlisting Law Enforcement: Law enforcement agencies recognize and enforce protective orders. If the alleged abusing party violates the terms of the protection order, you can contact the police, present them with the order, and seek their assistance in enforcing it. Law enforcement officers are trained to take protective orders seriously and to respond promptly to any violations.
  4. Emergency Assistance: In urgent situations, protective orders can include provisions for emergency assistance. If you’re in immediate danger and need protection right away, the order can provide you with the ability to call the police and receive a swift intervention.
  5. Peace of Mind: Perhaps one of the most valuable aspects of obtaining a protective order is the peace of mind it can bring. During an otherwise challenging time, these legal protections can provide a sense of empowerment and comfort.

Each protective order is unique and tailored to the specific circumstances of the situation. Working with an experienced Michigan family law attorney can help ensure that the order addresses your specific safety concerns and provides the necessary protections.

The Penalties for Violating a Protective Order

If a respondent violates a PPO or a restraining order in Michigan, they may face legal repercussions. The specific penalties can vary depending on the circumstances and severity of the violation, but here is a general overview:

  1. Jail Time: Violating a protective order can lead to imprisonment for up to 93 days. If someone is found guilty of violating a PPO or restraining order, they could be sentenced to jail for a period of time determined by the court.
  2. Fines: In addition to potential jail time, the court may impose fines as a penalty for violating a protective order. The maximum fine for such a violation in Michigan goes up to $500.
  3. Contempt of Court: Violating a protective order is considered contempt of court. which means that the person who violated the order has shown disrespect or disregard for the court’s authority. Being charged with contempt of court by a judge can have serious legal consequences.

Moreover, violating a restraining order outside of Michigan can also have legal repercussions. If an individual violates the order in another jurisdiction or is accused of doing so, they may face legal action and potential extradition.

How Long Does a Restraining Order Last?

In Michigan, the duration of a restraining order or a PPO depends on the specific circumstances and the type of order.

  1. Temporary Restraining Order: Many restraining orders start as temporary orders and generally last for 182 days (approximately six months). During this period, a court date is typically set for a hearing before a judge.
  2. Ex Parte Domestic Relationship PPO: An ex parte order does not alert the other party until after the judge grants the court order. An ex parte PPO is valid for at least six months. However, the abusive party has the right to request a hearing to modify, cancel, or rescind the PPO during this time.
  3. Final Domestic Protection Order: If the judge determines, after a hearing, that the restraining order should remain in place, it becomes a final domestic protection order. The duration of a final order can vary, depending on the specific terms specified by the court.

Various factors influence the duration of restraining orders, such as the severity of the situation, ongoing threats, and the discretion of the judge and court. Individuals seeking a restraining order should consult an experienced Michigan family law attorney to understand their unique circumstances and the potential duration of the order.

How An Experienced Attorney Can Help You File the Proper Paperwork with the Court for Restraining Orders and PPOs

If an abusive party repeatedly menaces you or a loved one, you need an attorney with profound knowledge of Michigan law, the courts, and the process of obtaining restraining orders and PPOs. At LaBre Law Office, we recognize that this is a traumatizing time for you. With more than 43 years of combined experience and excellence as our standard, we prioritize your security and well-being. We’ll listen to the details of your unique situation, explain your options, and guide you through the required forms and papers for filing a petition, getting a court hearing, and presenting your case to a judge. The petition should inform the judge about specific actions the person engaged in to warrant a court order for protection. If you fear for your immediate safety, we may petition the judge for an ex parte order. Each distinctive case requires a tailored approach and the skill and knowledge of an experienced family law attorney.

Schedule a Consultation with LaBre Law Office

Don’t live with fear or let another person violate your bodily autonomy and rob you of your peace of mind. Call LaBre Law Office at (269) 431-2058 or complete our online form to schedule a consultation to discuss how we can petition the judge and court to put an end to the violence. At LaBre Law Office, excellence is our standard. We look forward to assisting you.

At LaBre Law Office, excellence is our standard.

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Every situation is different and requires personalized legal strategy and attention. Tell us about your current situation and we would be happy to discuss your legal options. We have the skills, experience and resources needed to provide you with compassionate legal service.

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Why Choose LaBre Law Office?

Our clients in the Michiana area have confidence when LaBre Law Office handles their legal issues because our general practice law firm has established a record as a trusted member of the community for over four decades, serving our neighbors:

  • Caring, aggressive advocacy for your interests in many practice areas
  • We represent clients in both Michigan and Indiana
  • Straightforward, assertive, and dependable guidance
  • Unique legal strategies tailored to each specific case
  • We fully address your concerns so you always understand your case’s status
  • We will be here for you long after your legal issue is resolved

Excellence is our standard. Call today to schedule a consultation.


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