Archive for the ‘Domestic Violence’ Category

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.

Petitioning for an Order of Protection

February 13th, 2015 at 10:47 am

Illinois order of protection, Chicago domestic violence lawyerIllinois does not tolerate physical assault, sexual abuse or domestic violence of any kind. If you or your children have been threatened or attacked, you can obtain an order of protection against the alleged abuser. There are three types of orders of protection available in Illinois: emergency, interim, and plenary orders.

An emergency order offers temporary protection. A person protected by the Illinois Domestic Violence Act may obtain an emergency order in court without giving notice to the alleged abuser (known as the “respondent”). Such orders can last up to 21 days. A plenary order extends that protection up to two years, but the respondent must first be provided with notice of the proceedings. A court will not issue a plenary order without a hearing in which both sides have the opportunity to present evidence. However, there is often a gap between an emergency order’s expiration and the hearing on a plenary order of protection. An interim order, which lasts up to 30 days, is designed to bridge this gap. However, the court will only issue an interim order if the respondent has appeared in court, has been formally notified about the proceedings, or the petitioner is making a diligent effort to serve the respondent with notice of the proceedings.

What Does an Order of Protection Do?

An order of protection places limits on the respondent’s behavior and can also afford the victims (known as “protected persons”) with certain rights. Examples include:

  • Prohibiting abuse, neglect, harassment, interference with personal liberty and stalking;
  • Prohibiting the respondent from entering any residence he or she shares with the  protected person(s);
  • Ordering the respondent to stay away from the  protected person(s;
  • Prohibiting the respondent from entering the protected person’s school, place of employment or other specified places when the protected person is present;
  • Requiring the respondent to attend counseling;
  • Awarding physical custody or temporary legal custody of any children to the petitioner;
  • Establishing the respondent’s visitation rights, if any; and
  • Granting the petitioner exclusive possession of any family pets.

Note that an order of protection is enforceable within Illinois as well as anywhere within the United States.

Who May File a Petition Seeking an Order of Protection?

The law only permits certain individuals to petition for an order of protection. Any person who has been abused by a family or household member may seek this legal protection.   If this person is a minor child or an adult who, due to age, health, disability or inaccessibility, cannot file the petition, then anyone may file on that person’s behalf. The law also permits anyone to file on behalf of a “high-risk” adult with disabilities who has been abused, neglected or exploited by a family or household member.

If you are a victim of domestic abuse, remember that you are not alone. We can help you and your loved ones seek the protection that you need, both in the short-term and in the long-term. Contact one of our Chicago family law attorneys today for a consultation. Anderson & Associates, P.C. has five offices in Schaumburg, Wheaton, Northbrook, Orland Park and downtown Chicago.