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Services and Resources

Orders of Protection

Answers to Commonly Asked  Questions

What is the Illinois Domestic Violence Act?
The Illinois Domestic Violence Act ("IDVA") Is a law that relates specifically to family and house-hold members.  Under IDVA, a circuit court judge can order and  forbid a family or household member from continuous abusive behavior by granting an Order of Protection.

What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is described as  abusive behavior when a family or household  member uses physical or mental maltreatment  toward another family or household member. The  IDVA uses the following terms as abuse:

 1. Physical abuse
 2. Harassment
 3. Intimidation of a dependent
 4. Interference with personal liberty
 5. Willful deprivation
 6. Exploitation
 7. Stalking

What is an  Order of Protection?
An Order of Protection is a court order  made in writing which prohibits,  by law,  further abusive behavior.

Who are persons considered to  be family or household members?
The IDVA defines members to include:

 1. A spouse
 2. Ex-spouse
 3. Girlfriend/boyfriend who have or have had a dating or engagement relationship
 4. Parents
 5. Children
 6. Stepchildren
 7. Significant other/partner
 8. Persons who share or allege to have a  blood relationship through a child
 9. Persons who live together or formerly  lived together
 10. Persons with disabilities and their  personal assistants

How much will an Order of  Protection Cost?
It's free. The IDVA states that  there are no fees charged for filing and Order of  Protection.

How can I file for an Order of  Protection?
If you wish to file criminal  charges,  the Cook County State's Attorney will  represent you. You may start the process with  your local police, the State's Attorney, at  your local court criminal division or with an appropriate advocate group or shelter .

Criminal charges may  result in the arrest, conviction and sentencing of the defendant/abuser. If you do NOT wish to press criminal charges, you  may still  make a police report and seek an Order  of Protection in a civil court. A private  attorney, law firm or legal assistance agency can represent you. You may  choose to represent yourself; this is called  "pro se." There is no arrest or  sentencing with non-criminal cases.

 Where  can I file for an Order of Protection?
You can file and request a hearing  before a circuit court judge in any one of the  courthouses located throughout Cook County.  Determination on  where to file and request a  hearing must be based on court jurisdiction.  Below is a description of courts and their  requirements for Order of Protection:

CENTRALIZED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE COURT FACILITY: All Clerk of the Circuit Court Domestic Violence Court services will be available at the New Domestic Court Violence Court Facility which is located at 555 West Harrison Street, Chicago, IL 60607 (Criminal - (312) 325-9500; Civil - (312) 325-9006 or 9037).

CRIMINAL COURT: Orders of Protection can be granted in criminal court with the assistance of a State's Attorney and through the prosecution of an underlying criminal charge. Cook County is divided in to 6 districts. Centralized Domestic Violence Court is located at 555 West Harrison Street, Chicago, IL 60607 (312-325-9500). This courthouse is for prosecution of misdemeanor domestic violence cases that originate within the City of Chicago; felony domestic violence cases are heard at 2600 S. California. Please refer to the listing of courthouses by village for Districts 2 - 6.

CIVIL COURT: Orders of Protection can be granted in civil court with the assistance of an attorney or by a  pro-se litigant. A petition for a civil Order of  Protection can be filed at the:

Domestic Violence Court Facility
555 West Harrison
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 325-9006 or (312) 325-9037

If there is a pending or prior divorce, or separation case, a petition for an Order of Protection can be filed in the:

Domestic Relations Division
Richard J. Daley Center, Room 802
Chicago, Illinois

If there is a pending case to  have an established guardian/parent child  relationship, a petition for an Order of  Protection can be filed in the:

 Child Support Division
 28 N. Clark St., Rm. 200
 Chicago, Illinois 60602
 (312)345-4036 TDD* (312) 345-4004

In connection with a delinquency  petition or the criminal prosecution of a  juvenile, an Order of Protection can be filed and  petitioned in the :

Juvenile Justice Division
1100 S. Hamilton, Room 101
Chicago, Illinois
(312)433-6872 tdd* (312)433-7807

If parties involved have a  pending estate case or if there are guardianship  proceedings, a petition for an Order of  protection can be filed in the :

 Probate Division
 Richard J. Daley Center, room 1202
 Chicago, Illinois
 (312)603-6441 TDD * (312) 603-6888

How do I  determine which courthouse to file for an Order of Protection?
If you are involved in a pending case, you may be able to file in that proceeding.  If your complaint arises out of criminal conduct, you may wish to file in criminal court.  The State's Attorney can give you advice in this regard.  In any event, you can direct questions to the Clerk's Domestic Violence Liaison, Kathleen Monahan at (312) 325-9467.

How long does an Order of  Protection last?
Your attorney or court advocate can  best answer this  question for you. There are  three types of Orders of Protection. Each type  may be granted for a specific length of time.

 1. EMERGENCY ORDER OF  PROTECTION: This order can be in effect for a  14 to 21 day period.

 2.  INTERIM ORDER OF PROTECTION: This order can  be effective for up to a period of 30 days.

 3. PLENARY  ORDER OF PROTECTION: This order can be in  effect for a fixed period of time, not to exceed  2 years, unless otherwise provided for by the  court. This order can also expire by the  occurrence of a specific event

What is  the Illinois Stalking Law?
As of July, 1992, the offense of  stalking became a crime in the  State of Illinois.  If you believe you are a stalking victim, contact  your local police.


Richard J. Daley Center
50 W. Washington
Chicago, Illinois 60602
(312) 603-5030

Centralized  Domestic Violence Court Facility
1st Municipal District
555 West Harrison
Chicago, Illinois 60607
(312) 325-9500,
(312) 325-9006, or (312) 325-9037


Criminal Courts Building
(Felony Matters/Illinois Stalking Law)
2600 S. California, Room 526
Chicago, Illinois 60608
(773) 869-3140
TDD *(733) 869-7711

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