Orders of Protection and what are they?
An Order of Protection can be granted when the Petitioner (person seeking the order) can demonstrate to the Court that there is a risk of harm to the protected party/parties named in the Order of Protection from the Respondent (person the order will be against). A protected party can be the petitioner, and/or can be minor children, elderly persons, or persons not able to obtain the order on their own that can be named by the Petitioner. An Order of Protection differs from a restraining order in that for an Order of Protection there has to be some sort of familial or residential relationship (past or present) between the parties. This means related by blood or marriage, adoption, roommates, dating relationship.
There are a few types of orders of protection. When a Petitioner goes to court without giving the Respondent notice that they are going they are seeking an Emergency Order of Protection. This is granted on the theory that if the Respondent knew the Petitioner were seeking the Order, they would prevent the Petitioner from doing so or further harm may occur to the Petitioner. With an emergency Order of Protection, a hearing must be held within 21 days. The Respondent is served by the sheriff with notice of the Order and the hearing date and must appear or the Order will be granted without them. The Respondent can defend themselves and present their case why the order should not be granted or agree to the order on some or all of its terms. If an order is granted after notice given to the Respondent that is called a Plenary Order of Protection and can be issued for a period up to 2 years.
What can be included in the Order of Protection?
The order is to prevent the Respondent from certain behavior or acts to the protected parties. This can be harassment, abuse, neglect. The order can keep the Respondent from the residence of the protected parties, from their school or workplace, from going near certain property or their car. It can allow the Respondent to be in the residence but not consume alcohol while being there. The order can take visitation or custody away from a Respondent if minor children are protected parties. Or the order can allow visitation but prevent removing the minor children from the jurisdiction, state or country. Basically, a Judge can prevent behavior or contact in many ways through an Order of Protection.
What are the ramifications of having an Order of Protection against you?
Other than whatever the Judge orders you to do or not do in the order, you are not allowed a FOID or to possess any firearms while you have an Order of Protection against you. This Order will show up in background checks by the police and possibly employers although it is important to note that having an Order of Protection against you is NOT a conviction for any crime. If you violate the Order of Protection that is when you would be charged with a crime. Having the Order in itself is not a crime.
Until a Judge terminates or vacates (ends) the Order of Protection it is still open against you. Even if the Petitioner tells you they changed their mind and invite you over to their house, if you are prohibited from being at that house by the Order (or any Court order) you will be in violation. The Petitioner can tell the police or come to court and tell the Judge that they asked you and that they do not want to prosecute and it will NOT matter, the case against you for violating the order can go forward.
What if you are charged with Violating an Order of Protection?
If you are found guilty or plead guilty to Order of Protection supervision is not allowable for this offense by law, only a conviction. In addition, a Judge would likely extend the Order beyond the initial period of a violation has occurred during that initial time.
For questions regarding Orders of Protection or representation in obtaining or defending an Order, please contact me
Lynn Palac 847-404-9311