Protective orders, also called orders of protection or restraining orders, are designed to help protect victims of abuse, stalking, or harassment from being harmed by another person. While these types of orders can be an extremely valuable legal tool for victims of domestic violence, orders of protection can also be misused. If someone has filed an order of protection, and you are named as the respondent, you may not know what to do. Read on to learn about Illinois protection orders and what your options are if you have been issued an order based on false allegations of domestic abuse.
The Basics of Illinois Orders of Protection
There are three main types of protection orders in Illinois: emergency orders of protection (EOP), interims order of protection, and plenary orders of protection. An EOP can be obtained without the alleged abuser being aware of it. EOPs last up to 21 days. A plenary order can be obtained after a hearing with a judge, and it can last up to two years. An interim protection order can be ordered for the time period in between an EOP and the hearing for a plenary order. An order of protection may prohibit you from contacting the petitioner and can require you to stay a certain distance away from the petitioner’s home or workplace. You could also be required to surrender any firearms you own.
How Should I Respond to False Allegations of Domestic Violence or Abuse?
Being falsely accused of stalking, harassment, or physical violence is a terrible ordeal to go through. However, if someone has filed an order of protection against you, and you did nothing wrong, you should still follow the directions in the protection order. This includes not calling or otherwise contacting the petitioner or going near him or her. Failure to comply with a court-ordered protection order can have serious consequences, including both civil liability and criminal penalties. You could even face large fees or jail time for not following the directions contained in an order of protection.