Know the Laws: Michigan
UPDATED October 23, 2012
If you are planning to move to MI or are going to be in MI for any reason, your protection or restraining order can be enforced.
Yes. Your protection order can be enforced in Michigan as long as:
Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.
* 18 U.S.C. § 2266(5)
** 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a) & (b)
No. Only the state that issued your protection order can change, extend, or cancel the order. You cannot have this done by a court in Michigan.
To have your order changed, extended, or canceled, you will have to file a motion or petition in the court where the order was issued. You may be able to request that you attend the court hearing by telephone rather than in person, so that you do not need to return to the state where the abuser is living. To find out more information about how to modify a restraining order, see the "How to Get a Restraining Order" page for the state where your order was issued.
If your order does expire while you are living in Michigan, you may be able to get a new one issued in Michigan but this may be difficult to do if no new incidents of abuse have occurred in Michigan. To find out more information on how to get a protective order in Michigan, visit our MI How to Get a Restraining Order page.
You will have to contact the court that issued your order to find out why your order has changed or is no longer valid. The police in Michigan cannot enforce an order that has expired or has been canceled in the issuing state.
If this does happen, you may want to contact a lawyer or domestic violence organization in your area. They may be able to answer some of your questions, or help you fill out the necessary court forms to petition for a new order in MI. You will find information on legal assistance and domestic violence organizations in MI on the MI Where to Find Help page.
Yes. As long as the child custody provision complies with certain federal laws,* Michigan can enforce a temporary custody order that is a part of a protection order.
To have someone read over your order and tell you if it meets these standards, contact a lawyer in your area. To find a lawyer in your area click here MI Finding a Lawyer.
* The federal laws are the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), and the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980.
he National Crime Information Center Registry (NCIC) is a nationwide, electronic database that contains protective order information used by law enforcement agencies in the U.S, Canada, and Puerto Rico. It is managed by the FBI and state law enforcement officials.
All law enforcement officials have access to it, but the information is encrypted so outsiders cannot access it.
There is currently no uniform procedure for registering an out-of-state order in Michigan unless your abuser has violated the order while you have been in MI. If your abuser has violated the order, the court will start a new case and hold a violating hearing to show cause.
It is possible that your county has a registration process. To find out more about registering your protection order, you can contact a local domestic violence organization in Michigan for assistance. You can find contact information for organizations in your area here on our MI State and Local Programs page.
No. MI state law gives full protection to an out-of-state protection order as long as you can show the officer a copy of the order and can truthfully tell the officer that you believe the order is still in effect.* It does not have to be entered into the state or federal registry in order to be enforced by a MI police officer, but the officer does need to believe that it is a valid (real) order.**
* Mich. Laws §§600.2950j(1); 600.2950l(3)
** Mich. Laws §600.2950l(4)
Under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which applies to all U.S. states and territories, the court is not permitted to notify the abuser when a protective order has been registered or filed in a new state unless you specifically request that the abuser be notified.* However, you may wish to confirm that the clerk is aware of this law before registering the order if your address is confidential.
However, remember that there may be a possibility that the abuser could somehow find out what state you have moved to. It is important to continue to safety plan, even if you are no longer in the state where the abuser is living. We have some safety planning tips to get you started on our Staying Safe page. You can also contact a local domestic violence organization to get help in developing a personalized safety plan. You will find contact information for organizations in your area on our MI State and Local Programs page.
* 18 USC § 2265(d)
Neither federal law nor state law requires that you register your protection order in order to get it enforced, so it should not be more difficult to get your order enforced even if you do not register it. However, if your order is not entered into the state registry and you do not have a copy of it with you, a MI law enforcement official will have to try to verify the order in some other way such as contacting the state that gave you the order.* This process can take time, meaning it might take longer to have your order enforced, and if the official cannot verify your order, it might not be enforced.**
If you are unsure about whether registering your order is the right decision for you, you may want to contact a local domestic violence organization in your area. An advocate there can help you decide what the safest plan of action is for you in Michigan. To see a list of local domestic violence organizations in MI, go to our MI State and Local Programs page.
* Mich. Laws §600.2950l(5)
** Mich. Laws §600.2950l(7)
If your county allows registration, you can contact a local domestic violence organization to get information about the process and any costs. You can find contact information for organizations in your area here on our MI Where to Find Help page