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How to obtain an order of protection in Illinois


Domestic violence is highly prevalent in Illinois. It affects a large number of people and families each year. It can be difficult to stop, but there are ways to keep an abuser from the victims. One such way is by obtaining an order of protection. We previously discussed the benefits of obtaining such protection, but in order to enjoy the benefits of the order of protection one must first know how to actually obtain one.

The first step is to fill out the petition for an order of protection and file it with the court clerk. After it has been filed a hearing will be scheduled. The first hearing for the emergency order will be with just the victim and the judge. The abuser will not be present. The judge will review the petition and may ask a few questions regarding the abuse. The judge will then decide whether to order an emergency order of protection.

If the judge orders the emergency order of protection a court date will also be set for a long-term order of protection. The emergency order will be served on the abuser by the Sheriff's department. At the next hearing both sides will be able to present witnesses and evidence regarding the abuse. The judge will then determine whether to grant a long-term order of protection based on what was presented at that hearing. The victim must be present at this hearing. If the victim is not present the case may be dismissed.

Obtaining orders of protection can be a very stressful time. Making the accusations and facing the abuser in court can be difficult, but it also may be necessary to protect oneself from an abuser. The hearing can also be complicated and presenting the right evidence is important. Experienced attorneys understand the process of obtaining an order of protection and may be able to help ensure a victim obtains the proper protection.

Source: Illinois Legal Aid, "Filing an Order of Protection for domestic violence or workplace violence" accessed on January 5, 2015

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