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Order of Protection in Illinois

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Recently updated on May 8th, 2024 at 12:40 am

Overview

Order of Protection

An Order of Protection is a kind of restraining order in Illinois which is aimed at relatives or current or former romantic partners. The basic idea is the same as any other re

straining order: a judge orders an abuser to stay away from and not contact their victim who the abuser is harming.

Order of Protection applies in situations of domestic violence where there is a credible threat to an individual’s safety. If the abuser disobeys the Order of Protection, then the abuser can be charged with committing a crime and can be jailed.

If a person believes their situation qualifies for a Order of Protection as defined in the Illinois state Civil Code (23 Pa. C.S.A. § 6101, Protection from Abuse Act), they can apply for one through the Superior Court in their county of residence. The process may involve filing a petition, attending a hearing, and presenting evidence to support the request for the order.

Law for Order of Protection in Illinois (750 ILCS 60/214)

(from Ch. 40, par. 2312-14)

The original text is here

Sec. 214. Order of protection; remedies.

(a) Issuance of order. If the court finds that petitioner has been abused by a family or household member or that petitioner is a high-risk adult who has been abused, neglected, or exploited, as defined in this Act, an order of protection prohibiting the abuse, neglect, or exploitation shall issue; provided that petitioner must also satisfy the requirements of one of the following Sections, as appropriate: Section 217 on emergency orders, Section 218 on interim orders, or Section 219 on plenary orders. Petitioner shall not be denied an order of protection because petitioner or respondent is a minor. The court, when determining whether or not to issue an order of protection, shall not require physical manifestations of abuse on the person of the victim. Modification and extension of prior orders of protection shall be in accordance with this Act.

(b) Remedies and standards. The remedies to be included in an order of protection shall be determined in accordance with this Section and one of the following Sections, as appropriate: Section 217 on emergency orders, Section 218 on interim orders, and Section 219 on plenary orders. The remedies listed in this subsection shall be in addition to other civil or criminal remedies available to petitioner.

(1) Prohibition of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

Prohibit respondent's harassment, interference with personal liberty, intimidation of a dependent, physical abuse, or willful deprivation, neglect or exploitation, as defined in this Act, or stalking of the petitioner, as defined in Section 12-7.3 of the Criminal Code of 2012, if such abuse, neglect, exploitation, or stalking has occurred or otherwise appears likely to occur if not prohibited.

(2) Grant of exclusive possession of residence.

Prohibit respondent from entering or remaining in any residence, household, or premises of the petitioner, including one owned or leased by respondent, if petitioner has a right to occupancy thereof. The grant of exclusive possession of the residence, household, or premises shall not affect title to real property, nor shall the court be limited by the standard set forth in subsection (c-2) of Section 501 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.

(A) Right to occupancy. A party has a right to

occupancy of a residence or household if it is solely or jointly owned or leased by that party, that party's spouse, a person with a legal duty to support that party or a minor child in that party's care, or by any person or entity other than the opposing party that authorizes that party's occupancy (e.g., a domestic violence shelter). Standards set forth in subparagraph (B) shall not preclude equitable relief.

(B) Presumption of hardships. If petitioner and

respondent each has the right to occupancy of a residence or household, the court shall balance (i) the hardships to respondent and any minor child or dependent adult in respondent's care resulting from entry of this remedy with (ii) the hardships to petitioner and any minor child or dependent adult in petitioner's care resulting from continued exposure to the risk of abuse (should petitioner remain at the residence or household) or from loss of possession of the residence or household (should petitioner leave to avoid the risk of abuse). When determining the balance of hardships, the court shall also take into account the accessibility of the residence or household. Hardships need not be balanced if respondent does not have a right to occupancy.
The balance of hardships is presumed to favor

possession by petitioner unless the presumption is rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence, showing that the hardships to respondent substantially outweigh the hardships to petitioner and any minor child or dependent adult in petitioner's care. The court, on the request of petitioner or on its own motion, may order respondent to provide suitable, accessible, alternate housing for petitioner instead of excluding respondent from a mutual residence or household.

(3) Stay away order and additional prohibitions.

