Orders of Protection
Orders of Protection/civil no contact/stalking orders are filed in the Circuit Clerk's Office. If you are in need of protection from an abusive spouse, life partner or intimate acquaintance, you can to come to the 1st floor of the Justice Center and file the appropriate documents or e-file them online. The forms are available online or in person for you to use. View our court forms page to access the forms.
Litigants who wish to file an order of protection case will need to file a Certificate of Exemption from mandatory e-filing per Supreme Court Rule 9(c)(4) if wishing to be exempt. The form is available on our court forms page.
- Are there any filing or service charges to get an Order of Protection?
Illinois law states there is no filing fee with the Court or fee to serve the Abuser/Respondent the Order of Protection by the Sheriff. There also should be no charge for certifying the Order.
- In which County should I file for an Order of Protection?
If you are filing for an Order of Protection (OP) in Civil Court, you should file a Petition for an Order of Protection in one of the following:
- The county where you live, or
- The county where the abuser lives, or
- The county where the abuse happened, or
- The county you had to flee to seek shelter.
- What happens when the Order of Protection is violated?
A violation occurs when the abuser/respondent commits further abuse or trespasses on any property where forbidden to by the Order of Protection (OP). The abuser can be arrested and may be subject to jail and/or a fine. Even if an arrest is not made, the Victim/Petitioner can contact the State’s Attorneys Office regarding the violation. Violations of an order may be considered contempt of court and may result in fine or imprisonment.
- What will happen in the Order of Protection process?
An Order of Protection can be filled out by yourself, with your attorney or if applicable, with a domestic violence advocate. You will be asked to list the most recent Obtain a Petition for an Order of Protection from the Clerk’s Office at the County Courthouse. The forms act of abusive or threatening behavior and any history of such behavior. You should describe in detail any injuries you received, any weapons used and if anyone else was present, including children. You will be asked to provide information about the Abuser/Respondent, including an address and birth date.
Go through all the remedies listed on the Petition and choose the ones that will address safety for you and your children. A judge will read your petition, ask you some questions and grant or deny the Order of Protection. If the judge grants the Emergency Order of Protection (EOP), the EOP is not in effect until the Abuser/Respondent is served with the Order.
A hearing will be held approximately 2 to 3 weeks after the EOP was granted at which time the court will decide whether to grant or deny a Plenary Order of Protection. The court will also determine how long the order will be in effect; a Plenary Order of Protection can be valid for up to two years. The Plenary Order may be modified or terminated during the time period it is in place. The Order can be extended by the judge after it expires if the abuse continued during the two-year period.
- Where do I get an Order of Protection?
A Victim/Petitioner applies for an Order of Protection at the appropriate County Courthouse. There are three ways to obtain an Order of Protection:
- Criminal Court
- Civil Court in an action by itself
- Civil Court in connection with a divorce, child support, parentage or other civil case
If a Victim/Petitioner is seeking an order of protection on their own (option #3) she/he may be eligible for support and assistance from the following agencies at no charge (You may also contact one of the resources to help you with the forms and process), view a list of Order of Protection resources.
Disclaimer: Circuit Court Clerk staff are prohibited from providing legal advice.