PRACTICE AREAS

ORDERS OF PROTECTION IN ILLINOIS

 
What Is An Order Of Protection?

A civil order of protection in Illinois is a court order that is intended to protect the person seeking the order from threat or abuse, including domestic violence. An order of protection prohibits the alleged abuser from contacting, harassing, stalking, threatening, or intimidating the alleged victim. It can also limit where and when the subject of the order can be in certain places, and prohibit contact with family members.

How To Obtain An Order of Protection

There are three types of civil Orders of Protection in Illinois: 

 

With an Interim Order of Protection, the individual seeking the order can obtain the order on their own, without the other person present. They may simply obtain the order through filling out a motion to be reviewed by a judge. If the judge finds justification to grant the order, they will grant a temporary protection order which must be served upon the other party.

After an Interim or Emergency Order of Protection is granted, the court may set a date for a Plenary Order of Protection, which usually stays in effect for two years. This generally involves a court hearing. For this type of hearing, the subject of the order of protection has the opportunity to respond to the allegations. If the alleged victim does not show up to the hearing, the plenary order is not granted. If the defendant does not appear for the hearing and notice was properly served, then the order will generally be granted.

An Emergency Order of Protection is an emergency procedure where someone wants to obtain an order of protection immediately due to grave and sudden circumstances, and there is no time to notify the alleged abuser. If the Court grants an emergency order of protection, it is usually only in effect for 14 or 21 days. During this time, the alleged abuser is served with the emergency order of protection and a hearing is scheduled for a plenary order of protection. 

If you have a civil order of protection against you, it was likely obtained after another person filed for protection against you. An order of protection is issued for the alleged victims of domestic abuse, stalking, sexual assault, unlawful sexual contact, or under fear of personal injury or harm. This is done through filing a “motion for civil order of protection.” The motion is filed in the county where the alleged abuse occurred, where the alleged victim lives or works, or where the alleged abuser lives or works.

A motion for a civil order of protection includes contact information for the parties involved, names of children who are also to be protected by the order, a description of why they are seeking protection, and how they want to limit contact. The motion is then filed with the county court.

The judge may then decide to grant a temporary order of protection, with a copy to be served to the subject of the order. With a temporary order of protection, the court does not require you to be present to defend yourself. However, if the individual is seeking a permanent order of protection, then you have the right to be present and you should consider contacting an attorney to protect your rights.

What Relief Does An Order of Protection Provide?

The specific restrictions under a civil order of protection will depend on the situation. The order may require the individual to move out of the alleged victim's house, limit communication to phone or email contact, or prohibit all contact. If an order of protection restricts any contact, that may include phone, text, email, and even social media contact.

The order of protection may also prohibit coming within a certain distance of the other person, prohibit going to their home, school, workplace, children's' school, public places they frequent, or other locations. The order may restrict contact with family members, or children. An order of protection may also require you to hand over any firearms you have to law enforcement.

What Should I Do If An Order Of Protection Is Issued Against Me?

The specific restrictions under a civil order of protection will depend on the situation. The order may require the individual to move out of the alleged victim's house, limit communication to phone or email contact, or prohibit all contact. If an order of protection restricts any contact, that may include phone, text, email, and even social media contact.

The order of protection may also prohibit coming within a certain distance of the other person, prohibit going to their home, school, workplace, children's' school, public places they frequent, or other locations. The order may restrict contact with family members, or children. An order of protection may also require you to hand over any firearms you have to law enforcement.

Violating an order of protection is a criminal offense. It does not matter if it involves a civil or criminal order of protection. 

After an order of protection is issued in Illinois, it is entered into a statewide database. If you come into contact with police or are reported in an area prohibited by the order of protection, you may be arrested. Even if the alleged victim did not report a violation and has changed their mind, if the police have probable cause to believe you violated an order of protection, they will place you under arrest and take you to jail.

If you are the subject of a temporary order of protection/emergency order of protection (the restrained person), you should contact an attorney and appear for the order of protection hearing. It is much more straightforward to prevent a temporary order of protection from becoming permanent than it is to get rid of a plenary order of protection. Contact your attorney if you are the subject of an order of protection if you want to remove the order of protection.

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