Order respondent to stay away from petitioner or any other person protected by the order of protection, or prohibit respondent from entering or remaining present at petitioner's school, place of employment, or other specified places at times when petitioner is present, or both, if reasonable, given the balance of hardships. Hardships need not be balanced for the court to enter a stay away order or prohibit entry if respondent has no right to enter the premises.
(A) If an order of protection grants petitioner

exclusive possession of the residence, or prohibits respondent from entering the residence, or orders respondent to stay away from petitioner or other protected persons, then the court may allow respondent access to the residence to remove items of clothing and personal adornment used exclusively by respondent, medications, and other items as the court directs. The right to access shall be exercised on only one occasion as the court directs and in the presence of an agreed-upon adult third party or law enforcement officer.
(B) When the petitioner and the respondent attend

the same public, private, or non-public elementary, middle, or high school, the court when issuing an order of protection and providing relief shall consider the severity of the act, any continuing physical danger or emotional distress to the petitioner, the educational rights guaranteed to the petitioner and respondent under federal and State law, the availability of a transfer of the respondent to another school, a change of placement or a change of program of the respondent, the expense, difficulty, and educational disruption that would be caused by a transfer of the respondent to another school, and any other relevant facts of the case. The court may order that the respondent not attend the public, private, or non-public elementary, middle, or high school attended by the petitioner, order that the respondent accept a change of placement or change of program, as determined by the school district or private or non-public school, or place restrictions on the respondent's movements within the school attended by the petitioner. The respondent bears the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that a transfer, change of placement, or change of program of the respondent is not available. The respondent also bears the burden of production with respect to the expense, difficulty, and educational disruption that would be caused by a transfer of the respondent to another school. A transfer, change of placement, or change of program is not unavailable to the respondent solely on the ground that the respondent does not agree with the school district's or private or non-public school's transfer, change of placement, or change of program or solely on the ground that the respondent fails or refuses to consent or otherwise does not take an action required to effectuate a transfer, change of placement, or change of program. When a court orders a respondent to stay away from the public, private, or non-public school attended by the petitioner and the respondent requests a transfer to another attendance center within the respondent's school district or private or non-public school, the school district or private or non-public school shall have sole discretion to determine the attendance center to which the respondent is transferred. In the event the court order results in a transfer of the minor respondent to another attendance center, a change in the respondent's placement, or a change of the respondent's program, the parents, guardian, or legal custodian of the respondent is responsible for transportation and other costs associated with the transfer or change.
(C) The court may order the parents, guardian, or

legal custodian of a minor respondent to take certain actions or to refrain from taking certain actions to ensure that the respondent complies with the order. In the event the court orders a transfer of the respondent to another school, the parents, guardian, or legal custodian of the respondent is responsible for transportation and other costs associated with the change of school by the respondent.

(4) Counseling. Require or recommend the respondent

to undergo counseling for a specified duration with a social worker, psychologist, clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, family service agency, alcohol or substance abuse program, mental health center guidance counselor, agency providing services to elders, program designed for domestic violence abusers or any other guidance service the court deems appropriate. The Court may order the respondent in any intimate partner relationship to report to an Illinois Department of Human Services protocol approved partner abuse intervention program for an assessment and to follow all recommended treatment.

(5) Physical care and possession of the minor child.

In order to protect the minor child from abuse, neglect, or unwarranted separation from the person who has been the minor child's primary caretaker, or to otherwise protect the well-being of the minor child, the court may do either or both of the following: (i) grant petitioner physical care or possession of the minor child, or both, or (ii) order respondent to return a minor child to, or not remove a minor child from, the physical care of a parent or person in loco parentis.
If a court finds, after a hearing, that respondent

has committed abuse (as defined in Section 103) of a minor child, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that awarding physical care to respondent would not be in the minor child's best interest.
(6) Temporary allocation of parental

responsibilities: significant decision-making. Award temporary decision-making responsibility to petitioner in accordance with this Section, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015, and this State's Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.
If a court finds, after a hearing, that respondent

has committed abuse (as defined in Section 103) of a minor child, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that awarding temporary significant decision-making responsibility to respondent would not be in the child's best interest.
(7) Parenting time. Determine the parenting time, if

any, of respondent in any case in which the court awards physical care or allocates temporary significant decision-making responsibility of a minor child to petitioner. The court shall restrict or deny respondent's parenting time with a minor child if the court finds that respondent has done or is likely to do any of the following: (i) abuse or endanger the minor child during parenting time; (ii) use the parenting time as an opportunity to abuse or harass petitioner or petitioner's family or household members; (iii) improperly conceal or detain the minor child; or (iv) otherwise act in a manner that is not in the best interests of the minor child. The court shall not be limited by the standards set forth in Section 603.10 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. If the court grants parenting time, the order shall specify dates and times for the parenting time to take place or other specific parameters or conditions that are appropriate. No order for parenting time shall refer merely to the term "reasonable parenting time".
Petitioner may deny respondent access to the minor

child if, when respondent arrives for parenting time, respondent is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and constitutes a threat to the safety and well-being of petitioner or petitioner's minor children or is behaving in a violent or abusive manner.
If necessary to protect any member of petitioner's

