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What Happens During an Order of Protection Hearing?

 Posted on May 09, 2023 in Family Law

Geneva Domestic Violence LawyerDomestic violence continues to be a very real issue in Kane County and the rest of Illinois. Victims of abuse, harassment, stalking, and domestic violence include people of all races, income levels, genders, and backgrounds.

If you have been abused by a spouse, family member, or household member, an order of protection can provide legal protection against further abuse. Orders of protection, called restraining orders or protective orders in other states, prohibit an abuser from contacting the victim, coming to the victim’s home, school, or workplace, and contain other provisions, such as giving the petitioner custody of any children.

In this blog, we will discuss when a hearing is required to obtain an order of protection and what occurs during such a hearing.

Emergency Order of Protection

Illinois courts offer protection orders on an emergency basis for people who are at risk of abuse or violence. There are two main types of emergency orders of protection. If the person you are seeking protection from has already been arrested or charged with domestic battery, assault, or a related offense, you will want to get a criminal order of protection. If the person has not yet been arrested or charged with a criminal offense involving you, you will be requesting a civil order of protection.

The hearing for an Emergency Order of Protection (EOP) is usually held “ex parte.” This means the person you seek protection from is not present during the hearing and is not immediately notified about what you are doing. The hearing for an EOP will be less formal than a plenary hearing and will involve you explaining to the judge why you are asking for a protection order. Remember, the judge is here to help you, so there is no reason to be nervous about this hearing.

An Emergency Order of Protection lasts 14 to 21 days. When you ask the court for an Emergency Order of Protection, a hearing date will be set for a Plenary Order of Protection.

Plenary Order of Protection

After your initial EOP hearing, the person you are seeking protection from, the respondent, will be served with a copy of the EOP and a notice of the hearing for the final order. A Plenary Order of Protection can last up to two years. If you require a longer protection period than 21 days, make sure you show up to the hearing for the Plenary Order of Protection.

During the plenary hearing, you will be given a chance to explain why you are asking for an order of protection. At this point, you can provide evidence to support your request, such as threatening text messages, photographs of bruises or other injuries, and medical records showing your injuries. The respondent will also be given a chance to tell his or her side of the story.

It is generally advised that anybody seeking a Plenary Order of Protection be represented by an attorney who can advocate for them during the hearing. Many domestic violence victims have had their voices silenced for so long that it can be frightening or difficult to speak out during a hearing. If you retain an attorney, the attorney will be there to help you and ensure that your rights are protected.

The judge will hear from both sides, evaluate the evidence presented, and then decide whether to grant the protection order. If the respondent does not show up, the judge may grant you the Plenary Order of Protection without the respondent’s input.

Contact our Geneva Order of Protection Lawyers

Our domestic violence attorneys understand how difficult it can be to take legal action against an abuser. However, getting an order of protection is often the first step in escaping the abusive relationship and moving on to a happier, healthier future. Let our Kane County protection order lawyers answer all your questions and guide you through the process of seeking legal protection. Call 630-844-8781 for a confidential consultation to learn more.




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