Realizing that your soon-to-be ex is stalking you can be extremely upsetting, and you may fear for your personal safety. Stalking can be extremely frightening, and even though it may not involve any direct physical contact, it can be threatening and aggressive. What can you do if your soon-to-be ex is stalking you? You may be able to work with a Michigan domestic violence lawyer to seek a domestic relationship personal protection order (PPO). Our firm can provide you with more information about PPOs and Michigan, and the ways in which they can provide protections from violent exes.
What is Stalking?
Before you move forward with a PPO, it is important to understand how Michigan law understands the term “stalking.” According to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), stalking can be a form of domestic violence (although it need not be domestic) that is “a crime of power and control.” The NIJ defines stalking as repeated conduct directed at a specific person. This involves more than one occasion of getting too close physically, communicating against the person’s will, or sending threats verbally or in writing. Any combination of these types of contact that make the recipient feel fear can constitute stalking.
In addition, stalking can involve leaving unwanted gifts for a person, following them around, interfering with their property, harassing them, threatening them, or spreading rumors about them. To be clear, stalking can occur in-person or electronically.
Domestic Personal Protection Orders and Nondomestic Stalking PPOs
There are three different types of personal protection orders available under Michigan law, and we want to explain the difference between two of them when it comes to seeking protection for an ex who is stalking you. These are the types of PPOs in Michigan:
- Domestic relationship PPOs;
- Non-domestic stalking PPOs; and
- Non-domestic sexual assault PPOs.
When you have a soon-to-be ex who is stalking you, you might be unsure about whether to seek a domestic relationship PPO or a non-domestic stalking PPO. Whenever the person stalking you is someone with whom you had a relationship, you will want to seek a domestic relationship PPO. To be sure, the non-domestic stalking PPO is only for situations where the person does not know his or her stalker.
To be eligible for a domestic relationship PPO, you must prove to the court that you had a domestic relationship with the person against whom you are seeking the PPO, and that the person is likely to stalk you or engage in other assaulting, harassing, or threatening behaviors. If your PPO is granted, it can be enforced anywhere, and your ex may be arrested for continuing to stalk you.
Contact an Experienced Michigan Domestic Violence Lawyer
You should never have to live in fear of an ex, and it is critical to know that there are protections available to you under Michigan law if your soon-to-be ex is stalking you. A dedicated Michigan domestic violence lawyer at our firm can speak with you today about obtaining a domestic relationship personal protection order (PPO), and we can provide you with more information about how a PPO can stop your ex from continuing to take threatening actions against you. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins today for more information about how we can assist you.