family or household from future abuse, respondent shall be prohibited from coming to petitioner's residence to meet the minor child for parenting time, and the parties shall submit to the court their recommendations for reasonable alternative arrangements for parenting time. A person may be approved to supervise parenting time only after filing an affidavit accepting that responsibility and acknowledging accountability to the court.
(8) Removal or concealment of minor child. Prohibit

respondent from removing a minor child from the State or concealing the child within the State.
(9) Order to appear. Order the respondent to appear

in court, alone or with a minor child, to prevent abuse, neglect, removal or concealment of the child, to return the child to the custody or care of the petitioner or to permit any court-ordered interview or examination of the child or the respondent.
(10) Possession of personal property. Grant

petitioner exclusive possession of personal property and, if respondent has possession or control, direct respondent to promptly make it available to petitioner, if:
(i) petitioner, but not respondent, owns the

property; or
(ii) the parties own the property jointly;

sharing it would risk abuse of petitioner by respondent or is impracticable; and the balance of hardships favors temporary possession by petitioner.
If petitioner's sole claim to ownership of the

property is that it is marital property, the court may award petitioner temporary possession thereof under the standards of subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph only if a proper proceeding has been filed under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, as now or hereafter amended.
No order under this provision shall affect title to

property.
(11) Protection of property. Forbid the respondent

from taking, transferring, encumbering, concealing, damaging or otherwise disposing of any real or personal property, except as explicitly authorized by the court, if:
(i) petitioner, but not respondent, owns the

property; or
(ii) the parties own the property jointly, and

the balance of hardships favors granting this remedy.
If petitioner's sole claim to ownership of the

property is that it is marital property, the court may grant petitioner relief under subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph only if a proper proceeding has been filed under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, as now or hereafter amended.
The court may further prohibit respondent from

improperly using the financial or other resources of an aged member of the family or household for the profit or advantage of respondent or of any other person.
(11.5) Protection of animals. Grant the petitioner

the exclusive care, custody, or control of any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by either the petitioner or the respondent or a minor child residing in the residence or household of either the petitioner or the respondent and order the respondent to stay away from the animal and forbid the respondent from taking, transferring, encumbering, concealing, harming, or otherwise disposing of the animal.
(12) Order for payment of support. Order respondent

to pay temporary support for the petitioner or any child in the petitioner's care or over whom the petitioner has been allocated parental responsibility, when the respondent has a legal obligation to support that person, in accordance with the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, which shall govern, among other matters, the amount of support, payment through the clerk and withholding of income to secure payment. An order for child support may be granted to a petitioner with lawful physical care of a child, or an order or agreement for physical care of a child, prior to entry of an order allocating significant decision-making responsibility. Such a support order shall expire upon entry of a valid order allocating parental responsibility differently and vacating the petitioner's significant decision-making authority, unless otherwise provided in the order.
(13) Order for payment of losses. Order respondent to

pay petitioner for losses suffered as a direct result of the abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Such losses shall include, but not be limited to, medical expenses, lost earnings or other support, repair or replacement of property damaged or taken, reasonable attorney's fees, court costs and moving or other travel expenses, including additional reasonable expenses for temporary shelter and restaurant meals.
(i) Losses affecting family needs. If a party is

entitled to seek maintenance, child support or property distribution from the other party under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, as now or hereafter amended, the court may order respondent to reimburse petitioner's actual losses, to the extent that such reimbursement would be "appropriate temporary relief", as authorized by subsection (a)(3) of Section 501 of that Act.
(ii) Recovery of expenses. In the case of an

improper concealment or removal of a minor child, the court may order respondent to pay the reasonable expenses incurred or to be incurred in the search for and recovery of the minor child, including but not limited to legal fees, court costs, private investigator fees, and travel costs.
(14) Prohibition of entry. Prohibit the respondent

from entering or remaining in the residence or household while the respondent is under the influence of alcohol or drugs and constitutes a threat to the safety and well-being of the petitioner or the petitioner's children.
(14.5) Prohibition of firearm possession.
(a) Prohibit a respondent against whom an order

of protection was issued from possessing any firearms during the duration of the order if the order:
(1) was issued after a hearing of which such

person received actual notice, and at which such person had an opportunity to participate;
(2) restrains such person from harassing,

stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and
(3)(i) includes a finding that such person

represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or (ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury.
Any Firearm Owner's Identification Card in the

possession of the respondent, except as provided in subsection (b), shall be ordered by the court to be turned over to the local law enforcement agency. The local law enforcement agency shall immediately mail the card to the Illinois State Police Firearm Owner's Identification Card Office for safekeeping. The court shall issue a warrant for seizure of any firearm in the possession of the respondent, to be kept by the local law enforcement agency for safekeeping, except as provided in subsection (b). The period of safekeeping shall be for the duration of the order of protection. The firearm or firearms and Firearm Owner's Identification Card, if unexpired, shall at the respondent's request, be returned to the respondent at the end of the order of protection. It is the respondent's responsibility to notify the Illinois State Police Firearm Owner's Identification Card Office.
(b) If the respondent is a peace officer as

