As a Chicago family law attorney, I am often asked what it takes to get an Illinois Order of Protection. If you need protection from abuse or harassment from someone you have a relationship with then you could qualify for an Order of Protection. However, if you need protection from abuse or harassment from someone that you do not have a relationship with, then you would not qualify for an Order of Protection but would need to proceed with what is called a Civil No Contact Order.
Here is a video overview of How to Get an Order of Protection in Illinois:
Qualifying for an Illinois Order of Protection
Under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act, you have to fall into the category of “family or household member” which include the following individuals:
- a spouse
- a former spouse,
- a parent,
- a child or step-child
- person related by blood
- person relate by a present or prior marriage,
- person who shares or formerly shared a home,
- persons who have a child in common,
- person who shares a blood relationship through a child,
- person who has or had a dating relationship.
This definition includes a wide number of persons in a variety of different relationships; however, it does not include friends, neighbors, acquaintances or strangers.
Once you have reviewed the relationship status and have determined that you do fit under the category of “family member” and can proceed under the Domestic Violence Act, you can request the court for assistance. The Illinois Court system recognizes Domestic Violence as a serious crime and will provide you with the shield of an Order of Protection.
Abuse can be Harassment, Interference with Personal Liberty, or Physical Abuse
Harassment is something that would cause a reasonable person emotional distress and does in fact cause emotional distress to the person who is requesting an Order of Protection. The law goes on to provide that the following things are presumed to cause a person emotional distress:
- disturbance at that personal work or school
- repeated telephone calls
- repeatedly following the person in public
- repeated keeping the person under surveillance
- threatening physical force
- confinement or restraint of the person
INTERFERENCE WITH PERSONAL LIBERTY:
Interference with personal liberty is committing or threatening abuse to compel another to do something they do not have to do or keep them from doing something they have a right to do.
Physical abuse includes sexual abuse, use of force or confinement or restraint; sleep deprivation; reckless conduct and creating a risk of physical harm.
Illinois Courts Can Protect You from Abuse with an Order of Protection
Illinois courts will protect you from the above state abuses and behavior with an Order of Protection which will prohibit the abuse and provide the protective measures to keep you free from the abuse such as not allowing the abuser to come into your home, or come within so many feet of you at any time no matter where you are or providing “no contact what-so-ever” meaning no calls, text, letters, etc. This also includes no contact through a third party meaning the abuser cannot have a friend or someone else contact you. If contact is made under these circumstances, this would be a violation of the Order of Protection no contact provision and could be punishable criminally and result in a jail sentence. This is the benefit of an Order of Protection; it has the teeth of criminal sanctions in the event the abuser violates it.
In order to request an order of protection from the Courts, you must be an abused person as defined in the information above. You cannot use the Domestic Violation Act to obtain an Order of Protection if you are not an abused person.
If you are being harassed or abused by someone who you do not have a relationship with and do not fit under the definition of a family or household member then you cannot ask the court for an order of protection. Instead, you have to ask for a Civil No Contact Order.
Call Anderson & Boback When You Need an Illinois Order of Protection
Domestic violence should not be taken lightly. When you need a domestic violence attorney to protect you from harm, call on the knowledgeable and experienced domestic violence attorneys at Anderson & Boback. We help you to gather the critical supporting evidence including police reports, victim testimony, medical records, and evidence of injuries. If you are the victim of abuse and are ready to obtain a legal protective order in Chicago, it is critical for you to have an advocate helping to navigate the process.