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In this article we will be discussing Orders of Protection in Illinois and the Changes to the Domestic Violence Statue. We will answer the questions of:

  • What Is an Order of Protection?
  • What is a Restraining Order?
  • What is the Difference Between an Order of Protection and a No Stalking/No Contact Order?
  • What is Required to Establish a Claim for an Order of Protection?
  • How Does One File for an Order of Protection?
  • Do I Need to Bring Anything with Me When I File My Petition For An Order of Protection?
  • How Long Does an Emergency Order of Protection Remain in Effect?
  • What if I am a Victim of Domestic Assault which Resulted in an Arrest?
  • How Long Does an Order of Protection Stay in Effect?
  • What Are the Effects of Having an Order of Protection Entered Against an Abuser?
  • Updates to Domestic Violence Statutes in 2021?

In this article we will be discussing Orders of Protection in Illinois and the Changes to the Domestic Violence Statue. We will answer the questions of:

  • What Is an Order of Protection?
  • What is a Restraining Order?
  • What is the Difference Between an Order of Protection and a No Stalking/No Contact Order?
  • What is Required to Establish a Claim for an Order of Protection?
  • How Does One File for an Order of Protection?
  • Do I Need to Bring Anything with Me When I File My Petition For An Order of Protection?
  • How Long Does an Emergency Order of Protection Remain in Effect?
  • What if I am a Victim of Domestic Assault which Resulted in an Arrest?
  • How Long Does an Order of Protection Stay in Effect?
  • What Are the Effects of Having an Order of Protection Entered Against an Abuser?
  • Updates to Domestic Violence Statutes in 2021?

Illinois has enacted the Domestic Violence Act to provide recourse for people that have been victims of Domestic Violence or Abuse. Domestic Abuse can be physical, mental, or emotional abuse that causes harm to an individual. Additionally, the State Legislature has enacted additional protections under the Domestic Violence Act to protect against stalking and harassment.  

What Is an Order of Protection?

An Order of Protection is a formal order of the Court which protects a person from coming into any form of contact with their abuser. The Order of Protection is enforceable by the police and can result in criminal liability if it is violated. This order is designed to protect a victim’s person, property, and autonomy from their abuser.

What is a Restraining Order?

A restraining order is a broader civil remedy that can restrict the enjoined party from any number of activities. A restraining order can be used for anything from stopping a fence from being built to freezing a person’s financial accounts. If you are looking for information related to a restraining order, please check out our article on Illinois Preliminary Injunctions and Temporary Restraining Orders Explained.

What is the Difference Between an Order of Protection and a No Stalking/No Contact Order?

Orders of protection can only be sought against someone that is a family member, in a relationship, or in a shared living arrangement with an individual. The No Stalking/No Contact order is an expanded remedy which can be sought against any person that has repeatedly and unwanted contact with an individual. This is an expansion over the protections formerly available as it does not require the establishment of any relationship to be sought. To learn more about the No Stalking/No Contact orders please review our other article on Illinois No Stalking/No Contact Orders Explained.

What is Required to Establish a Claim for an Order of Protection?

In seeking an order of protection, the victim needs to fall into one of three categories:

  1. The victim is being abused by a family member or other member of their household. This can include a romantic partner that they are not married to or even live with.
  1. The victim is a minor child or a disabled adult or otherwise incapable of seeking this order on their own behalf who has been abused by a family member or a member of their household.
  1. The victim is a “high risk” adult with disabilities that is being abused or otherwise harmed by a family member or member of the household.

In the second and third instance, a fit, able and proper person may bring the petition on behalf of the minor child or disabled adult.  

How Does One File for an Order of Protection?

An Order of Protection is filed by going to the local courthouse where the victim lives and/or the abuse took place. The victim is able to fill out an emergency petition in the clerk’s office and submit that filing for immediate consideration by a presiding judge. The petition is designed to allow for immediate relief in a scenario where an individual is at risk for abuse. For more detailed information, read our article about Filing A Petition For An Order Of Protection.

Do I Need to Bring Anything with Me When I File My Petition For An Order of Protection?

As mentioned above, these petitions are designed to be heard on the same day that they are filed. As such, you should bring any witnesses and evidence that would otherwise be helpful to your case. The first time you appear before the Court is in a temporary hearing setting so it is crucial to present your position to the Court as clearly and effectively as possible.

How Long Does an Emergency Order of Protection Remain in Effect?

An Emergency Order of Protection is effective up to 21 days. However, once the Emergency Order is granted, the judge handling this case may extend the order in interim capacity at subsequent court dates while waiting for the plenary hearing on the petition for an order of protection.

What if I am a Victim of Domestic Assault which Resulted in an Arrest?

When a person is arrested for Domestic Assault or Domestic Battery, there may be criminal charges attached to that arrest. Even with the criminal charges, there can still be a civil proceeding for an order of protection. When associated with a criminal case or following an arrest, it is common for a State’s Attorney to be assigned to your file. This attorney can prosecute the case on your behalf and have help have the plenary order of protection established on your behalf.

How Long Does a Plenary Order of Protection Last?

A Plenary Order can last up to 2 years from the date of entry. After two years, the victim/protected party would need request that the Court extend the order due to a continued threat against the protected party.

What Are the Effects of Having an Order of Protection Entered Against an Abuser?

Having an order protection entered against your abuser will require that they need to remain away from your home, work, and school. Additionally, any order of protection that is entered will be entered into a police database which is accessible for all departments. It is attached to the abuser’s name and social security number. Read our article on What Happens If I Violate An Order of Protection for more info.

Updates to Domestic Violence Statutes in 2021?

The legislature is currently considering making modifications to the domestic violence statute but there are no passed changes at this time. The last major modification to the Illinois Domestic Violence Act was to include the provisions for the Stalking/No Contact Order. This was a major and comprehensive change to the statute designed to greatly increase the protections afforded to victims of abuse that were previously without recourse. If you are interested in learning more about the protections associated with a No Stalking Contact order, please review our article on the increased protections in Illinois No Stalking/No Contact Orders Explained.

Posted 
April 29, 2021
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