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Obtaining an Order of Protection or No Stalking and Contact Order

If you have been the victim of an abusive relationship or the victim of stalking and harassing behavior and it is an emergency call the police first, then if there is the need for future protection you have the legal remedy of petitioning for an Emergency Order of Protection or No Contact and No Stalking Order.

The person that is afraid for their (and their family and friends) safety is legally called the “Petitioner.” The person accused of the bad conduct is legally called the “Respondent.”

Abusive behavior can include physical abuse, but it doesn’t stop there. There is additional conduct by the Respondent, perpetrator, that may have occurred to allow the legal remedy of an Order from the Court to not allow the Respondent to come within certain areas where the Petitioner is granted a safe haven.

The various remedies that the court may grant the Petitioner include a complete stay away order, no contact by phone or through the internet, including all forms of social media (such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and all other similar internet sources), no stalking, no intimidation, no harassment, and no interference with the health or welfare of the Respondent or their family members (including children).

There is a not a difference in the actual Order Of Protection when it is secured during a CRIMINAL prosecution or in a PRIVATE Petition from a Civil Judge except for the PROCEDURE and if an ARREST has occurred.

If there is a criminal charge involved in connection for the reasons for wanting an Order of Protection most likely the office of The State’s Attorney’s Office will ask for an Emergency Order Of Protection at the defendant’s first court appearance, which is normally a Bond hearing. The Court will serve the defendant with a copy of the Emergency Order of Protection and most likely continue it for a hearing at a future time. Most frequently the Court will enter something called either an “Interim” (meaning from short time to time) or a “Plenary” Order (which means for a fixed for a specific period of time.) Very commonly the Judge will enter the original Order of Protection for the duration of the criminal proceedings and only decide on whether to enter the Order until after there is a hearing on the criminal charges. If the Order of Protection is granted, even after the Respondent has been convicted and sent to jail, it is sometimes possible to extend the Order if the Court deems it appropriate.

The Standard of Proof for the Petitioner to be granted an Order of Protection is a lot lower than the Standard of Proof in a Criminal Prosecution.

During a Criminal prosecution the State’s Attorney’s Office has the burden of proving a defendant Guilty Beyond a Reasonable Doubt at a trial. Order of Protection proceedings differ in that it is the person asking for the protection (the Petitioner) that must prove that by a Preponderance of the Evidence that they need the injunctive relief of the Protective Order. Preponderance of the Evidence standard can basically be described as whether there is more than 50% probability from the facts that are presented at the hearing of whether the Petitioner needs protection.

Obtaining an Order of Protection as a Private Citizen without the assistance of the Police when there is no Criminal charge against the person

A person who has not filed criminal charges against the person that they believe they need protection from may still file for an Emergency Order of Protection or Emergency No Contact No Stalking Order without having to file a criminal complaint. The procedure is that they go to the local Courthouse, most usually in Chicago the Court located at 555 W. Harrison St. (on the first floor in the Clerk’s Office in the room to the right as you enter through security), and fill out a form named “Petition for Order of Protection.” Contained within the form are questions about the Respondent’s whereabouts, his identifying information, and the abuse that is complained of (including the dates, times, and frequency of the behavior.)

After the Petition is filled out the Petitioner will be brought before a judge. The Respondent will not have to be present during this hearing. The Petitioner will be made to swear to the facts and possibly be asked questions about the allegations. Should the Judge considering believe that the Petitioner needs protection they will enter an Emergency Order of Protection that will be valid for less than one month. The Judge will also Order the Sherriff of Cook County (or whatever County the occurrence or location of the Respondent resides) to locate and give a copy of the order to the Respondent, therefore serving him with the action.

If the Sheriff’s Office is cannot locate and is unable to give a copy of the Petition for the Order of Protection and along with the Summons for the Respondent to appear in Court the Court will usually issue an Order wherein the Petitioner is allowed to provide service to the Respondent through proof of Service through Publication, wherein the Respondent simply takes a small add in a local publication through the Court (usually in Chicago the Daily Law Bulletin) and the case is given a future date to see if the Respondent appears in Court.

If the Respondent is actually served with a copy of the Order of Protection the Respondent will be given days to file and pay the Clerk for his appearance.

In either of the above two situations if the Respondent doesn’t appear it is most likely that the Judge will enter a “Default Order of Protection” granting the Petitioner all of their requested relief.

What Happens If they are Served and Do Show up for Court?

Most likely the Judge will allow the Respondent a continuance to hire counsel or conduct “Discovery,” and after which the case will be continued for future Court appearances to work out the details before the hearing. Should the matter not get negotiated into an agreed Order against the Respondent and the Petitioner wants to proceed there will be a full hearing held before the Judge where all witnesses will be required to testify. At the conclusion of the hearing the judge will make a ruling based on the credibility of the witness testimony and the evidence and determine whether the Petitioner produced enough evidence, by a preponderance of the evidence to issue the Order.

Why Do I Need an Attorney to Get an Order of Protection?

The answer to this question is simple. There are going to be things that occur in Court that most people will not understand unless they practice law in this specific area of law. There are evidence issues and discovery issues that if aren’t properly represented and litigated can mean the difference between success and defeat. If you are interested in obtaining a Protective Order in Chicago this law firm knows all of the procedure and case law to help guide you through the process with the highest hope of success. Although we cannot guarantee results we will guarantee that we will do everything within the limits of the law to secure you a victory. Please call (312) 203-5500 for a free consultation.