Orders of Protection: An Abused Area of the Law?

April 28th, 2015 at 6:08 pm

domestic violence, orders of protection, Illinois family lawyerWhen an individual faces domestic violence from his or her intimate partner or another member of the household, he or she has the right to petition for an order of protection. An order of protection, sometimes also known as a restraining order, is a court order that prohibits an individual from engaging in specific behaviors, including physical abuse, stalking, or contacting another individual, for a specified length of time. These orders can be enforced in several ways, including by the penalties outlined in the Illinois Criminal Code, including fines and jail time.

But can orders of protection be sought frivolously and abused by vindictive individuals seeking control of their former partners? Absolutely. However, without an order in place, a victim may be at risk for further abuse, injury, and death. This is why the longest-lasting type of order of protection, a plenary order of protection, requires the opportunity for both the petitioner and his or her alleged abuser to present their case to a judge before the order may be issued – to determine whether or not the petitioner truly needs and can be helped by an order of protection against his or her former partner.

Types of Orders of Protection

Three different types of orders of protection are available to victims. They are as follows:

  • Emergency order of protection. This is an order that a petitioner may obtain if he or she was abused as defined by the Illinois Domestic Violence Act. The abuser, known as the respondent, is not required to be present when the order is issued.  The emergency order of protection, however, can only last for up to 21 days;
  • Plenary order of protection. The respondent must be served with notice of the order of protection proceedings and given an opportunity to appear before the court. This type of order of protection may remain in place for up to two years;  and
  • Interim order of protection. An interim order of protection can act as a stopgap between an emergency and plenary order of protection.  A court can enter an interim order of protection if the respondent has been served with notice of the proceedings or if the petitioner proves that he or she has made a diligent effort to serve the respondent.  An interim order of protection can last for up to 30 days.

Individuals who wish to seek an order of protection may do so with the circuit court of the county where they live, where the respondent lives, where the alleged abuse occurred, or where the petitioner is temporarily located if he or she left to avoid further abuse.

Famlily Law Attorneys in the Chicago Area

If you are a victim of domestic violence, contact the skilled Chicago family law attorneys Anderson & Associates, P.C. at 312-345-9999 to schedule your free legal consultation in one of our firm’s five convenient office locations: downtown Chicago, Wheaton, Orland Park, Schaumburg, and Northbrook. We are here to advocate for you and your family and provide you with top-notch legal advice and representation when you need it most.