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The Difference Between a PPO and a Restraining Order

Updated on March 15, 2013

Before Getting a PPO or Restraining Order

Before you decide to take your wrong-doings to the legal system, you may be able to solve the problem on your own. Read my articles below to determine what your main issue is; if it is something like Facebook or YouTube Harassment, you may not need to take the case to court. In my articles I teach you how to end the harassment as quickly and easily as possible. If the information in the below articles does not end your harassment then you will want to consider a PPO (Personal Protection Order) or a Restraining Order.

What is a PPO (Personal Protection Order)

A PPO, an abbreviation for Personal Protection Order isa way to place restrictions on the individual who is causing problems for you. A PPO includes prohibitions against gun possession, sending mail to the victim, and coming near the victim’s home or place of work.

Personal Protection Order Benefits

A PPO keeps you (the "victim") safe from harassment, stalking or potential violence (physical attacks).

In detail, a PPO can do the following:

1. Prevent contact by any means (in person, by phone, by mail or e-mail, etc.) This includes Cyberbullying via Facebook, Google Voice, etc

2. Prevent the harasser from entering the residence property or work place of the victim

3. Assaulting, attacking, beating or doing any physical harm to the victim

4. Removing any minor children from where they live unless their removal is part of court-ordered visitation

5. Purchasing or possessing a firearm. If a firearm is in possession, it is to be seized by police

6. interfering with or engaging in conduct that impairs Petitioner's employment or educational environment. "Disruption of Business" can be absolutely terrible and even result in the termination of the victim. Do not take work or school related issues lightly!

What a PPO Can NOT Do

  • evict a person in a landlord/tenant relationship
  • establish custody or parenting time
  • protect personal property from damage
  • mediate neighbor disputes
  • stop a person from being rude or spreading rumors
  • remove a person from a place they have a legal right to be, such as the local store

Difference Between a PPO and Restraining Order

A Restraining Order is very similar to a Personal Protection Order, with the two main differences being the duration of the the order is valid for and the penalties for order violations.

TIME DURATION

Restraining orders are good for a period of time set by the court, determined on a case by case basis, usually at least six months, but sometimes for several years. Extensions are available, but must be requested and approved before the initial order expires. PPO's are in force for at least one year, but can be issued for longer duration's as the court sees fit. Orders of protection can also be renewed upon request to the court.

PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS

The penalties for violating a Restraining Order are fairly mild and pretty much limited to paying the court some fines / fees and facing a contempt charge. So, basically, you will need numerous violation to have anything actually "done". With a Personal Protection Order, criminal charges can be filed. These charges range from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending upon the circumstances of the violation and the number of violations already against the abuser.
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Alternatives: PEACE BOND

If you apply for a Personal Protection Order and are denied, you can opt for a Peace Bond. Peace Bonds are often used for neighbor disputes. A peace bond is a court order that requires a person to keep the peace with another person. This order is often granted in place of criminal charges, allowing a person who has been accused of threatening behavior to stay out of jail. Sometimes such an order is made after criminal charges have already been filed, as a condition for withdrawing the charges. There are penalties for individuals who violate peace bonds, which may include monetary fines and jail time.

Alternatives: AN INJUNCTION

An injunction is genuinely the best in my opinion. A permanent injunction is a type of order issued by a court after a full trial or a default judgment. A permanent injunction order is typically issued for the purpose of requiring a person or entity to permanently stop acting in a certain manner. A court can also hand down a permanent injunction for the purpose of compelling a party to perform in a certain way.

If a person violates the terms of any type of injunction, he or she may be held in contempt of court. This could mean paying a fine or even spending time in jail.

TIPS FOR GOING TO THE POLICE & COURT

Lets face it; there are rapes, murders, children being molested, robberies....this doesn't mean your case is less important, BUT, if you go into the police station or court acting like a fool, expect to be treated like one.

The truth is, you do not need to RUSH in to file a report or get into court (unless you life is endangered and you need an order of protection). Gathering evidence in a timely manner is far more important.

When you do go in to the station, dress appropriately but not “flashy”. There is no need to dress like you are going into court. Instead, dress in a manner that fits the situation. I suggest dressing business-casual.

Yelling, crying or showing other emotions will get you nowhere. The police officers job is to sort out the “mess”, not to be Dr. Phil and help you deal with the emotions you are experiencing.

Instead, briefly and clearly explain a summary of the situation and provide all of your evidence (which is clearly labeled and in folders). Do NOT undermine the intelligence of authority by attempting to read your evidence to them.

Absolutely avoid all name-calling, even if the culprit genuinely is the “biggest b*tch in the world” or “a total A-Hole”. Name calling can make YOU appear to be the problem, or, just an immature, hot-headed, overly-emotional individual - this is a "red flag" to law enforcement that you may not be capable of conveying the "whole story" with accuracy.

Do You Need to Get a PPO or Restraining Order?

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How to Immediately Protect Yourself

As I have written in my other articles, I HIGHLY recommend buying MACE / Pepper Spray. It is very inexpensive. I keep one in my vehicle, one on my key chain one at work and multiples at home. You never know when a situation may occur.

How to Use Pepper Spray Video Tutorial

Immediate Protection: Legal Knife

While pepper spray will stun someone, you may also want to carry a LEGAL knife. Check your state laws for knife carrying rules and regulations.

You can easily fit a small knife into your purse, glove-box or counsel.

Do You Own a Self Protection Weapon?

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Hawkbill California Legal Automatic Knife
Hawkbill California Legal Automatic Knife

IN CLOSING: Protection is Key

Do not settle for harassment or stalking.  Protect yourself and your family in every way possible.
Do not settle for harassment or stalking. Protect yourself and your family in every way possible.

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      Laura 2 years ago

      Good information. Thanks.