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What Is Required For Orders Of Protection In Illinois?

Domestic abuse is a crime according to the Illinois Domestic Violence Act. If your partner has hit, choked, threatened, or harassed you, this violates domestic violence laws in Illinois. In this situation, you may need an order of protection to keep you safe from your partner or spouse.

Below are important details about Illinois orders of protection. If you have questions about this or another family law matter, Naperville orders of protection attorneys at Keller Legal Services can help you.

What Is an Order of Protection?

An order of protection is an order from the domestic court that can protect you from the actions of another. The family court may grant the orders of protection if you prove the following elements:

  • You, the petitioner, belong or belonged to the household of your partner, the respondent.
  • The respondent has committed some type of abuse against you.
  • The family court has jurisdiction to rule on the case.

Who Can File an Order of Protection?

The following individuals can file an order of protection in Illinois:

  • A person who has been abused by a member of the family, or by someone who lives in the house.
  • A person who files for an adult or minor child who cannot submit the petition because of health, disability, age, or inaccessibility and was abused by the family member.
  • A person filing for someone who is ‘high risk’ with disabilities who was neglected, abused, or somehow exploited by the family member.

An important limitation of filing the order of protection is that the petitioner has to be a family member or member of the respondent’s household. Note that family courts in Illinois have wide latitude in how they interpret what ‘family member’ means in the context of the law.

What Is a Family or Household Member for an Order of Protection?

The domestic violence act in Illinois uses this definition for a family or household member:

  • Spouses, former spouses, children, parents, stepchildren, or others that are related by blood or marriage.
  • Those who share or previously shared a home, apartment, or other dwelling.
  • Those who have had a child together or are related by blood through a child.
  • Those who are dating or dated or were engaged.
  • Those with disabilities, as well as their personal assistants and caregivers.

What Behaviors Can Be the Basis for an Order of Protection?

Illinois family law judges have wide discretion to prohibit many types of behaviors. Some of them are:

  • Abuse and threats, meaning physical abuse, intimidation, harassment, interfering with someone’s personal freedoms, or willfully depriving the person of something necessary for life.
  • Preventing the person from entering a shared home when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Requiring the person to not be near the protected person’s work or school.
  • Allocating rights as they pertain to real estate and personal property.

What Are Different Types of Orders of Protection?

There are three types of orders of protection to be aware of in Illinois:

  • Emergency order of protection (EOP): This is a court order that protects you from harm by the person that is named in the order. This order goes into effect immediately when the judge approves it. There is a risk of imminent harm, so your partner is not required to be aware of the hearing.
  • Plenary order of protection: This order is issued by the judge after there is a hearing with you and your partner. You, the petitioner, must be present in court for the order to be approved. Your partner or the person accused of abuse needs to be informed, but they may not show up. But if your partner does not appear in court, the order is automatically granted.
  • Interim order of protection: The judge may grant you an interim order after your partner has been served or if several attempts were made to serve him. The interim order can last up to 30 days.

What Is the Difference Between An Order of Protection and a Restraining Order?

A restraining order is a term that applies to civil court orders to force a person to do or not do an act. Restraining orders are often used in divorces instead of domestic violence cases. For instance, a judge may issue a restraining order to prevent a spouse from canceling a homeowner’s insurance policy.

On the other hand, the domestic court usually issued an order of protection to keep someone safe from domestic violence. If the subject of the order violates it, there are tougher penalties than for restraining orders.

If your partner or spouse violates an Illinois order of protection, there can be severe consequences. The initial violation of the order of protection is a class A misdemeanor. If convicted, the person could receive up to a year in jail. If there is another violation of the order of protection, it can be a class 4 felony, which can result in additional jail time.

What About the Abuse of an Order of Protection?

While most protection orders are filed appropriately, partners may sometimes file an inappropriate order during divorce. It is illegal for your partner to file an order of protection against you. Talk to one of our orders of protection attorneys if this happens to you.

Contact Naperville Orders of Protection Attorneys Today

Domestic violence is a persistent problem in Illinois and across the country. If you fear being harmed or abused by your partner, obtaining an order of protection may be necessary. However, if you are in a divorce, it is possible your partner may unfairly use an order of protection against you. In either situation, a Naperville orders of protection attorney can help.

Our family law attorneys proudly serve the communities of Chicago, Naperville, Elmhurst, Downers Grove, Oak Brook, Aurora, Wheaton, Geneva, Orland Park, Joliet, Tinley Park, Woodridge, St. Charles, Elgin, and St. Charles. We also represent clients in DuPage County, Will County, and Kane County. Please contact Keller Legal Services today for a complimentary consultation about your family law case.