Personal Protection Orders

A Personal Protection Order (PPO) is a court order to stop threats or violence against you.  A PPO can help protect you from someone who is threatening, hurting, harassing, or stalking you.  You can get a PPO if you have a reasonable fear for your personal liberty or safety.

PPOs are filed at the Muskegon County Family Court, Hall of Justice (HOJ), 990 Terrace St, 3rd floor, Muskegon, MI 49442.  PPO forms can be found at the entrance of the HOJ or at the Michigan Legal Self-Help website at https://muskegon.michiganlegalhelp.org/, which contains step-by-step assistance for completing the PPO forms.

Completed documents can be submitted via the drop box, located near the roundabout outside the entrance of the HOJ, or at the 3rd floor Front Desk in the HOJ.  For more information and questions, please call (231) 724-6234.  We are available Monday - Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm.  If you wish to email your documents, you can submit them to FamilyCourtFrontDesk@muskegoncounty.net. We ask that you only submit documents in PDF form via this email. Please do not send photographs of documents.

The processing of the PPO generally takes 24 to 48 hours, excluding weekends, holidays, and unexpected closures.  In most cases, the petitioner may expect to return the next business day to pick up the signed order.  If the PPO is denied with a hearing, the petitioner can request a hearing on the denial within 21 days, so more information can be provided.


Legal Advocate

The Legal Advocate, a service provided by Every Woman’s Place (EWP), is available to assist in completing paperwork when there is, or has been, a domestic relationship between the parties, particularly intimate relationships.  A Survivor may contact the EWP Crisis Line at (231) 722-3333.  A Survivor can also utilize the Legal Advocate’s Walk-in Services from 9:00am to 3:30pm, located at Every Woman’s Place, 1221 W. Laketon Ave, Muskegon, MI 49441.  Walk-in Services is open until 5:00pm each day, but to ensure the Legal Advocate has enough time to help assist with a Personal Protection Order, the Legal Advocate asks Survivors to please come no later than 3:30pm.  If a Survivor is unable to come in during regular business hours (Monday - Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm) the Legal Advocate may be able to make arrangements to meet with a Survivor after hours.  A scheduled appointment will be needed for after-hours support.


Criteria for Domestic 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
  • Are in a stalking situation as defined by:
    1. 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.


Criteria for Non-Domestic PPO

The petitioner and respondent:

  • No Domestic relationship (see above) exists with the Respondent.
    1. Examples would be a neighbor, customer/client, the current love interest of an ex, etc.
  • Are in a stalking situation as defined by:
    1. 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.


Statutory Requirements

  • Personal Protection Orders are not for civil matters such as custody and evictions.
  • 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.


Other Requirements

  • Parties filing a PPO need to present valid picture ID (includes other State driver's license, passport or school identification)
  • A signed personal protection order by the judge, petition, and addendum must be served upon the respondent and a proof of service needs to be filed with the court of origin.


PPO Expiration Date

Your PPO is only in effect up to the expiration date.  If you need to extend your order, you must file the appropriate paperwork prior to the expiration date.


Enforcement of Order

If an alleged violation occurs, you can call the police.  You may file a motion with the court to report any violation that did not result in an immediate arrest at the time of the incident.  Please note that only the Judge may change the PPO conditions or dismiss the PPO.


Change of Address

The parties should keep the courts updated on any address or phone number changes during the duration of the order.


Modify, Extend, or Terminate PPO

You must file a Motion to Modify, Extend, or Terminate a PPO.  To do this electronically, go to https://lawhelpinteractive.org/Interview/GenerateInterview/4658/engine.  Otherwise, file the appropriate paperwork at the 3rd Floor Front Desk within the HOJ.