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Personal Protection Order

A Personal Protection Order, or PPO, is an order issued by the Circuit Court. It may protect you from being hit, threatened, harassed, or stalked by another person. The PPO may also stop someone from coming into your home or bothering you at work. It can stop them from buying a firearm or finding your address through school records. It can also stop them from taking your minor children unless required by the court.

Filing for a PPO

File Petition on court approved form, with required information completed. Relationship of parties:

  1. Spouse.
  2. Former Spouse.
  3. Housemate or former housemate.
  4. Parties that have a child in common.
  5. Are dating or have dated.

If none of these relationships apply, relief is limited to stopping stalking.

Behavior Petitioner Wants Terminated

  1. Assaulting, attacking, beating, wounding, harassing petitioner or children.
  2. Stalking petitioner.
  3. Communicating with petitioner.
  4. Attempting to commit or threaten to commit acts of violence against petitioner or children.
  5. Interfering with petitioner's job.
  6. Removing petitioner's minor children from petitioner's possession.
  7. Interfering with petitioner's right to remove certain property.

Ex-Parte Order

Order can be issued ex-parte if there is sufficient information in the petition to show that:

  1. Respondent has been violent or threatening,
  2. The Order is necessary to protect the Petitioner from further violence or threats, and
  3. Immediate and irreparable injury, loss or damage will result from the delay required to effect notice or notice itself will precipitate adverse action before a Personal Protection Order can be issued.

If the Court denies a petition, the reason(s) for denial must be clearly stated on the order.


If the ex-parte order is denied, the Petitioner can file the Petition and get a hearing. Motion requirements must be followed. Petitioner testifies in response to attorney's or judge's questions about incidents alleged in petition. (If Petitioner alleges extreme fear of Respondent, she/he may testify by phone and avoid being at hearing with Respondent.) Respondent testifies in response to attorney's or judge's questions regarding answers to allegations. If Judge determines that allegations in petition are true and meet the legal standards, the Petition should be granted. Court needs to determine whether restrictions make sense. Need to adhere to options in preprinted order. (Limitations of LIEN) Court needs to determine length of time the order is in effect (at least 182 days but not more than one year). The Judge will deny the Petition if the allegations are not proven by a preponderance of evidence, or do not meet the legal standard. The order must reflect the reasons for denial.

Objection Hearing After Ex-Parte Order

Judge should determine whether objections were filed within 14 days of being served. If beyond 14 days, objecting party must allege good cause for the delay. Was Petitioner served with objections and notice of hearing? Does the evidence presented by the Respondent refute the allegations contained in the petition?

Violation Hearings

Petitions for an Order to Show Cause should be filed and scheduled for hearing on Motion day. Motion requirements must be met, including service on Respondent. Argument and brief testimony taken. If Judge determines that Respondent violated order, may impose sanctions such as:

  1. Jail time.
  2. Fine.
  3. More restrictive order.
  4. Attorney fees to Petitioner.
  5. Costs to compensate Petitioner for domestic violence.
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