defined in Section 2-13 of the Criminal Code of 2012, the court shall order that any firearms used by the respondent in the performance of his or her duties as a peace officer be surrendered to the chief law enforcement executive of the agency in which the respondent is employed, who shall retain the firearms for safekeeping for the duration of the order of protection.
(c) Upon expiration of the period of

safekeeping, if the firearms or Firearm Owner's Identification Card cannot be returned to respondent because respondent cannot be located, fails to respond to requests to retrieve the firearms, or is not lawfully eligible to possess a firearm, upon petition from the local law enforcement agency, the court may order the local law enforcement agency to destroy the firearms, use the firearms for training purposes, or for any other application as deemed appropriate by the local law enforcement agency; or that the firearms be turned over to a third party who is lawfully eligible to possess firearms, and who does not reside with respondent.
(15) Prohibition of access to records. If an order

of protection prohibits respondent from having contact with the minor child, or if petitioner's address is omitted under subsection (b) of Section 203, or if necessary to prevent abuse or wrongful removal or concealment of a minor child, the order shall deny respondent access to, and prohibit respondent from inspecting, obtaining, or attempting to inspect or obtain, school or any other records of the minor child who is in the care of petitioner.
(16) Order for payment of shelter services. Order

respondent to reimburse a shelter providing temporary housing and counseling services to the petitioner for the cost of the services, as certified by the shelter and deemed reasonable by the court.
(17) Order for injunctive relief. Enter injunctive

relief necessary or appropriate to prevent further abuse of a family or household member or further abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a high-risk adult with disabilities or to effectuate one of the granted remedies, if supported by the balance of hardships. If the harm to be prevented by the injunction is abuse or any other harm that one of the remedies listed in paragraphs (1) through (16) of this subsection is designed to prevent, no further evidence is necessary that the harm is an irreparable injury.
(18) Telephone services.
(A) Unless a condition described in subparagraph

(B) of this paragraph exists, the court may, upon request by the petitioner, order a wireless telephone service provider to transfer to the petitioner the right to continue to use a telephone number or numbers indicated by the petitioner and the financial responsibility associated with the number or numbers, as set forth in subparagraph (C) of this paragraph. For purposes of this paragraph (18), the term "wireless telephone service provider" means a provider of commercial mobile service as defined in 47 U.S.C. 332. The petitioner may request the transfer of each telephone number that the petitioner, or a minor child in his or her custody, uses. The clerk of the court shall serve the order on the wireless telephone service provider's agent for service of process provided to the Illinois Commerce Commission. The order shall contain all of the following:
(i) The name and billing telephone number of

the account holder including the name of the wireless telephone service provider that serves the account.
(ii) Each telephone number that will be

transferred.
(iii) A statement that the provider transfers

to the petitioner all financial responsibility for and right to the use of any telephone number transferred under this paragraph.
(B) A wireless telephone service provider shall

terminate the respondent's use of, and shall transfer to the petitioner use of, the telephone number or numbers indicated in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph unless it notifies the petitioner, within 72 hours after it receives the order, that one of the following applies:
(i) The account holder named in the order has

terminated the account.
(ii) A difference in network technology would

prevent or impair the functionality of a device on a network if the transfer occurs.
(iii) The transfer would cause a geographic

or other limitation on network or service provision to the petitioner.
(iv) Another technological or operational

issue would prevent or impair the use of the telephone number if the transfer occurs.
(C) The petitioner assumes all financial

responsibility for and right to the use of any telephone number transferred under this paragraph. In this paragraph, "financial responsibility" includes monthly service costs and costs associated with any mobile device associated with the number.
(D) A wireless telephone service provider may

apply to the petitioner its routine and customary requirements for establishing an account or transferring a number, including requiring the petitioner to provide proof of identification, financial information, and customer preferences.
(E) Except for willful or wanton misconduct, a

wireless telephone service provider is immune from civil liability for its actions taken in compliance with a court order issued under this paragraph.
(F) All wireless service providers that provide

services to residential customers shall provide to the Illinois Commerce Commission the name and address of an agent for service of orders entered under this paragraph (18). Any change in status of the registered agent must be reported to the Illinois Commerce Commission within 30 days of such change.
(G) The Illinois Commerce Commission shall

maintain the list of registered agents for service for each wireless telephone service provider on the Commission's website. The Commission may consult with wireless telephone service providers and the Circuit Court Clerks on the manner in which this information is provided and displayed.
(c) Relevant factors; findings.
(1) In determining whether to grant a specific

