In Michigan, the Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) law allows law enforcement, families and household members, and healthcare providers to file an ERPO petition. In this section, learn about the ERPO filing process in Michigan, from accessing and submitting court forms to the hearing process, as well as what options are available after an ERPO is ordered. If you are in immediate danger, call 911. If you are experiencing a crisis, call or text 988.

The ERPO Filing and Order Process in Michigan

1. Fill out an ERPO petition

An ERPO petition in Michigan is called a complaint. The person filing an ERPO complaint, referred to as the petitioner, must fill out the relevant complaint forms and submit them to the family division of the circuit court.  The complaint should describe the specific facts that show someone, known as the respondent, is at a significant risk of harming themselves or others. The respondent does not need to currently be in possession of a firearm for the petitioner to file an ERPO complaint.

If the petitioner believes the respondent is at risk of harming themselves or others in the very near future, the petitioner may indicate on the complaint form that they are requesting an ex parte order. An ex parte ERPO complaint will receive priority from the court to review, and will be decided without a hearing. If filing an ex parte complaint, the petitioner must detail why they feel an ex parte order is appropriate.

The petitioner must state, if known, whether there are currently any other legal actions, orders, or judgements, including another ERPO complaint or order, affecting the respondent. The petitioner must also state, if known, whether the respondent is a member of law enforcement or otherwise required to carry a firearm for their occupation.

The following forms are used to begin the ERPO petition process:

If the respondent is an adult, use Form CC 452.

If the respondent is a minor, use Form CC 452m.

All complaints must include a Confidential Information Form, Form CC 450, which records the petitioner’s address. This form is kept confidential by the court. *Please note: this form only keeps the petitioner’s address confidential. Other information about the petitioner might not be kept confidential. 

If the petitioner is a minor or legally incompetent/incapacitated, a Request for Next Friend and Order Form, Form CC 465, must be filled out. The Next Friend will take the responsibility of the complaint on behalf of the petitioner.

2. Submit the petition to the appropriate circuit court

ERPO complaints must be filed to the family division of the circuit court. Circuit court jurisdictions are typically, but not always, along county borders.

  • If the respondent is an adult, the petitioner can file the complaint in any county in Michigan, regardless of where the respondent or petitioner reside.
  • If the respondent is a minor, the complaint must be filed in either the petitioner’s or the respondent’s county of residence.
  • If the respondent does not reside in Michigan, the petitioner must file in their own county of residence.

For a directory of courts in Michigan by county, click here.

3. Attend the petition hearing

If the ERPO petition does not indicate that an ex parte ERPO is requested, a hearing will be scheduled within 14 days for the court to determine if an ERPO is necessary. It is required for ERPO petitioners to attend a hearing with the court to review the complaint and the evidence for why an ERPO may be necessary. If the petitioner does not attend, the ERPO will be not be granted. When the petitioner requests a hearing (meaning they do not request an ex parte ERPO), the petitioner is responsible for providing a copy of the complaint and notice of the hearing to the respondent. If the respondent is a minor, the petitioner is responsible for serving the respondent’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s). The respondent is not required to attend the hearing. Both the petitioner and the respondent may have lawyers present, but this is not required. If requested, the court may allow the hearing to be conducted via videoconferencing.

If a complaint is filed ex parte, the court will decide on issuing the ERPO without a hearing. If an ex parte request is rejected by the court, the petitioner can still request a hearing within 21 days of the denial. That hearing would be scheduled within 14 days of the request. If an ex parte ERPO is ordered, the respondent will have the opportunity to request a hearing within 7 days of receiving the order, and the hearing will be scheduled within 14 days of the request.

*Please note: A hearing would be scheduled within 5 days if the respondent is a member of law enforcement or otherwise is required to carry a firearm for their occupation.

The court will determine, based on the information detailed in the complaint and by the petitioner’s and respondent’s testimonies (if there is a hearing), whether an ERPO is necessary. The factors that the court may consider include, but are not limited to:

Use of physical force or violence

Prior or current legal injunctive orders

ERPO or Personal Protection Order violations

Criminal offences

Alcohol or controlled substance abuse

Unlawful use of deadly weapons or ammunition

Serious mental illness or emotional disturbance

4. The court decision and serving the ERPO order

The court will decide whether to grant or deny an ERPO, based on the evidence, and will provide a written justification for their decision. 

If an ERPO is granted, unless otherwise specified by the court, the petitioner is responsible for serving the ERPO order to the respondent and returning the proof of service document attached to the order back to the court. The respondent must turn in all of their firearms to law enforcement if they had any in their possession. If allowed by the court, the respondent may turn in their firearms to a licensed firearm dealer instead.

The court may specify that firearms must be turned in immediately, in which case a member of law enforcement will serve the ERPO to the respondent. In this case, the court may also grant an anticipatory search warrant to the law enforcement officer to search the respondent’s property for any firearms if the respondent refuses to comply with the order.  

5. The duration and end of the ERPO

An ERPO in Michigan will last up to one year, during which the respondent is prohibited from possessing or purchasing firearms. If the respondent does not follow the order, they may face penalties such as fines or even jailtime. The petitioner may request to modify or rescind the ERPO at any point during the duration of the order. The respondent has the right to appeal to modify or end the order once per six month period of the order. At the end of the order, the petitioner or the court may motion to extend the order.

Petitioners and respondents may both use the Motion to Modify, Extend, or Terminate Order Form, Form CC 460, to request the court to change the ERPO. A hearing will be scheduled 14 days after the motion is submitted. Whoever submits the motion must notify the other party of the hearing. 

When the ERPO ends, unless prohibited for another reason from possessing firearms, the court will order that the respondent will be allowed to possess and purchase firearms once again, and may reclaim any firearms turned into law enforcement or a licensed firearm dealer. The respondent has 90 days to reclaim any firearms; after 90 days, law enforcement may destroy the firearms if they are not reclaimed. 

Please note: filing a complaint as a petitioner means you may be responsible for informing the respondent of the ERPO hearing as well as be responsible for serving the ERPO to the respondent. While petitioner addresses are kept confidential by the court, other personal information may not be.

If you are unsure, unable, or uncomfortable to serve as the petitioner, but still believe you need to file an ERPO complaint, contact your local law enforcement and request that they file an ERPO complaint on your behalf.

If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.

If you are experiencing a crisis, please text or call 988.

The content of this website is not legal advice and is only intended for general informational purposes. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney.