There are many victims of domestic abuse in Illinois. It is a problem and there have been many efforts made to try and reduce and ultimately eliminate domestic abuse. As part of this effort, there are resources available to victims to help protect them. One of these resources is to obtain an order of protection. These orders can be issued on an emergency basis to prevent the abuser from having any contact with the victim. The order of protection can then be extended for a longer period of time if necessary.
The person seeking the order of protection fills out a petition detailing the abuse and who abused the victim. The judge then reviews it and if, based on the allegations in the petition, he or she believes there has been abuse will issue an emergency order preventing the accused of having contact with the victim.
The abuser will then receive a copy of the petition and the emergency order. While orders of protection can be very valuable for victims, they can also be abused by people who are simply mad at their ex. The person accused of abuse may read the petition and realize the allegations are not true, yet he or she will still not be able to contact the other person and potentially his or her children.
The accused does have a right to defend against the allegations though. When he or she receives the petition and order there will be a court date on it, generally a week or two after the petition was filed. At the hearing the accused will have the opportunity to tell the judge their side of the story and defend against the allegations. However, it is very important to appear at this hearing. If the accused fails to appear then the judge could order a long-term order of protection simply based on the allegations in the petition.
Orders of protection in Illinois can be very effective ways of protecting victims from domestic abuse. However, they can also be abused by people who are simply angry with an ex or current significant other. If the allegations are false, it is important to defend against them. Experienced attorneys understand both sides of orders of protection and may be able to protect one's interests.
Source: Illinois Legal Aid, "Getting served with an order of protection" accessed on October13, 2015