remedy, other than payment of support, the court shall consider relevant factors, including but not limited to the following:
(i) the nature, frequency, severity, pattern and

consequences of the respondent's past abuse, neglect or exploitation of the petitioner or any family or household member, including the concealment of his or her location in order to evade service of process or notice, and the likelihood of danger of future abuse, neglect, or exploitation to petitioner or any member of petitioner's or respondent's family or household; and
(ii) the danger that any minor child will be

abused or neglected or improperly relocated from the jurisdiction, improperly concealed within the State or improperly separated from the child's primary caretaker.
(2) In comparing relative hardships resulting to the

parties from loss of possession of the family home, the court shall consider relevant factors, including but not limited to the following:
(i) availability, accessibility, cost, safety,

adequacy, location and other characteristics of alternate housing for each party and any minor child or dependent adult in the party's care;
(ii) the effect on the party's employment; and
(iii) the effect on the relationship of the

party, and any minor child or dependent adult in the party's care, to family, school, church and community.
(3) Subject to the exceptions set forth in paragraph

(4) of this subsection, the court shall make its findings in an official record or in writing, and shall at a minimum set forth the following:
(i) That the court has considered the applicable

relevant factors described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection.
(ii) Whether the conduct or actions of

respondent, unless prohibited, will likely cause irreparable harm or continued abuse.
(iii) Whether it is necessary to grant the

requested relief in order to protect petitioner or other alleged abused persons.
(4) For purposes of issuing an ex parte emergency

order of protection, the court, as an alternative to or as a supplement to making the findings described in paragraphs (c)(3)(i) through (c)(3)(iii) of this subsection, may use the following procedure:
When a verified petition for an emergency order of

protection in accordance with the requirements of Sections 203 and 217 is presented to the court, the court shall examine petitioner on oath or affirmation. An emergency order of protection shall be issued by the court if it appears from the contents of the petition and the examination of petitioner that the averments are sufficient to indicate abuse by respondent and to support the granting of relief under the issuance of the emergency order of protection.
(5) Never married parties. No rights or

responsibilities for a minor child born outside of marriage attach to a putative father until a father and child relationship has been established under the Illinois Parentage Act of 1984, the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015, the Illinois Public Aid Code, Section 12 of the Vital Records Act, the Juvenile Court Act of 1987, the Probate Act of 1975, the Revised Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act, the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, the Expedited Child Support Act of 1990, any judicial, administrative, or other act of another state or territory, any other Illinois statute, or by any foreign nation establishing the father and child relationship, any other proceeding substantially in conformity with the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-193), or where both parties appeared in open court or at an administrative hearing acknowledging under oath or admitting by affirmation the existence of a father and child relationship. Absent such an adjudication, finding, or acknowledgment, no putative father shall be granted temporary allocation of parental responsibilities, including parenting time with the minor child, or physical care and possession of the minor child, nor shall an order of payment for support of the minor child be entered.
(d) Balance of hardships; findings. If the court finds that the balance of hardships does not support the granting of a remedy governed by paragraph (2), (3), (10), (11), or (16) of subsection (b) of this Section, which may require such balancing, the court's findings shall so indicate and shall include a finding as to whether granting the remedy will result in hardship to respondent that would substantially outweigh the hardship to petitioner from denial of the remedy. The findings shall be an official record or in writing.
(e) Denial of remedies. Denial of any remedy shall not be based, in whole or in part, on evidence that:
(1) Respondent has cause for any use of force, unless

that cause satisfies the standards for justifiable use of force provided by Article 7 of the Criminal Code of 2012;
(2) Respondent was voluntarily intoxicated;
(3) Petitioner acted in self-defense or defense of

another, provided that, if petitioner utilized force, such force was justifiable under Article 7 of the Criminal Code of 2012;
(4) Petitioner did not act in self-defense or defense

of another;
(5) Petitioner left the residence or household to

avoid further abuse, neglect, or exploitation by respondent;
(6) Petitioner did not leave the residence or

household to avoid further abuse, neglect, or exploitation by respondent;
(7) Conduct by any family or household member excused

the abuse, neglect, or exploitation by respondent, unless that same conduct would have excused such abuse, neglect, or exploitation if the parties had not been family or household members.
(Source: P.A. 102-538, eff. 8-20-21.)

 

Comparison with Criminal Case

If you're a victims of domestic violence, then you can file the following legal cases. There are two main types of court cases: civil and criminal.

