What You Should Know About Orders of Protection in Illinois
Both men and women are sometimes abused by their significant others in Illinois, and the law provides remedies through three types of orders of protection. Victims are able to seek emergency protection orders, interim protection orders and plenary protection orders. Each type provides protection at different phases of a pending protection order case so that the victims may keep their alleged abusers from contacting them until they have their final hearings before judges. Divorce lawyers in Illinois sometimes help their clients who need protection orders. In cases in which alleged victims have sought orders against their clients, the lawyers may help their clients to defend against them.
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Understanding Domestic Violence
In Illinois, domestic violence encompasses much more than physical abuse for the purpose of getting a protective order. Domestic violence in the state may include any of the following:
- Physical abuse
- Intimidating dependents
- Interfering with personal liberty
- Willfully depriving someone of their needs
Each of these types of domestic violence represents broad categories of conduct. Physical abuse includes sexual abuse, using physical force, restraints or confinement, repeatedly and purposely depriving the victim of sleep, or acting in a manner that causes an immediate and substantial risk of causing physical injury to the victim. Harassment includes repeated phone calls, text messages or emails, following victims repeatedly in public places, causing disturbances at the victims’ schools or workplaces, threatening to hide children or hiding them, or surveilling victims repeatedly.
Intimidating a dependent includes forcing victims to watch or participate in the abuser’s physical abuse on another person regardless if the other person is a family member or someone else. Interfering with someone else’s personal liberty involves actively committing or threatening physical abuse, intimidation, harassment or deprivation of the victim. Willful deprivation occurs when an abuser deprives the victim of something that he or she needs, including food, medicine, water, shelter and money when the person is elderly or disabled. Divorce lawyers may help their clients seek and obtain protection orders when any type of domestic violence has occurred.
Types of Protection Orders
There are three types of Illinois protection orders, each lasting for a different period of time and requiring different types of notice. They include emergency, interim and plenary orders of protection.
Victims may seek emergency orders at any time, including when the courts are closed and on holidays. With an emergency protection order, the judge may hear the case without the abuser being present, which is called an ex parte proceeding. In order to be successful with seeking an emergency protective order, the victims must give testimony that convinces the judges that a harm would likely occur if the abuser had notice that the victim was seeking an order of protection. Judges will only order that abusers are to be removed from the home in an emergency protection order if the judge is convinced that the danger of abuse outweighs any hardship that is placed on the alleged abuser by being removed from the shared residence. Emergency protection orders last for 14 to 21 days.
Interim protection orders provide protection to victims from the time that their emergency orders expire and when their hearings are scheduled. In order to get an interim order, an alleged victim must notify the abuser and his or her attorney, and the abuser and the attorney must have had an opportunity to make an initial court appearance short of the full hearing. These orders last for up to 30 days.
In order to obtain a plenary protection order, the victim and the alleged abuser will first need to have a full court hearing. At this hearing, both the alleged victim and the alleged abuser will have an opportunity to testify and to present evidence about whether or not the alleged abuse occurred and if a protection order is warranted. Divorce lawyers often appear with their clients to litigate whether or not plenary protection orders should be issued. If the judge grants a plenary protection order, it will last for up to two years. Victims of abuse are allowed to renew their plenary orders of protection as many times as they feel that they need to when the times for expiration are approaching.
Where to File
People are allowed to file petitions for orders of protection in their own home counties, in the counties where the alleged abusers live, in the counties where the abuse happened or in the counties in which they temporarily reside if they had to flee their homes in order to get away from the abusers.
In some cases, a person may file for an order of protection when it is unwarranted. In those cases, divorce lawyers actively litigate against the orders. They also represent victims of abuse who truly need protection.