MUTUAL ORDERS OF PROTECTION ARE PROHIBITED

Section 215 of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act provides that mutual orders of protection are prohibited. Correlative separate orders of protection undermine the purposes of this Act and are prohibited unless both parties have properly filed written pleadings, proved past abuse by the other party, given prior written notice to the other party unless excused under Section 217, satisfied all prerequisites for the type of order and each remedy granted, and otherwise complied with this Act. In these cases, the court shall hear relevant evidence, make findings, and issue separate orders in accordance with Sections 214 and 221. The fact that correlative separate orders are issued shall not be a sufficient basis to deny any remedy to petitioner or to prove that the parties are equally at fault or equally endangered.” 750 ILCS 60/215 (West 2010).

 

There are many problems with mutual orders of protection which have been documented and include everything from violating due process, to the court’s treatment of these orders, to implementation by the parties and the police, to actually exacerbating the violence and abuse against the abused party.   Per Elizabeth Topliffe, Why Civil Protection Orders are Effective Remedies for Domestic Violence but Mutual Protective Orders Are Not, 67 Ind. L.J. 1039, 1065 (1992), “The woman feels that she is to blame for the violence or that the justice system is not holding the batterer accountable for his behavior. The court verifies the batterer’s belief that he is not to blame for the violence because it is caused by external factors. A mutual order is also less effective for enforcement purposes and can be used in future proceedings against the victim to the advantage of the batterer.”

 

As the statue states, correlative orders of protection are not the same as mutual orders of protection.  Illinois law allows for correlative orders where separate pleadings, notice and proof of abuse are provided by each party seeking an order of protection. The statute further requires that a separate order be issued in accordance with the other provisions of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act. 750 ILCS 5/60-215 (West 2010).

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