Supreme Court extends Personal Protection Orders
Orders that expire through June 1 extended to July 21, 2020
The Supreme Court adopted Administrative Order 2020-11, which extends Personal Protection Orders (PPOs) that expire from today through June 1 to July 21. Release of the order was coordinated with Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-63, which directs law enforcement to extend PPO deadlines in the law enforcement information network (LEIN).
On any given day, there are approximately 16,000 active PPOs statewide. “Hearing requests for Personal Protection Orders are a critical function of courts statewide, and those orders provide relief to thousands of vulnerable residents,” said Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack.
“Protecting public health does not have to come at the price of losing a PPO, and this extension will assure that all survivors remain protected.”
On March 18, in Administrative Order 2020-2, the Court advised trial courts that processing PPOs was an essential function that must continue to be provided. This includes:
•Review and determination of requests for personal protection orders (PPO) underMCL 600.2950 and 600.2950a;
•Review and determination of emergency request to extend a PPO pursuant to MCR 3.707(B); and,
•Initial hearing for in-custody respondent arrested for alleged violation of PPO to allow court to address issue of bond under MCL 764.15b.
In issuing AO 2020-11, the Court noted that most local trial courts are operating with limited staff, and “many interactions that would occur by face-to-face encounter have become impossible, including those that are geared toward protecting vulnerable individuals.”
The Court also ordered that “a respondent who objects to the extension may file a motion to modify or terminate the personal protection order and request a hearing under MCR 3.707.”
Despite the challenge presented by COVID-19, including local budget cutbacks and furloughs, judges and other court officers statewide held nearly 7,000 hearings using Zoom from April 1 through April 17 for a total of nearly 30,000 hours. Many courts are also streaming those hearings on YouTube in order to maintain public access. Click on this map for more information.
“We appreciate the Governor’s action that allows for the extension of PPOs through this order,” said McCormack. “The last thing a protected individual should have to worry about in this crisis is how to extend a PPO.”
Many agencies that support survivors who might need to extend a PPO have limited staffing and accessibility. However, the Michigan Legal Help program provides extensive resources for individuals seeking help in securing or extending a PPO, and these can be signed electronically.