Illinois Civil Orders of Protection
An Order of Protection (“OP”) is a court order that protects one family or household member from the actions of another family or household member. Whether you are seeking an OP, or someone has filed an OP against you, it is important to understand what an OP is, how it works, and what consequences it holds.
What does an Order of Protection do?
An OP is a court order that prohibits a person from abusing another person or persons. OPs also offer several other remedies, some of which include ordering the alleged abuser:
- to stay away from the protected person and their school, job, or other specific place
- not to take a child out of Illinois or hide a child within Illinois
- not to take or damage property owned by both parties
- to turn over his or her firearms and firearms owner identification card
- to go to counseling
Who can file for an Order of Protection?
Anyone who is a family or household member of the alleged abuser can file for an OP. This includes parents, children, spouses, former spouses, exes, people in a dating relationship, or people who have children in common. Both males and females can file for an OP.
Do I have to be physically abused to get an Order of Protection?
No. The Illinois Domestic Violence Act protects against more than just physical abuse. For example, an OP can protect against harassment, which could include conduct such as threatening someone with physical force, repeatedly calling someone, following someone from place to place, or repeatedly threatening to remove a child from someone else’s care.
How long does an Order of Protection last and what are the consequences for a violation?
The length of an OP depends on the type of order that was entered. An emergency OP can be entered without notice to the alleged abuser and can remain in place for up to 21 days. An interim OP can be entered after the alleged abuser has been given notice and can remain in place for up to 30 days. A plenary OP can be entered after the alleged abuser has been given notice and remain in place for up to 2 years.
OPs are entered into the Law Enforcement Automated Data System used by all law enforcement agencies. A violation of an OP is a crime, and the offender may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the nature of the violation.
What do I do if someone filed for an Order of Protection against me?
If an OP is filed against you, the sheriff’s department will serve you with the paperwork. The paperwork will tell you when your next court date is. You must appear at the next court date.
Even if you did not do the things alleged in the Petition for OP, you must follow the terms of the order until the Judge tells you otherwise. If you violate the order, you could be arrested.
Should I hire a lawyer to represent me in my Order of Protection case?
Orders of protection are serious matters. They often involve many complex issues and can have significant consequences for all parties involved. Without the help of an experienced lawyer, you may be putting yourself at risk.
Whether you are the alleged victim or the alleged abuser, the attorneys at Bruning & Associates, P.C. can help guide you through this difficult time. Please contact us at 815-455-3000 today for your complimentary consultation to discuss your order of protection.
Click here to learn more about Attorney Kristine Ruhl.