  • Criminal Case: In a criminal case, the burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt, the highest burden of proof.
  • Order of Protection: This is considered a civil law case, and the victim has to give some evidence and generally the burden is low and the victim must establish “preponderance of the evidence" of a past act or acts of abuse.” In a civil case, the judge assesses whether the claims made by the accuser are more likely than not to be true. This standard is relatively less rigorous, and certain kinds of abuse may easily meet the standard for Order of Protection but may be difficult to prove as criminal. You just need evidence to support that abuse occurred which is defined as bodily injury or fear that you will get bodily injury.

 

Situations where a Order of Protection applies

There are a few different types of restraining orders and typically only one of them may apply to your situation. The first step is to see if any of the different types of restraining order applies to your situation or is remotely related as that might help you decide whether to apply .

The types are:

Family Violence is for situations involving domestic violence which is when a victim has been abused by a romantic partner (spouse, domestic partner, girlfriend/boyfriend) or a family member.

 

 

Situation Examples

Example 1:  Husband is sexually and verbally abusive, and controlling  

My husband doesn't allow me the option to say no to sex, and often that warning is not explicit but I know bad things will happen if I say no such as bullying, threats and immense tension. As a couple we have been having sex everyday for nearly two decades now.  He verbally abuses me by calling me a whore if I don't sleep with him.  During this time he is intoxicated so I am fearful of having a discussion as his anger will quickly get out of control, and he will hurl things at home thereby inducing more fear in me. Such behavior has been going on for over a decade now so I am not sure about the date of the first incident now. One day I very carefully chose my words and mentioned that maybe we are not a right fit, and should seek counseling. He was enraged and threated me that he will utterly destroy me, my work reputation, and expose some minor things I did to the immigration authorities.  Since about six months, I have been sleeping in a separate room. He comes there routinely and tries to sleep with me forcefully.   Often times I feel that if I resist, or decline his advances that my reputation, our property, or even me life will me in danger.  I feel little, humiliated and disgusted with myself.

 

Example 2:  Boyfriend blackmails and destroys property to control and induce fear

Today, Michael was armed with a pistol and seemed to be under the influence of an unidentified substance. He made threats to create false narratives with the aim of jeopardizing my 28-year accounting career, stating he would falsely accuse me of engaging in illegal financial activities. His menacing statement, "if you mess with me, I'll retaliate," was accompanied by destructive actions, such as damaging property in my home, including creating a hole in the wall. Michael's behavior becomes particularly alarming when he is under the influence of drugs.

 

Example 3: Ex-boyfriend stalks 

Jenna's ex-boyfriend shows up at Jenna's work unexpectedly and drives around. Jenna is fearful, and had earlier clearly asked him to leave her alone.

Situations where other types of Restraining Order apply

 

Civil No Contact Order is for cases of sexual assault where there is no relationship with the abuser

 

Stalking No Contact Order (SNCO) is for incidents of stalking, filed by a victim, or on behalf of a child, elderly or disabled individual

 

  Firearm Restraining Order: for crisis situations where an individual seeks court help because a family/household member has access to firearms and may cause harm

 

 

 

What if I am Under 18 years of Age?

An Order of Protection  can be requested by anyone including those who are under 18 years of age. The judge may assign you a

However, as a minor (a person under the age of 18) , you will need a parent, adult household member or guardian ad litem to file the protection from abuse order on your behalf. The relevant laws are 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 6102(a) and 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 6106(a).

 

How Order of Protection Solve the Problem

The purpose of a restraining order is to restrict the contact or proximity of one person (the respondent or alleged perpetrator) to another person (the petitioner or victim) in order to ensure the safety and well-being of the petitioner.

The specific terms of a restraining order can vary depending on the circumstances of the case e.g. if the people live together then it might require one party to vacate the place.

Typically, a restraining order may prohibit the respondent from

  1. Approaching or contacting the petitioner including via text or social media
  2. Staying away from the usual places petitioner is at such as home, work or school
  3. Prohibit stalking, or surveillance of any kind
  4. In situations where they lived together, provide custody or access to
    • Children
    • Pets
    • Important documents
    • Personal items such as clothes, medications, cell phones
    • Cars
  5. Extending the protections to others living with the petitioner

Research findings on benefits of Order of Protection

Here's the top three findings from a study on domestic violence and restraining orders from the University of New Hampshire

Reduce ViolenceReduce Violence

Civil protective orders (such as a DVRO) are effective in reducing partner violence for many women. For half the women in the sample, a protective order stopped the violence. For the other half, the orders significantly reduced violence and abuse.

Cost Effective

Cost Effective

They are a relatively low-cost solution, particularly when compared with the social and personal costs of partner violence.

Countryside

Urban Vs. Rural

The impact of civil protective orders on reducing violence and abuse did not differ for rural and urban women. In rural areas where resources and services for partner violence may be more limited, the restraining orders hold greater importance.

