If you feel that your safety or that of your loved ones is in danger, an order of protection can help ensure your safety. This court order prohibits a specific individual from contacting or harming those protected by the order.

It also provides several protective reliefs, including removing lawfully owned guns from the residence, including new parties, and basic home use. But what is the process of obtaining an order of protection in Illinois? This post discusses what you should know about filing for an order of protection in Illinois.

What is an Order of Protection?

Generally, an order of protection is a legal document that ensures the petitioner’s safety from the possibly violent actions of the respondent. The order prevents the respondent from engaging in specific activities, such as harassing, abusing, or contacting the petitioner.

The Illinois Domestic Violence Act (IMVA) of 1986 governs the entire process of obtaining an order of protection. As a result, for anyone to file an order of protection, this Act requires them to fulfill specific criteria. Otherwise, they cannot obtain the court order. They include:

  • The petitioner must be a member of the respondent’s household or family
  • The court should have jurisdiction over the matter
  • The petitioner must have suffered from abuse from the respondent

Note that if you cannot get an order of protection, you may file for a stalking/no-contact order. This order is similar to an order of protection in terms of restrictions. However, the petitioner does not have to be a member of the respondent’s household or family.

It is also worth noting that abuse under the IMVA must constitute harassment, physical abuse, willful deprivation, interference of freedom, and intimidating dependents,

What are the Different Types of an Order of Protection?

There are three main types of order or protection that you can obtain. They include:

1. Plenary Order of Protection

Once a judge reviews a case in court and finds the petitioner’s safety is in danger due to the respondent’s violent acts, they issue a plenary order of protection that can last up to two years, depending on the court’s ruling and final orders. If the orders are in effect during divorce proceedings, they apply until the dissolution of the marriage.

2. Emergency Order of Protection

A judge can grant this order immediately, which lasts between 14 and 21 days. If the petitioner wants to extend the effect of this order, they must apply for a plenary order of protection, which requires a court hearing.

3. Interim Order of Protection

If the scheduling of a hearing to extend an emergency order of protection is not done in time, a judge can grant an interim order of protection that lasts up to 30 days. However, the respondent must have appeared before a judge or been alerted about the hearing.

Who Can File for an Order of Protection?

The following are parties who can successfully obtain an order of protection:

  • An individual who has suffered abuse in their household or from a member of their family
  • Someone filing on behalf of someone who has been abused by a family member or member of their household. But, the individual must be unable to file the petitioner owing to their health, age, disability, or other accessibility challenges
  • An individual filing in place of a minor
  • An individual filing in place of a ‘high-risk’ adult with disabilities. This person must have suffered abuse from their household or their family member

What is the Process of Obtaining an Order of Protection?

The process of filing an order of protection begins in the local circuit court of Illinois, where the request for a petition takes place. However, the court must have jurisdiction over the case, which means that the following case must fulfill at least of the following criteria:

  • The respondent resides there
  • The petitioner resides there
  • The abuse took place there

The process starts by filling out paperwork and filing it in the circuit court, where the judge reviews the petition. If an Emergency Order of Protection is required, the court will determine and issue one. They will also decide when the hearing for a Plenary Order of Protection will take place.

After that, “service of process” happens. A Notice of Hearing and information on the protective order’s current status are served to the respondent during this phase. Until the respondent knows of the Order of Protection and hearing, no legal action can take place against them. A hearing will then take place to decide if the petitioner will obtain their order of protection after the respondent has received notifications of the Notice of Hearing.

Contact a Family Law Lawyer Today!

Do you want to obtain an order of protection for yourself or your loved ones? Johnston Tomei Lenczycki & Goldberg LLC is ready to help. Our experienced team of family law lawyers in Lake County, McHenry County, and Cook County has adequate experience and expertise in filing for and fighting against orders or protection. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.


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