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IL family lawyerOrders of protection, sometimes called restraining orders, are court orders designed to prevent an abusive or harassing individual from further harassing his or her victim. The directions contained in a protection order vary, but many prohibit the person named in the order, the respondent, from contacting or coming within a certain distance of the person who requested the order, called the petitioner. If you or your children are victims of domestic violence, an order of protection may give you the space you need to escape the abusive situation. An order of protection is also a critical step in creating a formal record of the respondent’s harmful actions with the court.

Emergency Orders of Protection Can Be Obtained Without a Hearing

There are three main types of protection orders available in Illinois: an emergency order of protection, interim order of protection, and plenary order of protection. An emergency order of protection (EOP) can be obtained without the respondent’s participation. This is called an 'ex parte' hearing.

To obtain an EOP, you will submit a petition for an emergency order of protection with your local county courthouse. In your petition, explain why you are seeking a protection order and describe the abusive or threatening actions the respondent has committed. An EOP lasts up to 21 days. The order can prohibit the abusive person from coming within a certain distance from or contacting you and/or your children.

The order may also require the person to surrender his or her firearms. The judge can set any other restrictions that he or she finds appropriate. When the court grants an EOP, it also sets a hearing date for a more permanent protection order called a plenary order of protection.

Interim Orders of Protection and Plenary Orders of Protection

A plenary order can last up to two years. You will need to attend a hearing in order to be granted a plenary order of protection. During the hearing, you will need to justify why you are requesting protection from the court. The respondent will have the chance to respond to the accusations leveled against him or her.

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IL custody lawyerWhen the process of a divorce is civil, there is no need for the court to order a partner or parent to stay away from the household. However, when there is domestic violence present in the relationship(s), the victim and/or parent of the victim can petition family court for an order of protection until the divorce process is concluded - or sometimes even further.

Understanding Orders of Protection

Domestic violence is a serious reason why some partners choose to split. However, if the abuser is unhappy about their partner choosing to leave, the abuse can sometimes escalate. If this happens, the victim is encouraged to file for an order of protection which will eliminate contact between victim and abuser during their divorce. This includes:

  • Phone calls
  • Emails
  • Text messages
  • Physical proximity to each other
  • Physical proximity to the victim’s residence
  • Physical proximity to the minor victim’s school or daycare

When there are children involved, the parent may file for an order of protection that includes them so that the abuser does not have contact with the minors during the process if it is believed the children may also be at risk. In Illinois, there are three types of orders which range in duration of non-contact:

  • Emergency orders, which cover a duration of 14 to 21 days.
  • Interim orders, which cover a duration of 30 days.
  • Plenary orders, which cover a maximum of two years.

All orders are able to be extended when the coverage time comes to conclusion. This must be done through the court as well.

Penalties for Violating an Order of Protection

An abuser needs to be knowingly violating the order of protection for a punishment to be given. In this case, the offender will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. If there are children involved during the violation, the charges are elevated to a Class 4 felony.

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Posted on in Family Law

IL divorce lawyerAn order for protection is commonly known as a restraining order. Through the Illinois court system, one can file various different types of restraining orders based on the threats of violence that they are experiencing. Minors, those under the age of 18, can petition for a restraining order despite not being a legal adult. This is allowed simply because abuse does not discriminate based on age. Teens and women ages 16-24 have the highest risk rate for intimate partner violence. Continue reading to learn what is classified as abuse and which situations can be used to petition for an order for protection.

Types of Restraining Orders

Many incorrectly believe that an order of protection can only be filed if proof of physical abuse is present. Abuse can take many forms such as physical, emotional, and psychological. Anyone who violates orders of protection receives a Class A misdemeanor for the first offense and a Class 4 felony for any other violations. There are various types of restraining orders to accommodate for the different types of abuse that occur.

  1. Domestic Violence and an Order of Protection: This form of restraining order can apply to any living situation. This includes those related by blood or marriage, cohabitants, those who share children, people in romantic relationships, and those who have disabilities.

  2. Sexual Assault and a Civil No Contact Order: For those who have been victims of sexual assault, a civil no-contact order can not only protect the victim but also family/household members of the victim and rape crisis center employees/volunteers.

  3. Stalking and a No Contact Order: This action is for those who fear for their own safety or the safety of another due to someone else’s actions. Action can be taken for threats of stalking or evidence of stalking.

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