The purpose of a PPO is to protect someone from being stalked, harassed, threatened, etc. The purpose of a PPO is not to get back at a former lover who you feel has wronged you. That was the lesson taught in the Macomb County Circuit Court last week.
In October my client was served a PPO from his ex-girlfriend, claiming that he had stalked her in a variety of ways and had damaged her new boyfriend’s tires. When I met with the client he assured me that her claims were all bogus…which is often the case. But thankfully my client had dozens of text messages from his ex that showed that she was the one who was harassing him! She was hitting him up for money and other property and threatening that if he did not comply with her wishes she would go file for the PPO. I love when clients hold onto text messages.
At the hearing the ex initially made a somewhat compelling witness. I was slightly concerned. But when it came time for my cross-examination I asked her one question and her immediate response was “you don’t want to start with me.” At that point I knew this PPO would be terminated. I confronted her with text after text showing that she had initiated contact multiple times, even after she claims the harassment and threats had started. I presented her messages with conflicting reports about the damage that had been done to her boyfriend’s car. I questioned her about actions she took that harassed my client. While I remained calm she became increasingly agitated.
By the time I was finished the judge was smirking and rolling his eyes. He asked me if my client needed to testify. ***Pro Tip: when the judge asks you if you client “needs” to testify, that means you’ve already won.*** I simply asked my client if he had done any of the things the ex claimed he had done. He said “no.”
PPO’s are serious business. They can impact not only your personal life but your professional life as well. If you or a friend or family member has been served with a PPO contact Chris Kessel Law today.