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Changes to Illinois Order of Protection Laws

Man puts his hand between conflicting persons. Avoidance violence, preventing conflict escalation. Stop fight, ceasefire. Find a compromise. Lawsuit trial. Witnesses protection. Mediator services.

An order of protection, also known as a restraining order, is a court order that protects the holder (the petitioner) from certain actions by the person named in the order. The order may prohibit the named subject from harming or harassing the petitioner and may restrict the subject from contacting the petitioner or visiting certain locations. Protection orders are a common outcome from domestic abuse charges or allegations of domestic violence brought in connection with family law proceedings. Illinois recently enacted changes to the process for obtaining orders of protection in order to offer additional protection for victims of domestic abuse. The changes became effective at the beginning of this year. To learn about the 2020 changes to the Illinois order of protection laws, continue reading. Reach out to a Chicago family law and criminal defense attorney if you have been the victim of domestic violence, or if you have been wrongfully accused of domestic abuse and made the subject of an unjustified order of protection.

2020 Amendments to the Order of Protection Laws

The Illinois legislature passed and the governor signed amendments to the Stalking No Contact Order Act, the No Contact Order Act, and the Domestic Violence Act. The amendments went into effect this year. Prior to 2020, if a petitioner filed to obtain an order of protection, the respondent (the alleged domestic violence perpetrator) would be immediately notified that there was an order of protection filed against them. This encouraged some abusers to contact and threaten the petitioners, and make matters worse. Now, the protective orders and the order granting the petition are confidential until they are served on the respondent. For respondents, this might mean that their opportunity to contest an overly strict or unjustified order of protection could be delayed.

The Illinois Domestic Violence Act was also amended to require swifter action by courts when dealing with emergency petitions for protection or no-contact orders. Now, if an emergency order of protection or no-contact order is issued on a court holiday or at night, the court must immediately file a certified copy with the sheriff or other law enforcement official charged with maintaining Illinois State Police records, rather than waiting until the next regular court day.


If you are facing divorce, domestic violence, or any other family law matter in Illinois, contact the compassionate and effective Carol Stream family law attorneys at Johnson, Westra, Broecker, Whittaker & Newitt for a consultation on your case at 630-665-9600.

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