Laws in Michigan

Domestic Violence Laws in Michigan

1. PERSONAL PROTECTION ORDERS

Personal protection orders (formerly restraining orders) (pursuant to MCLA 600.2950) are civil orders of the circuit court designed to protect domestic violence victims. The victim must demonstrate to the circuit court that there is reasonable cause to believe that the person they are seeking the order against may commit one or more of the acts. An attorney is needed to present this complaint to the circuit court. The request must state specific incidents of assaults/ and/or threats, and may describe injuries sustained and names of witnesses.Personal protection orders (pursuant to MCLA 600.2950) are for domestic violence victims only. A relationship must exist between the victim or the perpetrator. They must be: married, formerly married, residing together, formerly residing together, have a child in common 7/1/94, or have a dating or formerly dating relationship 4/1/95.

Personal protection orders can prohibit the assailant from: assaulting, beating, molesting or wounding entering on to the premises removing minor children from the individual having legal custody threatening to kill or physically injure a named person (7/1/94) interfering with the victim at her place of employment 4/1/95 engaging in conduct which impairs the victim’s employment relationship or environment 4/1/95 any other specific act that imposes a restraint upon the victim’s personal liberty or causes a reasonable apprehension of violence. 4/1/95 (not until 4/1/96) Purchasing or possessing a firearm.

Stalking language (MCLA 600.2450A) can be added to personal protection orders that restrains the assailant from: following or appearing within the sight of the victim approaching or confronting the victim in a public place or private property approaching at the victim’s home, work or school entering onto or remaining on property owned, leased or occupied by the victim contacting the victim by telephone, mail or electronic mail placing an object on or delivering an object to property owned, leased, or occupied by the victim. The circuit court judge decides whether to issue a personal protection order. If the judge does not, s/he must immediately state in writing and on the record the reasons for so refusing. Victim may keep her address confidential. The order goes into effect immediately after the judge signs it. Service may be by registered mail. The assailant has an opportunity to object and to appear for a hearing. Police may arrest without a warrant when an assailant violates a personal protection order. A “show cause” hearing is held. If the assailant is found by the judge to have violated the order of the court, the assailant could be sentenced to up to 93 days in jail and receive a $500 fine or both.

2. CRIMES A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ASSAILANT MAY HAVE COMMITTED AND COULD BE CHARGED WITH IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN.

A. ASSAULT AND BATTERY [MCLA 750.81]
Michigan Law defines a criminal assault and battery as an attempt or offer to do bodily injury with a present intention and ability to do so. See above. Assault is an attempt or threat, with unlawful force, to inflict bodily injury upon another, accompanied by the apparent present ability to carry out the intent if not deterred by another. A threat coupled with present ability may be considered an assault. Battery is the actual physical harm.

B. AGGRAVATED ASSAULT/ASSAULT AND INFLICTION OF SERIOUS INJURY. [MCLA 750.81a]
Any person who shall assault another without any weapon and inflict serious or aggravated injury upon the person of another without intending to commit the crime of murder and without intending to inflict great bodily harm less than the crime of murder, shall be guilty of a high misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the county jail or the state prison for a period of not more than one year or a fine of $500 or both.

C. FELONIOUS ASSAULT [MCLA 750.82]
A felonious assault is an assault with a dangerous weapon without an intent to inflict great bodily harm. Any person who shall assault another with a gun, revolver, pistol, knife, iron bar, club, brass knuckles, or other dangerous weapon, but without intending to commit the crime of murder, and without intending to inflict great bodily harm less than the crime of murder, shall be guilty of a felonious assault.

D. ASSAULT WITH INTENT TO DO GREAT BODILY HARM LESS THAN MURDER. Felony [MCLA 750.84]
Any person who shall assault another with intent to do great bodily harm less than the crime of murder, shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, not more than ten years, or by a fine of not more than $5,000.

E. ASSAULT WITH INTENT TO MAIM. Felony [MCLA 750.86]
Any person who shall assault another with intent to maim or disfigure his person by cutting out or maiming the tongue, putting out or destroying an eye, cutting or tearing off an ear, cutting or slitting or mutilating the nose or lips or cutting off or disabling a limb, organ, or member, shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not more than ten years or by fine of not more than $5,000.

F. ASSAULT WITH INTENT TO COMMIT MURDER. Felony [MCLA 750.83]
Any person who shall assault another with intent to commit the crime of murder, shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for life or any number of years.

G. CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT. {MCLA 750.520}
There are four degrees of criminal sexual conduct (usually known as rape). First, second, and third degrees are felonies. Fourth degree is a misdemeanor.

First and third degrees involve forced or coerced penetration. This can involve vaginal intercourse, anal or oral intercourse, or putting a finger or object in another person’s genital or anal opening.

Second and fourth degree involve forced or coerced sexual contact. This includes touching the groin, genital area, inner thigh, buttocks, or breasts, or the clothing covering those parts.

How serious the crime is depends on a number of factors such as: more than one rapist; a weapon; a physical injury other than the rape; extortion;, or the element of surprise. If the victim is under 13, from 13 – 15 and the rapist is a member of the family or in a position of authority, this also makes the crime more serious. Criminal sexual conduct does not require a witness other than the survivor. It is a crime if the rapist is your spouse.

H. Malicious destruction of property [MCLA 750.377(a)]

I. Home Invasion, 3rd Degree. [MCLA 750.110(4)

If a person enters a house of another in violation of an existing court order or with the intent to or committing an assault therein, they have committed a felony.

J. Assault with intent to commit a felony [MCLA 750.87]

K. STALKING LAWS (See below)

SUMMARY OF LAWS APPLICABLE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

A. ARREST WITHOUT A WARRANT; ASSAULT AND BATTERY OR INFLICTION OF SERIOUS INJURY WITHIN HOUSEHOLD [MCLA 764.15a (1980)].
This law is commonly known as the domestic violence warrantless arrest statute. It allows the police officer to make an arrest if the officer has “reasonable cause” to believe that an assault has taken place, or is taking place, and that the person who committed the violation is a spouse, former spouse, or a person who resides or who has resided in the same household as the victim, or has a child in common with the victim. Under these circumstances, the officer may arrest the suspect without a warrant, whether the violation was committed in the presence of the officer or not.

B. ARREST WITHOUT A WARRANT FOR INJUNCTIVE ORDER VIOLATIONS. [MCLA 764.15b (1983)].
This statute gives police officers the authority to arrest and take into custody a person when the officer has reasonable cause to believe that there is a valid domestic assault restraining order with criminal penalties filed properly.

C. DOMESTIC DISPUTE VICTIMS; ADVISING OF AVAILABILITY OF SHELTER PROGRAM OR OTHER COMMUNITY SERVICES; NOTICE STATEMENT. [MCLA 764.15C (1985)]
After intervening in a domestic dispute, police officers are required by law to provide the victim with information on the availability of any local shelter program or other community services, and their phone numbers. A written notification of these services is to be given to the victim.

D. Amendment to the interim bond statute {Public Act 308, formerly Senate Bill 583 (1990) MCLA 750.582.} This bill was effective March 28th, 1991.
This law says that after a domestic assailant is arrested, he will be held until the next session of court where he will be arraigned. The only exception is if an arraignment could not take place within 24 hours. In that case, he will be released on interim bond after being held for 20 hours.

E. Court Ordered Counseling Option for Assault Violations {MCLA 769.4A (1978)}
This law states that a person who pleads guilty or is convicted of assault, or assault and battery may be ordered by the court to participate in a mandatory counseling program as a condition of probation.

F. Crime Victim’s Rights Act {MCLA 780.751 (1985)}
This law establishes protections and rights that allow the victims of certain crimes committed in Michigan to be active participants in the criminal justice process. The law defines a victim as: an individual who suffers direct or threatened physical, financial, or emotional harm as the result of the commission of a crime. Crimes covered by the act include felonies and high misdemeanors.

G. Compensation for Injured Crime Victims {MCLA 18.351 (1976)}.
Victims of certain personal injury crimes may receive financial compensation for particular losses that resulted from the crime.

H. Victims Seeking Help Assured of Confidentiality {MCLA 600.101 (1985)}
Victims of sexual assault and domestic violence who seek the services of workers at sexual assault or domestic violence crisis centers have the protection of law that the counseling sessions are confidential and not admissible in the court without the victim’s written consent.

I. The Ann Arbor Mandatory Arrest Ordinance.
There is an ordinance in Ann Arbor which states the police officers are required to arrest domestic assailants if they have reasonable cause to believe an assault took place and there are visible signs of injury or a threat with a weapon. This ordinance also requires police to call the SAFE House on-call team so that they can go to help the survivor of the assault. It requires them to call the survivor to let her know when the assailant will be released from jail.

J. Amendment to the Criminal Sexual Conduct Statute {MCLA 750.520} making spousal rape a crime. {Public Act 138 of 1988}
A spouse can be charged with rape of his partner in Michigan.

K. STALKING LAWS
As of January 1, 1993, stalking is a crime in Michigan. Under the new laws created, a victim may press charges against stalker, obtain a restraining order with provisions for immediate arrest and criminal contempt penalties, and sue for actual and exemplary damages caused by the stalker. These new laws allow punishment for what was previously legal, though despicable, behavior. Police, prosecutors, and judges have been given the tools necessary to afford victims greater protection from assailants. However, since the laws are so new, we have little information on how they will be applied in practice. If you are being stalked by your assailant, call the police. We also strongly encourage you to contact an advocate at the domestic violence project for further assistance.

1. Stalking – MCLA 750.411h
Stalking is defined as a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested, and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested. Behavior such as following you, showing up at your home or at work, confronting you in public or in private, making unwanted calls or sending unwanted letters, or leaving objects or “presents” for you at home, work, on/in your car or other property can be used as evidence of stalking. Stalking is a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of up to one year and/or a fine of up to $1,000. In addition to incarceration and fines, an individual found guilty of stalking may also be put on probation for up to five years. The terms of probation may include an anti-stalking order, a no contact order, and/or mandatory counseling for the assailant, at his own expense.

2. Aggravated Stalking – MCLA 750.411i
An individual who engages in stalking is guilty of aggravated stalking if his actions include one or more of the following: making a credible threat of injury to the victim or a member of the victim’s family or household; violating a domestic assault or anti-stalking restraining order; violating a condition of bond, pre-trial release or probation arising from a stalking charge; or having a previous conviction for stalking or aggravated stalking. Aggravated stalking is a felony, punishable by imprisonment of up to five years, and/or a fine of up to $5,000. In addition to incarceration and fines, probation may be ordered for any number of years, but not less than five years. The terms of probation may include an anti-stalking order, a no contact order, and/or mandatory counseling for the stalker, at his own expense.

3. Anti-Stalking Restraining Orders – MCLA 600.2950a, MCLA 764.15b
A victim of stalking may petition the court for a restraining order to prohibit stalking behaviors. The order must be specific as to the particular behaviors to be restrained, but may include (though not be limited to): Following or appearing within the sight of the victim, Approaching or confronting the victim in a public place or on private property; Appearing at the victim’s home, work, or school; Entering onto or remaining on property owned, leased, or occupied by the victim; Contacting the victim by telephone, mail or electronic mail;and Placing an object on or delivering an object to property owned, leased, or occupied by the victim. Violation of a valid anti-stalking restraining order is punishable by immediate arrest and the criminal contempt powers of the court. If found guilty of criminal contempt, the stalker may be sentenced to up to 90 days in jail and/or fined up to $500.00. An individual who violates an anti-stalking order may also be prosecuted and convicted of aggravated stalking for the same violation. [MCLA 750.411i(6)]

4. Civil Suits for Damages Caused by Stalker – MCLA 600.2954(1)
A victim may sue the stalker for actual costs incurred as a result of stalking (i.e. property damage, lost wages, medical/therapy costs, etc.), exemplary damages, court costs and reasonable attorney fees. A lawsuit may be bought regardless of whether or not the stalker has been charged or convicted in a criminal case.

K. PUBLIC ACT 52 OF 1993. EFFECTIVE 7/1/93.
Amends the Code of Criminal Procedure to allow police to make a warrantless arrest if they have reasonable cause to believe that a defendant has violated a court-ordered protective condition of release.

L. PUBLIC ACT 53 OF 1993. EFFECTIVE 7/1/93
Amends the Code of Criminal Procedure to require that court-ordered protective conditions of release be entered into the Law Enforcement Information Network (L.E.I.N.)

M. HB 4064. EFFECTIVE 11/28/93
Amends the Child Custody Act to include domestic violence as one of the factors that judges must consider when determining the best interests of the child for purposes of making child custody decisions. The factor reads: “Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child.”

N. HB 4308 – P.A. 68 of 1994. Effective 7-1-94.
Amends the Code of Criminal Procedure to reduce from two to one the number of times a defendant may have a domestic assault conviction deferred and dismissed upon successful completion of probation. Both the defendant and the prosecutor must consent to the placement of the defendant on a deferred sentence. Requires the court to check the defendant’s record prior to deferring the proceedings. Requires the court to enter an adjudication of guilt and proceed with sentencing if the defendant re-assaults the victim, violates a no contact order, or violates an order for counseling.

