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OBTAINING AN ORDER OF PROTECTION: Criminal Orders of Protection and Civil Restraining Orders

Each state has its own guidelines and procedures for orders of protection. Procedures also may vary somewhat in different Counties throughout a State

The information outlined herein is specific to DuPage County, Illinois. Contact Russo Law for a criminal defense attorney today. 

Who can get an Order of Protection (“OP”)?

A victim (Petitioner) must have or had in the past a family or dating relationship with the abusive person (Respondent) such as….

  •  Spouse or former spouse
  • Current or past dating relationship
  • Persons having a child together
  • Parent, child, stepchild, or other family relationship
  • Current or former roommate
  • Personal assistant/caretaker for a person who has disabilities

What are requirements for obtaining an Order of Protection?

Every case is considered unique and evaluated independently by the Judge assigned, who has the final discretion to grant an order of protection or to deny it.

Although an attorney is not required during these proceedings, both a petitioner and/or respondent have the right to retain an attorney to represent them.

If there is Criminal case pending against the respondent, it is possible for the State’s attorney’s office to assist a petitioner in the application for an order of protection.

Petitioner’s in most cases can obtain the services of a family shelter Court Advocate to assist them during normal court hours, at no charge. Advocates are not lawyers.

Respondents are not provided with free assistance.

If there is another court case pending or if you suspect that one may be filed subsequently, then it is best to consult with an attorney before appearing in Court.

Often the application for an order of protection is followed by the filing of a divorce or the petitioner seeking the arrest of the respondent on criminal charges.

Pleadings filed and/or statements made before a Judge during the order of protection hearing(s) could be used in other types of cases or hearings. 

Each Judge handling “OP” hearings may have different individual preferences and will view which facts are most important somewhat differently.  Having a lawyer who handles these cases on a regular basis and understands the applicable law can be very beneficial in presenting the evidence.

Some of the common factors considered:

  • How recent was the alleged abuse
  • What is the prior history of abusive conduct   
  • Prior Orders of Protection and/or other court cases (divorce, custody, criminal)
  • Creditability and the type of evidence presented

How long will the order of protection last?

  • Emergency Orders are in effect for 14-21 days

An Emergency Order of Protection (“EOP”) is usually handled without the presence of the Respondent (“ex Parte”).  If denied the respondent might never become aware of the application.  If granted, the respondent will be served by the sheriff or police officer.  The papers served will designate a court date and time for a hearing on a Plenary Order (“POP”) which is an extension of the emergency order.

  • Plenary Orders may be in effect for up to 2 years (maximum)

If granted the respondent will again be served and a future date set for the termination of the order and/or a hearing to extend the order again.

  • Subsequent extensions may be longer than 2 years.

Many judges have interpreted the current law in such a way that the extension will not be limited to the initial 2 year maximum. Some judges will extend for 5 years.

Russo Law Office lawyers and staff are experienced in handling all aspects of Orders of Protection and are available to evaluate each situation to advise litigants toward a successful conclusion.        

Contact Russo Law Office for information 630-690-3636

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