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Understanding the Differences Between Orders of Protection and Restraining Orders in Illinois

 Posted on February 10, 2023 in Family Law

Kane County Family Law AttorneyIf you have ever watched a television program or a movie that dealt with issues of domestic violence or abuse, you have probably heard the term “restraining order.” The phrase is often used colloquially to describe a directive issued by the court to protect a victim or potential victim from an alleged abuser. This is a source of confusion, however, for many Illinois residents. What most people know as a “restraining order” is actually called an “order of protection” in Illinois. Restraining orders, by comparison, are used by Illinois courts as a form of equitable relief in civil matters.

Temporary Restraining Orders

A temporary restraining order (TRO) is a type of injunction that can be requested by a party in any civil court case. An injunction, at its most basic, is a court order that requires the opposing party to stop doing or to avoid doing a particular thing. A temporary restraining order is often the first step in seeking a permanent injunction. If the situation is serious enough, a TRO can be issued for up to 10 days until a judge can make a ruling on a preliminary or permanent injunction. Violations of TROs are dealt with in civil court and typically incur monetary sanctions and penalties.

Temporary restraining orders can be used in divorce and family law proceedings as well. TROs and preliminary injunctions may be necessary to prevent a party from spending, moving, or disposing of assets, taking a child outside of the court’s jurisdiction, and other destructive or undesirable behaviors.

Orders of Protection

Technically, an order of protection is a very specific type of a temporary restraining order. Illinois law, however, addresses orders of protection in its statutes pertaining to domestic violence and abuse. An order of protection may be used to keep an alleged abuser away from potential victims, but it can do more than prevent specific actions. The court may also use an order of protection to require an alleged abuser to participate in substance abuse or alcohol rehabilitation programs, attend counseling, and more.

Unlike a TRO, which can only be enforced by action in civil court, an order of protection can be enforced by local and state police agencies. A person who violates an order of protection may be arrested and prosecuted in criminal court. A violation may also be considered contempt of court and may be dealt with through civil or criminal procedures, depending upon the nature of the violation and the circumstances of the case.

Call Geneva Family Lawyer for Help

If you have additional questions about domestic violence laws and orders of protection in Illinois, contact an experienced Kane County family law attorney. Call 630-844-8781 for a confidential consultation at Serrano Hanson today. We will do everything we can to ensure that your rights and best interests are fully protected.






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