How to Obtain a Restraining Order
How to Obtain a Restraining Order in Illinois
If you have been a victim of abuse, you are under certain protections in the State of Illinois. That’s for good reason, too. Domestic violence is a serious crime, and it’s considered a public health issue that affects 42 percent of women and 26 percent of men in Illinois. One of the best ways you can protect yourself if you’ve been victimized is by obtaining legal protections. You may be considering doing this already. As you do the research to learn how to obtain a restraining order, you’ll want to understand the steps it takes to keep yourself safe.
Why You May Want a Restraining Order
A restraining order is a simple way to enforce a person to do or not do something with the help of a civil court. On the other hand, you may be eligible for an order of protection against an abuser who is family or someone who lives in the home with you. Orders of protection may also keep you safe from a person who has committed stalking or sexual assault against you. A violation of the order is a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable with fines and jail time of up to one year. A second violation is a felony. These protections are designed to keep you safe. Be sure to consult with your lawyer to determine whether you are eligible to obtain an order of protection.
Request a petition
The first step you need to take is to request a petition for an order of protection from the court. It’s good to know that an order of protection case is a free service, so you don’t need to worry about how to pay for it if you’re in a domestic violence situation. You can request the petition from your local Circuit Clerk, or you can find them online. You’ll need to know details about the abuse and the abuser, as well as other pertinent details. Be prepared to take at least 20 minutes or more to fill out the paperwork.
Fill out the petition
Once you’ve obtained the petition, it’s time to fill out the paperwork. Be sure to ask the Circuit Clerk for help filling out the forms if you need assistance in any way. You can also contact your lawyer for legal advice for your case. You’ll want to be thinking ahead about where you want to file your forms. For example, if you no longer live near your abuser, you could obtain the order for the location where the abuse happened. You should also consider what else you want to include in the order, including safety for pets, kids, and your home. Be as detailed about the situation as possible to ensure the order goes through successfully.
Take your petition to the circuit clerk
As you look for how to obtain a restraining order, the big step to take is to take your petition to the circuit clerk to file the order of protection. Be careful to keep yourself safe once you’ve made a request. The court needs your contact information, so use an email that your abuser doesn’t have access to for added protection. The court will send you important details about your case, including court dates. Be sure to watch your mail and email for court notices. Talk to your lawyer who can help you file appropriately. From there, a judge will review your case before setting a full court hearing.
The abuser is served
When your court date is set, it’s time for the abuser to be served with the notice for a hearing date. Note that this is a free service to you as well. It’s not your responsibility to notify your abuser of any details. Let the police do their job, which is to legally notify the abuser of the order of protection. Remember: make sure you’re safe when the abuser is served. Contact a local domestic violence shelter if necessary to ensure your safety.
The hearing begins
On the day of your hearing, make sure you arrive on time and with a trusted lawyer one your side. Borsberry Law will be at your side as you experience the stress of facing your abuser in court. Fortunately, we know the Illinois Domestic Violence Act inside and out. Our goal is to help you to feel safe from any abuse. That way, when the hearing is over, you can have confidence that you’re safe from further damage.
Borsberry Law is Here to Help
At Borsberry Law, we know you must act fast when you’re in an abusive situation. As you search for how to obtain a restraining order, Borsberry Law is on your side to ensure you obtain an order of protection that keeps you safe. Give us a call for a free consultation at 309-637-9000. Or, if you’d rather use our 24-hour chat feature to get more details, we’re here to talk at any time. Let us help you find your safe haven away from the abuse you’ve experienced. We’re here for you.