Process for Getting a Order of Protection

Step 1: Gather Evidence

The first step is to gather the evidence to support your case. The fallowing are considered as evidence of domestic violence

Evidence Type 1: Pending Criminal Case

Judges are also more likely to issue an order if there is an ongoing criminal case, therefore it's important to call such cases out when seeking a temporary restraining order.

When a judge sees that there's a criminal case happening, they might think it means the police or the district attorney are pretty sure they can prove the crime happened.

Examples of evidence are:

Evidence Type 2: Photos of violence, injuries, damage

These are the most common types of evidence submitted. These can be photos of victim's injuries inflicted by the abuser. It is helpful to add photos next to the related incident description to help create a complete picture for the judge.

Evidence Type 3: Print outs of messages, emails or transcripts of voicemail

You can take screenshots of text messages and attach them. Similarly you can print emails and attach them as pictures or PDF files. While in most cases you cannot submit digital files such as

Evidence Type 4: 911 Calls

Rather than just saying you called 911 or any specific hotline, you can make your case stronger by listing the following items

  • The number dialed in case of the domestic hotline
  • The date and time (or approximate date and time) when the call was made
  • Who made the call
  • What was reported on the call
  • Any specific details of the person who answer the 911 call e.g. male/female voice

Evidence Type 5:  Medical Records

.You can attach documentation of previous medical emergencies or injuries that resulted from the actions of the abuser. These could be hospital visit records, print outs from your hospital portal (E.g. mychart) showing details of your visit.

Evidence Type 6:  Police reports

You can attach a copy of the police reports filed against abuser for domestic violence.

Evidence Type 7:  Testimony

  • A testimony from a witness. The witness can be anyone such as a family member, neighbor a co-worker or a bystander. The testimony is just an essay written describing the incidents witnessed, with as many specifics as possible.

Step 2: Get a copy of court forms 

Domestic Violence Forms

Illinois State Unified Court System

The court forms are provided an organization that oversees all courts in Illinois , called Illinois State Unified Judicial System , and are freely available on their website as a PDF file.  Some forms are required for all applicants and then the rest are optional and apply depending on the situation and stage.

 

Form Number Title PDF DOC WPD
GF-5 Temporary Order of Protection (Family Court) PDF Doc -
GF-5a Order of Protection (Family Court) PDF Doc -
GF-5b Affidavit in Support of Issuance of Family Court Temporary Order of Protection (Individual Complainant/Petitioner) PDF Doc WordPerfect
GF-5c
CRIM-4
Affidavit in Support of Issuance of  Family Court Temporary Order of Protection (Peace or Police Officer, Agency or Designated Person) PDF Doc WordPerfect
GF-5d
SC-3
CRIM-5
Affidavit in Support of Modification Of Family Court Temporary Order of Protection or Order of  Protection PDF Doc WordPerfect
GF-5e Affidavit In Support Of Entry Of Out-of-State Order Of Protection Or Temporary Order Of Protection Onto Statewide Registry Of Orders Of Protection PDF Doc WordPerfect
GF-6 Temporary Order of Protection (Person in Need of Supervision or Juvenile Delinquency) PDF Doc -
GF-6a Order of Protection (Person in Need of Supervision or or Juvenile Delinquency) PDF Doc -
GF-9 Order (Violation of Order of Protection with/witout Commitment) PDF Doc WordPerfect
GF-11 Order of Commitment PDF Doc WordPerfect
8-1 Information for Victims of Domestic Violence PDF Doc
8-1 Informacion Para Las Victimas De Violencia Domestica
(above 8-1 form in Spanish)
PDF  Doc
8-1 الأسري
(above 8-1 form in Arabic)
PDF
8-1 পারিবারিক সহিংসতার আক্রান্তদের জন্য তথ্য
(above 8-1 form in Bengali)
PDF
8-1 ENFÒMASYON POU MOUN KI VIKTIM VIOLANS DOMESTIK
(above 8-1 form in Haitian Creole)
PDF
8-1 가정폭력피해자에 관한 정보
(above 8-1 form in Korean)
PDF
8-1 ИНФОРМАЦИЯ ДЛЯ ЖЕРТВ БЫТОВОГО НАСИЛИЯ
(above 8-1 form in Russian)
PDF
8-1 家庭暴力(家暴)受害者需知
(above 8-1 form in Simplified Chinese)
PDF
8-1 家庭暴力(家暴)受害者需知
(above 8-1 form in Traditional Chinese)
PDF
8-2 Petition (Family Offense) PDF Doc WordPerfect
8-3 Notice to the District Attorney PDF -
8-4 Order of Transfer For Criminal Prosecution PDF Doc WordPerfect
8-5 Order of Disposition PDF Doc WordPerfect
8-6 Order - Firearms Licenses And Surrenders Notice to Law Enforcement Agency PDF Doc WordPerfect
8-6A Firearms Search and Seizure Order PDF Doc
8-7 Family Offense - Order of Dismissal PDF Doc WordPerfect

