If you’ve been served an extreme risk protection order (ERPO), you are considered the respondent to the order. Please read the service papers carefully and make sure you follow all of the instructions in the order. This section answers common questions surrounding being served an ERPO in Michigan, what steps need to be taken as the respondent, and what options are available for respondents.

For more information about the Michigan ERPO law, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions for Those Served an ERPO

What is an Extreme Risk Protection Order?

ERPO laws authorize civil courts to temporarily prevent people at risk of harming themselves or others from possessing or purchasing firearms. In Michigan, the ERPO law allows law enforcement, families and household members, and healthcare providers to file an ERPO complaint. 

How long does an ERPO last?

An ERPO lasts for one year, but it may be extended one or more times by either the petitioner or the court, with each extension effective for one year after the expiration of the previous order. ERPOs can also be modified or terminated by the petitioner at any time. You will be given written notice if a hearing is scheduled on whether the ERPO might be extended, modified, or terminated. You can also ask the court to end the ERPO early through filing a motion to terminate. 

I was served an ERPO without a prior hearing. Now what?

If the court issues an ERPO ex parte (without a hearing that you had the opportunity to attend), you will have to comply with the order. You have the right to request a hearing within 7 days of being served, and the hearing will be held no later than 14 days after you receive notice of or are served with the ERPO. If your job requires you to carry a pistol, you can request a hearing to be held no later than 5 days after you receive notice of or are served with the ERPO. 

Do I need to appear in a court hearing?

If you were served an ERPO ex parte, you have the right to request a hearing. If a hearing has been requested by the person who petitioned for the ERPO, you will receive notice of a hearing on whether you might be served an ERPO, to be held within 14 days of the petition (complaint) being filed. You will have the opportunity to be heard at the hearing if you would like to present any concerns or objections that you have about the order. Although not required, you have the right to seek the advice of an attorney. 

What should I do after I am served an ERPO?

Please read the service papers carefully and make sure you follow all of the instructions in the order. If you are served with an ERPO, you will need to turn in any firearms you own to the law enforcement or, if allowed by the court, to a licensed firearm dealer. If you have a concealed pistol license, you must turn it in to the county clerk. You must file with the court any documents or other evidence verifying that you turned in all the firearms that you own and your concealed pistol license, if applicable. If you do not own any firearms, you must file documents or evidence verifying that, instead. For the duration of the order, you will not be able to obtain any new firearms.

What happens if I don’t follow the order?

If you don’t follow the instructions of the service papers, the court clerk will inform the local law enforcement agency, which will try to determine if you have held onto any firearms or a concealed pistol license. The court will schedule a compliance hearing to be held no later than 5 days after the ERPO is served, which can be canceled if you submit the required documentation before the hearing. If you neither submit the required documentation nor appear at the compliance hearing, the court will issue a bench warrant and a search warrant to seize any firearms, and you may be held in contempt. It is a felony offense not to comply with an ERPO, punishable by prison time and/or a fine.

Can I ask the judge to end the order?

Yes. You can file a motion to modify or end the order and request a hearing once during the first six months that the order is in effect and once during the second six months. At the hearing, you can provide evidence for why the ERPO is no longer necessary.

What do I do when the order ends?

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

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.