O. HB 4325 – P.A. 65 OF 1994. Effective 7-1-94
Amends the Penal Code to increase the penalty for repeat domestic assaults. Allows a third offense that would normally be charged as assault or assault and battery (90 days and/or $100) to be elevated to a to a felony (maximum penalty of 2 years and/or $1,000). {See Senate Bill 326 for second offense language)

P. HB 4357 – P.A. 57 OF 1994. Effective 7-1-94.
Amends the Divorce Act provisions for domestic abuse injunctive orders by adding “threatening to kill or physically injure a named person” to the behaviors that can be prohibited and are punishable by criminal contempt penalties.

Q. HB 4358 – P.A. 62 of 1994. Effective 7-1-94.
Amends the Code of Criminal Procedure to clarify that the prosecutor shall prosecute criminal contempt proceedings initiated by the court in response to an alleged violation of a domestic abuse injunctive order or an anti-stalking injunctive order, unless the victim chooses to retain private counsel for the criminal contempt proceeding.

R. HB 4359 – P.A. 58 of 1994. Effective 7-1-94.
Amends the Revised Judicature Act provisions for domestic abuse injunctive orders by adding “threatening to kill or physically injure a named person” to the behaviors that can be prohibited and are punishable by criminal contempt penalties.

S. HB 4360 – P.A. 69 of 1994. Effective 7-1-94.
Amends the Code of Criminal Procedure by requiring police agencies to establish written policies regarding their response to domestic violence by January 1, 1995. Policy requirements include an emphasis on arrest as the preferred response upon a finding of probable cause that a crime was committed in a domestic situation. Provisions for insuring victim safety and assistance are also required.

T. HB 4361 – P.A. 70 OF 1994. Effective 7-1-94.
Amends the Code of Criminal Procedure to prohibit a magistrate from refusing to accept a domestic assault complaint signed on information and belief by a person other than the victim.

U. HB 4362 – P.A. 59 OF 1994. Effective 7-1-94.
Amends the Code of Criminal Procedure by adding “threatening to kill or physically injure a named individual” to the grounds for warrantless arrest on a violation of a domestic abuse injunctive order, if the order contains such a prohibition.

V. HB 4397 – P.A. 60 OF 1994. Effective 7-1-94.
Amends the Code of Criminal Procedure regarding the information sheet given to victims of domestic assault by adding that the victim may obtain an injunctive order “restraining or enjoining the abuser from threatening to kill or physically injure you”.

W. SB 326 – P.A. 64 OF 1994. Effective 7-1-94.
Amends the Penal Code to increase the penalty for repeat domestic assaults. Allows a second offense that would normally be charged as assault or assault and battery (90 days and/or $100) to be elevated to a one year misdemeanor ( maximum penalty of 1 year and /or $500). Increases penalty for assault and battering if a domestic relationship exists (current or former spouse, resides or formerly resides, child in common) to 93 days to trigger fingerprinting and CCH reporting.

X. SB 587 – P.A. 63 OF 1994. Effective 7-1-94.
Amends the Code of Criminal Procedure to require police officers to make a written report, including standard basic information, in response to all domestic violence calls, requires that such reports are submitted to the prosecutors office for review. Also revises the domestic violence victims rights notice to include information about the police response and clearer direction toward victim rights and referrals. Repeals the statue that formerly required the court to dismiss a case without prosecutor’s consent if the victim stated s/he had received civil satisfaction.

Y. SB 813 – P.A. 66 OF 1994. Effective 7-1-94.
Amends the Code of Criminal Procedure to allow warrantless arrest for misdemeanor assaults not witnessed by the police if the parties have a child in common.

Y. SB 1022 – P.A. 61 OF 1994. Effective 7-1-94.
Amends the Revised Judicature Act to require the court to enter a domestic abuse injunctive order under certain circumstances, require the State Court Administrative Office to develop and make available free pro se domestic abuse injunctive order forms by October 1, 1994, and specifies in statute that domestic abuse injunctive orders can be served by registered or certified mail.

Z. HB 4515
Amends the Code of Criminal Procedure to improve procedures for issuance and enforcement of peace bonds. Increases from two years to five years the length of time that a peace bond may remain in effect.
Compiled by Kathleen Hagenian and Susan McGee, Executive Director of The Domestic Violence Project, Inc./SAFE House


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