Order of Protection Information
Welcome to our Order of Protection information pages! Please click on the links below for helpful information about the Order of Protection process in DuPage County. This information will assist you in determining whether you qualify for an Order and will prepare you to come to court. If after reading through this information you have questions about whether you qualify for an Order, please contact the Family Shelter Service Court Advocacy Office at 630-407-8813. For a printer friendly version of this information, click here.
An Order of Protection (OP) is a court order that is designed to protect victims of domestic violence. It is issued by a judge and tells the Respondent (the person accused of abuse) what he/she can or cannot do. It is enforceable in all 50 states.
If you are unsure whether you are a victim of domestic abuse, click here for a Checklist of Abusive Behaviors.
The victim (or Petitioner) must have, or have had in the past, a familial or dating relationship with the abusive person (or Respondent). Qualifying relationships include:
- Spouse or former spouse
- Current or past dating relationship
- Having a child together
- Parent, child, stepchild, or other family relationship
- Current or former roommate
- Personal assistant/caretaker of person with disabilities
If you do not have one of these types of relationships with the Respondent, a private attorney may be able to assist you with a Civil Restraining Order. For a Legal Resources List, click here.
Each case is unique, and the judge will always have the final decision. However, there are a few factors that the judge will look for:
- Abusive or threatening incident within the past 3 business days or so
- Incidents can include verbal attacks, threats of harm, harassment, stalking, or physical abuse.
- Incidents do NOT need to have been reported to the police
- History of such behaviors that are escalating
- Fear that the abuse would escalate if the Respondent knew you were taking legal action.
A Petitioner can file in the County where:
- The Petitioner lives or, if having fled the abuse, now temporarily resides
- The Respondent lives
- The abuse occurred
If filing in DuPage County, there are four ways to obtain an OP
- If you are being represented in a Divorce or Family case, consult your attorney about an OP. He/she may assist you or direct you to the agencies listed below.
- If Respondent has been arrested or there is a warrant, contact the State’s Attorneys Office in the Judicial Annex, 2nd floor (phone # 630-407-8000). For more information about how the court handles criminal cases, click here.
- Otherwise, you may contact:
- The Family Shelter Service Court Advocate office, 3rd floor directly in front of the escalator (phone # 630-407-8813).
- The DuPage County Clerk’s Office, 1st floor (phone # 630-407-8700).
- If you choose, you may begin the Order of Protection process on your own by visiting www.illinoisprotectionorder.org. This secure website allows you to begin your petition from any safe computer. Help documents included on the website can guide you through the petition process. If you use this option, please do not hesitate to contact the advocacy resources listed above when you arrive at the courthouse. They can provide valuable assistance in the courtroom and connect you with supportive resources.
Petitioning for an OP usually requires coming to the DuPage County Courthouse, located at 505 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton, IL 60187.
***Important Note: No camera phones are allowed in the courthouse.
It is usually best to petition as soon as possible after the most recent abusive incident, preferably within 3 business days. The DuPage County Courthouse & the Family Shelter Service Court Advocate Office are open Monday through Friday. The best times to come are:
- Mornings, 8:00 – 10:00 (the judge leaves the bench at 11:30 a.m.)
- Afternoons, 1:30 – 2:00 (the judge leaves the bench at 3:30 p.m.)
Petitioning usually takes about 2-3 hours if there are no delays.
There is no cost for filing, serving, or getting certified copies of an OP. However, a private attorney may charge for his/her assistance in obtaining an OP.
- A detailed list of abusive incidents beginning with the most recent. For more information click on How to Write Your Statement & downloadable Statement Page.
- Any evidence of abuse, like harassing letters or emails, voice mail messages, photos of injuries, etc.
- An address where it is safe for you to receive mail.
- An address where the Respondent can be served copies. This can be either a home or work address.
- A description of the Respondent, including date of birth, Social Security Number, hair & eye color, approximate height & weight, etc.
- The addresses to be protected, like your residence, work, school, & children’s schools /daycares.
- Your receipt number, if you began your petition on your own at www.illinoisprotectionorder.org
It is usually best not to bring children. Children are not allowed in the courtroom. If you are unable to make other child care arrangements, there is a FREE childcare center on the 1st floor of the DuPage County Courthouse, called Safe Harbor. For more information, click here. It is best to first drop off your children at Safe Harbor before proceeding to other locations in the building.
An Emergency Order of Protection (EOP) is the first step in the Order of Protection process. Emergency Orders are temporary, lasting 14-21 days. After this, extensions may be requested. For more information about the rest of the OP process, please click here.
An OP provides a variety of protections for your safety. You may request any remedies which apply to your situation. You may disregard any remedies which do not apply or which you do not desire. The Judge will consider the circumstances and has the final decision about which remedies to grant.
The following remedies appear on an Order of Protection:
- Forbid Respondent from committing further acts or threats of abuse, harassment, or stalking.
- Remove Respondent from your residence.
- Prohibit Respondent from being present in your home while under the influence of drugs/alcohol
- Prohibit Respondent from entering your place of employment, school, etc.
- Prohibit Respondent from taking or damaging your property.
- Restrict or deny Respondent’s visitation with the children
- Order Respondent to pay temporary support
- Order Respondent to pay you for losses due to abuse, like medical bills, attorney’s fees, property damage, etc.
- Order Respondent to turn over firearms to law enforcement.
- Order Respondent to participate in counseling. For more information on DuPage County’s Partner Abuse Intervention Program, go to DuPage County’s Domestic Violence Program.