The Abuse of Orders of Protection

Orders of protection in Illinois are designed to protect victims of domestic abuse from their abusers and prevent future acts of violence. When used properly, orders of protection can be an effective tool in the fight against domestic abuse.

Unfortunately, people often use orders of protection as a method of harassment or revenge. Defense attorneys and judges in domestic violence courtrooms are seeing more and more situations where parties are obtaining orders of protection against innocent individuals. This can have a negative impact on their livelihood, family and overall freedom. If you find yourself faced with a frivolous or false order of protection, it is crucial for you to find a skilled defense attorney to represent you.

Possible Scenario

Consider the following circumstance to illustrate the situation described above. A man and woman reside together with their child and, suddenly, the man decides to end their relationship. To get revenge, the woman claims that the man abused her and obtains an emergency order of protection. Now, the order prohibits the man from contacting both the woman and their child until after a hearing in court. In some scenarios, the woman then calls the man repeatedly in an attempt to make him violate the order.

Obtaining an Order in Illinois

Under Illinois law, family and household members can obtain an order of protection under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act. The classification of family and household members includes:

  • Spouses and ex-spouses;
  • Parents and children;
  • Couple with a child in common;
  • Cohabitants or former cohabitants;
  • Disabled individuals and their personal assistants; and
  • Persons who are dating or engaged.

There are three types of possible protective orders:

  • An emergency order can be obtained 24 hours a day. The hearing is held ex-parte, meaning that the petitioner is the only person who presents testimony. These orders are only in effect for 12 to 21 days.
  • An interim order occurs after the alleged abuser receives notice that a request is pending. These orders can last to up 30 days until a full hearing is scheduled.
  • A plenary order is only granted after a full hearing, where the petitioner and alleged abuser have been given the opportunity to present their side in court. These orders can last up to two years.

Abuse of Orders of Protection

The potential for abuse of these orders is high, especially during the emergency phase, where only one party is heard. The petitioning individual can present lies to the court and, as long as the court believes them, they will obtain an order. For respondent, the order of protection may result in a loss of employment or an inability to see certain family members. If he or she possesses a Firearm Owner’s Identification card, it may be revoked. Plus, to avoid a plenary order, the respondent must appear in court, often times on numerous occasions.

If you or a loved one is facing an order of protection in Illinois, contact the Law Office of Stephanie Kemen. Attorney Kemen will examine the specifics of your case and help provide you with a solid defense. Call the office at 312-945-6612 today for an evaluation of your case.