95.3 / 88.5 FM Grand Rapids and 95.3 FM Muskegon
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Michigan Court of Appeals: Hate speech not enough for PPO

Judge with gavel photo

A feud between neighbors has led the Michigan Court of Appeals to rule rude comments alone are not enough to grant a personal protection order, or PPO.

The court said the issue arose when one neighbor said, “Here come your masser,” as a white neighbor tried to intervene during a dispute.

Both feuding neighbors are Black, and a lower court deemed the remark hate speech and granted a protection order in the case.

Attorney Kevin Gentry represented the woman who made the remark. He said PPOs are only for keeping people safe from threats.

“If people could get a PPO because they didn’t like one another or because they said bad things to one another, the courts would be rapidly clogged up with many, many, many PPOs because there are plenty of people in the world who don’t get along.”

The appellate court ruled the neighbor’s comment fell under the First Amendment’s free speech protections.

Related Content