Orders of Protection

Orders of Protection may be obtained when a person has been “abused” by a “family or household member.”  In the context of Orders of Protection, the definition of the term “abuse” is broad and includes harassment and threats.  Obtaining an Order of Protection provides many remedies including awarding exclusive possession of a shared residence, requiring that the abuser stay away from the Petitioner (the person filing for the Order of Protection), providing for parenting time, parenting responsibilities, and monetary damages.
In order to obtain an Order of Protection, the abuse must have occurred at the hands of a “family or household member.”  The definition of the term “family or household member” is broad enough to include past dating relationships.   If you are eligible to receive an Order of Protection, because you have been “abused” by a “family or household member,” an Order of Protection is the appropriate course of action rather than a Stalking No Contact Order as it will provide a much wider range of remedies than Stalking No Contact Orders.

Under Illinois law, actual violence does not have to occur for you to obtain an order of protection.  A threat, intimidation, harassment, stalking, or interference with personal liberty is sufficient grounds.  If you have experienced any of these abusive actions, Susan will act quickly to obtain a temporary restraining order or an emergency order of protection and follow up by obtaining a permanent order.

If you obtain an Order of Protection, under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act, it may include the following relief: prohibition of specific abuse; grant of exclusive possession of a house (with a balance of hardships test); a stay-away order covering specific persons or locations; counseling; physical care and possession of a minor child; temporary allocation of parental responsibilities of children with appropriate parenting time; prohibition of removal or concealment of a child; an order demanding that the respondent appear in Court; exclusive possession of personal property; an injunction forbidding the respondent to take, transfer, encumber, conceal, damage, or otherwise dispose of property; an order for payment of support; an order for payment of specific losses; prohibition of entering or remaining in the residence or household while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs; prohibition of firearm possession; prohibition of access to school or any other records of a minor child who is in the care of the petitioner; order for payment of shelter services; and any other appropriate injunctive relief.

When the Court determines that an Order of Protection is necessary in the case of domestic violence, three types of Orders are available to protect against abuse: an Emergency Order, an Interim Order, and a Plenary Order. All may be extended if it is determined necessary after a full hearing.

An Emergency Order of Protection can be obtained almost immediately or within a few hours of threatening behavior or domestic violence occurring, without the presence of the person accused of the threat or act of violence. An Emergency Order will last 14-21 days, and only until the hearing for the Plenary Order of Protection.

An Interim Order of Protection can offer an additional period of protection, if for some reason the plenary hearing is delayed. Typically, it will last for 30 days.

A Plenary Order of Protection This can be issued after a Court hearing in which both parties have the opportunity to tell his or her side of the story. The Plenary Order can last up to two years and be renewed thereafter, if necessary.

Punishments for violations of protection orders can vary. If someone knowingly violates a Protection Order, it is a Class A Misdemeanor. If minors are involved, the charge increases to a Class 4 Felony. If the violation is willful and the violator is found to be in contempt of court, punishment may include jail, restitution, fines, attorney’s fees and costs, or community service. Illinois Court typically adhere to the following guidelines: A first violation carries a minimum 24 hours jail and a second or subsequent violation carries a minimum 48 hours jail.

Orders of Protection often become necessary when a person is experiencing behavior that is physically abusive, threatening, or harassing from another who is in the same family, domestic relationship, or household. The law takes allegations of domestic violence very seriously and so does Susan. Susan will help you to understand that there are legal options and resources that will protect you in cases of domestic violence. Susan will listen to what you have to say and discuss your legal options.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a Mom or a Dad to allege domestic violence simply to gain an upper hand in a divorce or parentage matter. Often, Mom or Dad will use an Order of Protection to prevent the other parent from having parenting time or exercising his or her parental responsibilities. Susan is experienced in defending alleged abusers and will work with you to plan a strategy with a more permanent resolution with regard to your rights as a parent that include having parenting time and sharing parental responsibilities.