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Orders of Protection – A Guide

Lafata Law LLC

Orders of Protection in Illinois

What Is an Order of Protection?

In Illinois, an order of protection is a court order which provides victims protection from threats or abuse. This includes domestic violence. They are only available to family or household members. They protects the victim and anyone else living in the home. Under Illinois law, family or household members include:

  • (a) family members related by blood;
  • (b) people who are married or used to be married;
  • (c) people who share or used to share a home, apartment, or other common dwelling;
  • (d) people who have or allegedly have child in common or a blood relationship through a child in common;
  • (e) people who are dating or engaged or used to date, including same sex couples; and
  • (f) people with disabilities and their personal assistants.

An order of protection can prohibit the responding party from contacting, harassing, stalking, threatening, intimidating the victim. I can even order an abuser to stay away from a certain location (i.e. school, work, home, etc.). A judge can also order the responding party to attend counseling, pay child support, or even move out of a home they share with the victim.

Now, how does one get an order of protection? There are three different types of orders of protection in Illinois: Interim Orders of Protection, Emergency Orders of Protection, and Plenary Orders of Protection.

Types of Orders of Protection

Emergency Order of Protection

An Emergency OP varies by situation. An Emergency Order is appropriate when the victim will face serious hardship if the alleged abuser is notified of the order. A judge can issue this order “ex parte” (without notifying the opposing party and without him/her being in court). However, if the court grants the order, it is only in effective until there is a full hearing for a plenary order (where the alleged abuser attends), usually within 14-21 days.

Interim Order of Protection

An Interim OP provides a victim protection for a period of time. The timeframe is between the alleged abuser was served with notice of the Order and the final hearing on the merits of the case. Notice must be served on the alleged abuser. The alleged abuser (or his/her attorney) must appeared in court. An appearance must be filed before an interim order can be granted. An Interim OP can be effective for up to 30 days.

Plenary Order of Protection

The final civil protective order issued is a Plenary OP. Plenary OPs issue after proper notice. Both parties have had the opportunity to present evidence as to the merits of the case. The order may be granted when defendant does not appear. However, notice must be properly served. A Plenary OPs can last up to two years, although a court may renew the Order.

How Do I Get an Order of Protection?

In order to get an Order of Protection you must fill out court forms and file them with the circuit clerk at the courthouse in the county where you live, where the abuser lives, or where the events happened. The forms needed are:

  • Petition for Order of Protection (this tells the judge what you are asking for and why)
  • Order of Protection (either an Emergency OP or a Plenary OP)
  • Summons (which will give the sheriff information on how to deliver the Petition to the abuser)


Make sure you include details about the abuse when drafting. Include what the abuser said and did to you. Write where the abuse happened. Specify how abuse hurt you. Dates and times of the abuse are always important. Having a knowledgeable attorney help in the drafting process is invaluable when going to hearing.


Filing for an OP can be simple. Go to your County Clerk’s Office with your petition. File the petition with the County Clerk’s Office. Once you file the forms with your county clerk, the clerk will tell you when you need to return for your hearing in front of a judge. Make sure you attend the hearing!


At hearing the judge will ask you detailed questions about the abuse and decide whether to grant the Order. Next, the judge schedules a Plenary OP hearing date. Plenary Order may be granted when the alleged abuser does not attend the hearing. After granting the order, the court with notify the sheriff. The order enters into Illinois law enforcement database. This ensures the order enforcement against the alleged abuser. Disobeying is a criminal offense.

Contact our attorneys at 630-481-6633 to schedule a free consultation if you are seeking an Order of Protection. Contact our attorneys at 630-481-6633 to schedule a free consultation to defendant against an Order of Protection. We will discuss the details of your situation and explain how we can help protect you and your family.

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Proudly serving the following Illinois Counties: DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Cook and Will. Conveniently located near the DuPage County Courthouse. If you would like to visit us at our office, we are open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. by appointment.

Wheaton Office
2100 Manchester Rd #C-1720

Wheaton, IL 60187

Phone: 630-481-6633

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