In a hearing at Third Circuit Court in the City of Detroit, attorney Chris Kessel was able to convince a judge to terminate a PPO in place against his client. The PPO (Personal Protection Order) was ordered ex parte, meaning at the time the PPO was ordered the client had no chance to contest the allegations. The Petitioner claimed that the PPO was necessary because the Respondent (our client) had sexually assaulted her. Standing alone, the allegations certainly warranted the issuance of the PPO, however, the allegations would have to stand up to cross examination by attorney Chris Kessel.
Chris Kessel, after discussing the matter with his client, immediately filed a motion to terminate the PPO. A hearing was scheduled where the Petitioner would be forced to defend her story under cross examination. Chris confronted the Petitioner with dozens of text messages sent between the Petitioner and her ex-boyfriend, where she attempted to explain the details of the sexual assault. Unfortunately for the Petitioner, she was unable to explain why her allegations changed (i.e. got worse) as the conversation progressed. The Petitioner was also forced to confront the fact that she appeared more upset that her ex-boyfriend did not believe her story, as opposed to being more upset about being sexually assaulted. Most importantly, Chris Kessel was able to establish that the Petitioner had never had any kind of problem with the Client before the allege incident and had no problems with him since. This final fact was incredibly important…and here’s why.
Upon her ruling, the judge commented that even if she had believed the Petitioner’s story, she would still have to deny the issuance of the PPO. The judge went on to say that a PPO is put in place to prevent harassing behavior that has taken place and may continue to take place, not to simply protect the “alleged” victim of a crime. Because Chris Kessel had walked the Petitioner into admitting that she had never had a prior problem with the Client, nor had she since the alleged assault, there was no basis to show that there was any harassment behavior that had take place, or would likely take place in the future. And with that, the PPO was terminated.
The Nessel and Kessel Approach
At Nessel and Kessel Law, we have extensive experience defending our client against the ordering of a PPO. Our approach includes getting a detailed history of the relationship between the petitioner and respondent as well as speaking with any necessary witnesses or other parties with crucial information. We will also gather phone records, emails, and any other documents that will help prove that you have not been engaged in any of the prohibited activities as outlined by the law.
At the hearing, the court will allow both sides to present their case, which includes allowing the attorneys to question the parties. Depending on the facts and their presentation, the court will also engage in its own cross-examination of the parties involved. The court’s questions will almost certainly be aimed at issues raised by the questioning of the lawyers.
Often times a petitioner will want a PPO issued simply because they are mad at someone, because they don’t want the respondent to have access to mutual children, or because there is a pending divorce and they want to use the legal system to their advantage. Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that a PPO is a court order, the violation of which can result in jail time. A PPO may seem “routine”, but it is an incredibly serious matter that can interfere with school, work, and other activities. If you have been served with a PPO, you need experienced attorneys who can show the court that the petitioner’s allegations are false. Contact Nessel and Kessel Law today for a free consultation.