17th Circuit Court
Personal Protection Orders Department
180 Ottawa NW, Suite 3500
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: (616) 632-5071
The Personal Protection Office assists victims of domestic violence and victims of stalking in obtaining personal protection orders, assists the petitioning party with processing extensions, violations and assists restrained parties with the processing of making objections. In 2012, the Circuit Court processed 1,900 Petitions for Personal Protection Order.
The PPO Office will assist in making the filing process go as smoothly as possible. Please remember that you have initiated your own lawsuit, you are representing yourself in this action. The PPO staff are not attorneys, investigators, enforcers or process servers.
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:
Sec. 411h. (1) As used in this section:
(a) "Course of conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of 2 or
more separate noncontinuous acts evidencing a continuity of purpose.
(d) "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. (For help in neighbor conflict, contact the Dispute Resolution Center at (616) 774-0121)
- 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 downloaded Courts & Law Enforcement, 17th Circuit Court, Forms, documents section.
- Parties filing need to present valid picture ID (includes other State driver's license, passport or school identification)
- A signed personal protection order must be served upon the respondent and a proof of that service needs to be filed in the case.
General walk-in office hours Monday-Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm.
Client interviews from 9:00am to 2:30pm.
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 in to this office approximately three weeks before the expiration date, or call (616) 632-5071 to request the paperwork to extend. Extensions may be requested for another 6 months, 1-year, or 5-years, the Judge has the final say as to how long an extension will be granted for.
Enforcement Of Order
If a violation occurs, do not call the PPO office -- call the police. A police report is helpful, but not required to pursue a violation of the respondent through the courts. If no arrest is made and you wish to pursue the violation, contact the PPO Office for paperwork to schedule a hearing. Please note that only the Judge may change the conditions of or dismiss the PPO.
Change Of Address
Keep the PPO office updated on any address or phone number changes for the duration of the order.
Language Interpreters are not located in the courthouse. Please bring a friend or relative to assist in this need. If you are unable to bring someone with you to interpret, you may contact Accurate Interpreter Service at (616) 460-3126 to arrange for an interpreter to meet you at our office. Or you may leave the PPO office a message requesting a language interpreter, remember the message must be in English. Interviews are between 9:00am and 2:30pm, Monday thru Friday, the courts are closed for major holidays.
ADA Assistance - If you require assistance due to disabilities under the ADA, please contact the PPO Office prior to coming in so arrangements can be made if necessary.
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.
The jurisdiction for PPOs fall under the Family Division of the Circuit Court.
What to Expect
The following is what happens when you come to the Personal Protection Office to file for a Personal Protection Order:
Petitioner comes to the 3d floor of the courthouse to file a PPO in suite 3500.
Front window staff gives out the petition and affidavit with instructions on how to complete.
Front window staff requests and makes a copy of picture ID of Petitioner and next of friend, if required.
Petitioner then completes paperwork and returns it to the front window staff.
Front window staff attaches copy & original picture ID to completed paperwork and places in file for PPO Staff to interview in the order received.
PPO staff, prior to meeting with petitioner, will do a case look-up in the court's computer system and complete as much of the order as possible prior to the interview.
PPO staff meets with the petitioner, answers any questions and explains the petitioner's responsibilities. The PPO staff then completes the Order and notarizes the signature of the petitioner.
PPO staff makes copies of the petition, affidavit and coversheet. Places originals and copies in red folder.
Petitioner takes the red folder with the original and copies to the Clerk's Office, suite 2400, to open the case.
Clerk's office opens the case while the petitioner waits. Clerk's office keeps the original cover sheet, affidavit and petition. They then places the copies back in the red folder and give it back to the petitioner.
Petitioner returns the red folder and copies to the front window staff in suite 3500.
PPO staff take the paperwork to the assigned Judge for review.
Once the Judge has made the decision to grant or deny the PPO, it is sent back to the PPO staff.
PPO staff will contact the petitioner by phone as soon as they receive the signed order from the Judge. They will inform petitioner that their order is ready to be picked up and if it has been granted or denied.
After the PPO staff call, if petitioner does not pick up the signed order within 48 hours, unless a specific pick up date is stated by petitioner, the order will be mailed. PPO staff will let petitioner know this will happen if not picked up in 48 hours.
Petitioner must present picture ID when picking up signed PPO.