Q: How can I get an Order of Protection?
A: An Order of Protection (OP) is a court order issued by a judge to a victim of domestic violence. It orders a person to stay away from the victim and stop any violence, threats of violence or any type of harassment. To be eligible for an Order of Protection the person must be a spouse, former spouse, roommate, family member or one whom you have dated.
There is no cost for an order an Order of Protection and there is trained staff at the State's Attorney's Office that can help.
In order for our office to assist victims with filing an Order of Protection, the following requirements must be met:
There must be some type of relationship between the alleged victim and perpetrator. The following is a list of relationships that qualify:
- Former spouse
- Having allegedly having a child in common
- Sharing or formerly sharing a common dwelling
- Having or having had a dating relationship
- Other person related by blood or marriage
- Sharing a blood relationship through a child
- Personal assistant to person with disabilities or a person who has responsibilities for a high-risk person with disabilities
There must be some type of charges that have been filed against the perpetrator where the person applying for the OP is the victim. The types of charges that qualify may include:
- Domestic battery
- Residential burglary
- Home invasion
- Any of the sex offenses
- Criminal damage to property or trespass (in some circumstances)
There should be no pending charges against the Petitioner, including child support actions.
There should not be a pending divorce UNLESS it is an emergency and the divorce attorney cannot be reached.
Petitioner must have an address for perpetrator or some way in which the perpetrator may be served with the OP.
If a person seeking an Emergency Order of Protection does not qualify under the above standards, he/she should go to Room 118 of the courthouse (Family Clerk) or call 692-6240.
Order of Protection Instructions
Begin by completing the box referring the person seeking protection with your personal information.
Next, check all of the boxes that apply to your type of relationship that you have with the perpetrator.
Next, complete the information pertaining to the perpetrator. A valid address must be supplied in order for the Sheriff's Department to serve the order.
Complete the rest of the second page and the third page with the information pertaining to the incident that occurred that made you seek the OP.
The Judge holds OP hearings at 11:00am and 3:00pm daily. Therefore, in order to have time to meet with someone from the State's Attorney's Office to complete the additional paperwork, it is necessary to arrive at our office by 10:00am to be seen for the 11:00 am hearing or 2:00pm to be seen for the 3:00pm hearing, with the forms completed.
How to Terminate Orders of Protection
Emergency Orders expire on a specified date (14-21 days from entry). Petitioners may file a request to drop their emergency orders in Room 118 of the Courthouse (Family Clerk). However, that motion will not be heard until the original hearing date, therefore the original OP is still in effect after they file their motion to drop. Only a Judge can DROP an OP once it has been entered. Generally, the emergency order will expire on the specified date if the petitioner does not appear for the hearing, but not always.
For Victims: Victim & Witness FAQs | Order of Protection Information