Orders of Protection The Best Defense Is a Strong Offense

Orders of Protection in Chicago

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3 Types of Orders

An individual can seek a legal order limiting contact with an alleged abuser by filing a Petition for an Order of Protection (OP). In the petition, the claimant must explain to a judge why they want an OP against the other person. If the judge believes they have been abused, they must issue the OP. There are three different types of OP’s that can be issued, depending on the circumstances and amount of time they legally offer protection.

One type of OP is an Emergency Order of Protection (EOP), which can be granted right away to the petitioner. Note that the law does not require the respondent (person the order addresses) to know about the “ex parte” hearing that grants the emergency order. As a result, an EOP lasts only 14 to 21 days, after which the petitioner can seek a more permanent Plenary Order.

A Plenary Order, which lasts for up to 2 years, is issued by a judge after a hearing with both the petitioner and the respondent. Note that the person accused of the abuse must be notified about the hearing, but they may choose not to show up. In such a case, if the respondent does not show up to court, the Plenary Order will be granted.

After a respondent has been served or has been attempted to be served, the judge may also grant a petitioner an Interim Order that can last up to 30 days. This likely occurs in the interim while the petitioner waits for the Plenary Order going into effect.

What Will an Order Do?

Generally, an order of protection will establish how physically far away the respondent must be from the person who filed, including any other rules for no contact. Such terms can require no contact via:

  • phone calls;

  • speaking in person;

  • text messages;

  • letters;

  • faxes;

  • emails;

  • answering machine messages;

  • social media posts/messages; and

  • contact through a third party, such as a friend, relative, co-worker, neighbor, etc.

Be aware that if the two people are living together, the person filed against may not be able to continue living there. They may return to collect their personal belongings, but they will have to relocate somewhere else.

If the two parties have children, the person subject to the order may not be allowed to see or contact the children. The order will establish parenting time and decision-making power for their children. Note that this could include any children who are solely the individual’s children and not children of the person filing the order.

Once a protective order has been served against a person, they will also not be allowed to have firearms. The person cannot purchase, acquire, or be in possession of firearms, ammunition, or other dangerous weapons. This could include collectors' items and firearms that do not belong to the individual. Note that if they already own firearms, storing them in a safe inside their home is not permitted. The only permissible circumstance are if the person leaves them with an attorney, an approved firearms dealer, or with local police/sheriff.

An order of protection is a one-way action and only affects the actions of the person it was filed against. This means that the person who filed the order is not affected by it, so if they initiate contact with the person they filed the OP against, talk to them, or go over to their house, they themselves are not in violation of the order. Consequently, if the individual responds to these attempts to contact them or are closer to the person than the order allows, they are violating the protective order and may be held in contempt of court that carries significant fines or even jail time.

If a person has been served with a temporary protective order, it is key to keep records of any information that may be helpful in their case, such as:

  • phone records;

  • answering machine recordings;

  • emails;

  • credit card receipts;

  • photographs;

  • letters;

  • video recordings; and

  • social media messages or posts.

Make sure that you can identify the date and time of any of the above items.

It is also important that individuals subject to an order carry a copy of the OP with them at all times. Having the order in hand to tell a police officer what they are allowed to and not allowed to do under the terms will help protect their rights in any questionable circumstances.

Questions? Let DRD Law, LLC Help!

If you have been subjected to an order of protection, speak with a lawyer immediately. Orders of protection can have very particular terms and completely change your routine, whether it means moving out of your shared home or avoiding any communication even initiated by the other person. DRD Law, LLC can take a look at your situation and help you navigate the terms of your order of protection, especially if you have been accused of violating any terms.

Call (312) 702-1811 or fill out this online form to schedule a consultation today.

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