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What is a Personal Protection Order?

Jun 28 | 2024  by

Personal Protection Orders in the media

Celebrities like Rihanna, Amber Heard, and Taylor Swift have gone to court to request restraining orders (also called Personal Protection Orders) to protect their personal safety. Rihanna was granted a 5-year restraining order against Chris Brown after she was hospitalized following physical domestic violence by Brown in August 2009. Amber Heard also sought a restraining order against Johnny Depp after filing for divorce and reporting incidents of domestic violence in May 2016. Last year in May 2023, Taylor Swift was granted a restraining order after an obsessed fan threatened to harm her backup dancers and attendees of her concerts.

However, restraining orders are not just for celebrities.

What is a Personal Protection Order and how do I get one?

Personal Protection Orders or “PPOs” are court orders that prohibit someone from stalking, assaulting, entering onto certain property, following, sending communication, confronting, and/or appearing at the workplace of the protected person–just to name a few. PPOs can protect people who fear for their safety after threats of violence or violence has occurred. The person seeking the protection of a PPO is the Petitioner and the adverse party is known as the Respondent.

There are three basic types of PPOS:

  • Domestic – for someone you have/had a domestic relationship with including dated, lived with, married to, or have a child in common with;
  • Non-domestic stalking; and
  • Non-domestic sexual assault – for someone you have not has a domestic relationship with who has sexually assaulted you or threatened sexual assault.

PPOs can also be granted against a minor between the ages of 10-17 if the Petitioner is not their parent. A Judge can grant a PPO “ex parte,” meaning without a hearing, or after a hearing is held. Once a PPO is granted by a Judge it goes into immediate effect and can be enforced anywhere in the United States.

 If a Judge finds that a PPO has been violated, the maximum penalty is 93 days in jail and a $500 fine. Further, under 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(8) a PPO may prohibit respondent from possessing or purchasing ammunition or a firearm.

If you are someone who wants the protection of a PPO or have had a PPO issued against you, contact attorney Riley Stheiner of Fausone & Grysko, PLC at (248) 380-0000 to learn your options.