Getting an Order of Protection in Illinois
Domestic violence is a serious issue that plagues many more people than some realize. When a person thinks about domestic violence, it is usually within the context of a romantic relationship, but the legal definition expands beyond those terms. For those who are the victims of such violence, protection is available and can be legally enforced.
Although the majority of domestic violence cases likely occur between two people who are or were romantically involved, there are other situations that also give rise to domestic violence according to law, and they deserve attention as well. In order to have a request for an order of protection granted, the person must demonstrate that they are the victim of domestic violence. For this purpose, the law defines domestic violence as:
- Physical Abuse - This can include sexual abuse, physical abuse, and behavior that creates an immediate risk of physical harm, among other acts;
- Harassment - This is defined as unnecessary conduct that causes the victim emotional distress. At law, the following actions are included as recognized types of harassment: creating a disturbance at or repeatedly telephoning the victim’s workplace or school; repeatedly following the victim in public; keeping the victim under surveillance; threatening the victim with physical force or violence on more than one occasion; and making certain threats to the victim regarding their child;
- Intimidation of a Dependent - When an abuser forces the victim, a dependent due to age, health, or disability, to participate in or witness physical violence against another person;
- Interference with Personal Liberty - Committing or threatening to commit physical harm, harassment, or deprivation with the intention of forcing the victim to participate in an action in which they do not wish to partake, or to not allow the victim to partake in an action they have a right to.
- Willful Deprivation - When an elderly or disabled person is willfully denied any assistance he or she needs, including medicine, medical attention, shelter, or food, which puts that person at risk of mental, physical, or emotional harm.
Victims of domestic violence have tools available to them by law to deal with the offenders. Not only are criminal charges warranted in some cases, but the law also allows victims to seek out an order of protection from the court. In a situation that requires immediate attention, a judge can enter an emergency order based solely on the testimony of the victim. This can also effectively have the abuser removed from a shared residence in certain situations. This order is temporary, and will last for a limited number of weeks until the victim and the offender are able to be scheduled for a hearing before the judge.
If the emergency order expires before a scheduled court appearance, a victim can get an interim order to serve on the offender in the meantime. Finally, after a court hearing during which both parties have an opportunity to be heard, a judge can grant a plenary order if they are satisfied enough that evidence exists to do so. This type of order can remain for two years, and is eligible to be renewed upon its expiration.
Hiring Legal CounselHaving an experienced attorney on your side in a domestic violence matter is invaluable. Contact the Davi Law Group, LLC today to schedule a meeting with an attorney. We have successful experience representing clients in Chicago, Wheaton, and Warrenville, Illinois.