 

Form Number Title PDF DOC WPD
SC-1 Temporary Order of Protection (Supreme Court) PDF Doc -
SC-2 Order of Protection (Supreme Court) PDF Doc -
SC-3 Supreme Court Seizure Order Form PDF Doc -
CRIM-1 Order of Protection/Family Offense (Criminal Courts) PDF Doc -
CRIM-2 Order of Protection/Non-Family Offense (Criminal Courts) PDF Doc -
Family Protection Registry Center Information Sheet PDF WordPerfect
Family Protection Registry Center Addendum to Information Sheet PDF WordPerfect
Application for an Order to Terminate or Sever Lease (Criminal) PDF Doc
Order to Terminate or Sever Lease (Criminal) PDF Doc

 

 

Tip: You can check your local court's website to see the exact versions and set of court forms needed. You need to prepare these forms. Courts also offers a free self help center where you can take forms. Alternatively you can use a free website such as LegalAtoms to prepare the restraining orders paperwork online.

 

Nothing happens until you file the forms. So its a good idea to step through the forms even if you think you don't plan to file for a protection order right now, to get

You can then file them online when you've thought through all aspects.  There are special protections for victims, and you're protected even if your immigration status is undocumented in United States.

 

Step 3: File the Court Forms

Typically these are filed at your county's Court. Some of these courts are also called Family Justice Center.

 

 

Step 4: Get a Temporary Order 

Depending on the facts and evidence presented, a Judge can issue a restraining order with immediate effect until the hearing, called an Emergency Temporary Order.  In relatively less risky situations, a temporary order is issued in a few days.

If there are no grounds or if the application is incomplete or the jurisdiction is incorrect the application may be rejected.

The temporary order is only valid for about 3 weeks which is the amount of time until the hearing. If the hearing is delayed for any reason, you need to check with the court to ensure the temporary order is renewed until the hearing.

Step 5: Serve the abuser 

 

Step 6: Present Evidence in a Court Hearing 

Attend a hearing: The court holds a hearing within a couple of weeks where the evidence is examined. If there is sufficient supporting evidence as determined by a Judge, a full restraining order is issued. At this point it becomes a crime for the abuser to break the conditions of the restraining order.

 

L.A. County court to staff: Get COVID vaccine or get fired - Los Angeles Times

 

Step 7. Collect the Final Order

After the hearing, a final order may be issued. You can take a paper copy of the order with you. The order is typically valid for five years.

Costs

There are no costs associated with a Domestic Violence Restraining Order.

  • FREE forms : You can get the court forms for free, or prepare them using the guided experience below.
  • FREE filing: There is fees for filing. Online filing platforms may charge a service fees

If later in the process a Order of Protection is successfully issued, then the defendant might be required to pay all the fees of filing and service as well as an additional $100 government frees for enforcement of domestic violence laws.

Process Duration

You can get a temporary protection order the same day as you file.

Courts can have a cutoff of around 2 p.m.  for the same day service, so you need to file before then. Otherwise, the order would be issued the following day when courts open.

Courts are generally open Monday-Friday and closed on Saturday-Sunday.

The temporary order is valid until a formal hearing is held in which both parties need to be present. Typically a hearing is scheduled in 2 weeks of filing.

At the hearing a formal order may be issued

 

Risks

It is conceivable that following the submission of a civil protection order, the abuser particularly in domestic violence situations may react with anger due to the perceived loss of control over you and your household. In certain instances, the abuser may portray themselves as the victim and shift blame onto the actual victim they were mistreating.

The response of your abuser after the filing of a protection order is unpredictable. While a Order of Protection can provide legal protection, one should not automatically assume that it guarantees safety. The initial weeks post-filing can be particularly precarious, contingent on your abuser's reaction.

Despite the safeguards intended by an Order of Protection, abusers may retaliate through various means, such as:

  1. Physical assault or violence
  2. Harming or taking away children
  3. Damaging jointly owned property
  4. Disregarding the order and persisting with threats, possibly through intermediaries
  5. Inflicting harm or causing harm to pets
  6. Harassing your loved ones for information
  7. Engaging in stalking behavior
  8. Initiating a retaliatory restraining order against you
  9. Spreading false information about you in court documents, online, or publicly

Following the submission of a domestic violence Protection order, it's important to continuously assess your situation and prepare for the potential escalation of your case into more violent territory.

 

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