Domestic violence victims in Illinois have the option to get an order of protection to protect themselves, their children, and their property. A protection order is often the first step in leaving an abusive marriage or relationship. Protection orders can also provide legal protection if the abuse is at the hands of an ex-romantic partner, current or former household member, or family member. Unfortunately, many domestic violence victims are unaware of their rights and options under Illinois law. This leads them to suffer in silence and without the legal protection they need. Read on to learn about protection order hearings and what you can do if you are ready to get a protection order for yourself or a loved one.
Emergency Protection Orders May Be “Ex Parte” Orders
The first step in seeking legal protection against an abusive or harassing individual is an Emergency Order of Protection (EOP). In Illinois, EOPs are offered on an “ex parte” basis which means that the respondent (the subject of the order) does not need to be present. You can get an EOP from the court based solely on your testimony. The abuser’s presence is not required. Often, domestic violence victims are able to get an EOP on the same day on which they requested it.
Protection Order Hearings and Plenary Orders of Protection
When someone gets an EOP, the court enters a hearing date for a longer-lasting protection order called a Plenary Order of Protection. This hearing is more traditional. Both parties are expected to show up to the hearing. The judge will give the abuse victim and the abuser the chance to make their case. Often, the parties’ attorneys speak on their behalf during the hearing. Each side will be given the opportunity to provide testimony, call witnesses to the stand, and submit evidence to the court for consideration. After the hearing, the judge makes a decision. He or she will either grant the Plenary Order of Protection or deny the request based on the testimony and evidence presented.
Facing an abuser in court can be intimidating. However, it is important for the party requesting the protection order to be present at the hearing. If only one party shows up, the judge will likely rule in favor of the party who was present. So, if an abuse victim is at the hearing but the respondent does not show, the judge will likely grant the request for protection. However, if the respondent shows up but the person requesting protection fails to make it, the judge will likely deny the request for the protection order.
Contact a DuPage County Order of Protection Lawyer
If you were the victim of abuse, threats, harassment, or stalking, consider getting an order of protection. You do not have to face this situation alone. Contact our skilled, compassionate Wheaton family law attorneys for help. Call 630-364-4046 for a free, confidential consultation.