Judge on the benchThis is the second post in my series on the handling of cases involving an order of protection in Peoria, Illinois. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. I also stressed the need to contact a fathers’ rights lawyer if there has been an Order of Protection filed against you. In this article I will discuss the process that occurs once an order has been issued by the Court. Contact my office today to speak with an attorney if you need assistance.

In the state of Illinois, one may file for a Temporary Restraining Order of Order of Protection if they have been threatened, harassed, stalked, or they are the victim of domestic violence. If an order is granted, the accused will suffer some serious consequences, such as forfeiting the right to possess a firearm and the completion of court-mandated counseling. For those that carry a weapon in the course of their employment, this may be particularly concerning and could result in the loss of one’s job. If an order has been issued and the accused violates that order through any contact with the alleged victim, he or she may be held in contempt and prosecuted for their actions.The violation of an Order of Protection is classified as a Class A Misdemeanor and may result in incarceration of up to 364 days and a fine of up to $2,500. Therefore, refusal to abide by an order can not only lead to fines, but also jail time. This is why it is crucial that you contact a lawyer immediately if an order has been filed against you.

Once an Order of Protection, or restraining order as they are often referred to, has been filed, the Court must decide whether to grant or dismiss the order. It is common for the alleged victim to seek an emergency order as a starting point. Emergency orders are temporary and typically a bit easier to obtain because they involve ex parte proceedings. An ex parte proceeding consists of the party initiating the matter and the Judge issuing a ruling without hearing from the opposition. Because the Judge is only able to hear one side of the story, he or she may decide to err on the side of caution and grant the temporary order. After the order has been granted, the accused will receive notice of the order through service of process. It is important to note that once notice is received, the order must be abided by. The Judge will then schedule a subsequent hearing. This hearing typically occurs within ten days of the defendant receiving notice and is used to determine whether the Order of Protection should be continued. At the hearing both parties are permitted to present evidence and argue for why the order should be continued indefinitely or be suspended. It’s at this time that the accused is given an opportunity to truly be heard.

As I have previously mentioned, an Order of Protection is a serious matter and not one to be taken lightly. In a quest to minimize instances of violence, Judges will often issue emergency orders as a protective measure. This is why it is imperative that you retain counsel to help ensure that your rights will remain protected. Contact my office today to speak with a fathers’ rights lawyer if you need assistance. In addition to Peoria, I also serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford.