Domestic violence continues to plague millions of families throughout Illinois and around the country. Each year, an estimated 10 million women and men are subjected to physical abuse at the hands of an intimate partner, which averages to a shocking 20 per minute in the United States. According to the law in Illinois, domestic violence extends well beyond physical abuse, as the term also includes harassment, stalking, intimidation, and other forms of emotional and mental exploitation.
For many victims, filing for an order of protection is the first step toward seeking help and escaping an abusive situation. In Illinois, there are three types of orders of protection, and it is important to know how they each work.
Emergency Order of Protection
As the name implies, an emergency order of protection can provide immediate relief for a person who has been the victim of domestic violence or is afraid of becoming a victim. An emergency order of protection can be granted based solely on the sworn testimony of the victim if the court is convinced that the person is truly in danger or suffering emotional distress. The alleged abuser does not need to be notified in advance, nor is he or she required to appear. An emergency order can last for up to 21 days, enough time for a hearing to be scheduled regarding a more permanent solution.
Interim Order of Protection
Once an emergency order of protection has been issued, the victim will often look to have a longer-lasting order put in place. In order for the court to grant such a request, a full hearing will need to be held during which both the victim and the alleged abuser will have the opportunity to be heard and present evidence. Scheduling the hearing, however, can take time, and prior to the hearing, an interim order of protection may be granted as needed for up to 30 days.
Plenary Order of Protection
Following a full hearing, with both sides having the opportunity to present their case, the court may issue a plenary order of protection that can remain in effect for up to two years. When the plenary order is set to expire, the victim may seek to have the order renewed, and a new evidentiary hearing will be scheduled.
An order of protection can be used to limit the actions of the alleged abuser in many ways. He or she may be required to:
- Stop abusing, harassing, stalking, intimidating, and interfering with the liberty of the victim;
- Leave a residence he or she shares with the victim;
- Stay a certain distance away from the victim or the victim’s home, school, or work;
- Forfeit any firearms in his or her possession;
- Seek mental or behavioral treatment;
- Pay restitution for damages he or she has caused; and
- Pay child support or spousal maintenance.
The court may also include any other requirements necessary for the safety of the victim.
If you have been the victim of domestic violence, contact a compassionate St. Charles family law attorney right away. We will help you petition the court for an order of protection and assist you in securing safety for yourself and children. Call 630-377-7770 for a free confidential consultation today at Bochte, Kuzniar & Navigato, P.C..