Orders of Protection

If you are thinking about getting an Order of Protection in LaSalle County, look at this checklist first to find out if you meet the basic requirements for this kind of case.

1. Relationship to the Respondent
  The person needing protection (this is probably you) is called the “Petitioner” and the “Respondent” is the person that you want protection from. How are you related to the Respondent?
 
We are married, or we used to be married (husband, wife, spouse).
We are dating each other, or we used to date (boyfriend, girlfriend, intimate partner).
We have a child together.
We are family members (parent, child, sibling, step-parent, step-child, or other family relationship).
We live together, or we used to live together (roommate, housemate, live-in partner).
I have a disability, and the Respondent is my caregiver (personal assistant).
  You must be able to check at least one of these boxes. An Order of Protection only covers these kinds of domestic relationships. If you are not related to the Respondent in any of these ways, then you can´t get an Order of Protection. However, you may be able to get a different kind of civil order. For other situations, you may contact an attorney to find out if you can get a Civil Restraining Order. Remember, you may always call the police if you are afraid or need help, even if you do not have an Order of Protection.
2. Recent Incident of Abuse or Threat
  Orders of Protection are meant to prevent future abuse. Abuse can be physical or sexual (grabbing, pushing, hitting, kicking, choking, forcing you to do things you do not want to do), verbal or harassing (threats to hurt you, repeated phone calls or text messages), stalking (following you) or other similar behaviors. It is okay if you have not called the police. You may still be able to get an Order of Protection.There are a few things that the judge will look for. Which of these are true for you right now?
 
The Respondent has done something abusive (physical, verbal, harassing or stalking).
This abuse happened recently.
The Respondent has a history of abuse toward you or other people.
The abuse is getting worse, or you think the abuse would get worse if the Respondent knew you were trying to get an Order of Protection.
  You must be able to check most, if not all, of these boxes. An Order of Protection is given when something abusive is happening right now. If you are not sure whether what happened to you is abuse, or if an abuse happened recently, you may want to talk to an advocate or lawyer before you ask a judge for an Order of Protection. Remember that you may always call the police if you are afraid or need help.
3. Location
  It is important to go to the right courthouse for Orders of Protection. Which of these are true for you?
 
I (the Petitioner) live in LaSalle County.
The Respondent lives in LaSalle County.
The abuse happened in LaSalle County.
I (the Petitioner) fled to LaSalle County for my safety, and I am living here for right now to stay safe.
  You must be able to check at least one of these boxes. If none of these are true for you, then you will need to get your Order of Protection in a different county. Usually, it is best to go to the courthouse in the county where you live, or where the abuse happened.
If you don’t know how to file this petition, please call or visit the website of the following legal agencies.  ADV & SAS a Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Service

We hope the information presented here will help your understanding of the circuit court system as it relates to Domestic Violence and guide you to the resources within the community that may be available to you.  If you do meet these three basic requirements, then you may be able to get an Order of Protection in LaSalle County.

To get started, go online to http://www.illinoisprotectionorder.org

Questions About Domestic Violence:

• What is the Illinois Domestic Violence Act?

The Illinois Domestic Violence Act (IDVA) is a law that relates specifically to family and household 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 an Order of Protection?

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

• What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is described as abusive behavior when a family or household member uses physical or mental maltreatment towards 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

 

• 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 an Order of Protection.

• How can I file for an Order of Protection?

If you wish to file criminal charges, the LaSalle County State’s Attorney will represent you. You may start the process with your local police, the State’s Attorney 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 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”. The Circuit Clerk’s Office will guide you in filling out the needed forms. There is no arrest or sentencing with a civil Order of Protection.

• Where can I file for an Order of Protection?

Criminal Court: Orders of Protection can be granted in criminal court with the assistance of a State’s Attorney only through the prosecution of an underlying criminal charge. Criminal court is located at 707 Etna Road, Ottawa.

 

Civil Court: Orders of Protection can be granted in civil court with the assistance of an attorney, on your own, or with the help of an advocate. A petition for a civil Order of Protection can be filed at 119 W. Madison Street Room 201, Ottawa.

• 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.

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

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

  • 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 department.

 

If you need help with a situation involving domestic violence and do not know where to turn, there are many Legal Assistance, Court Advocacy, and Social Service Organizations that provide a variety of services to victims of domestic violence. Please visit our Links page for additional resources that may be available to you involving domestic violence.

 

Circuit Clerk

Greg Vaccaro

Phone / Hours

Child Support Division:

Phone: 815-433-0774
Fax: 815-433-9198
119 W. Madison Street, Room 200
Ottawa, IL 61350

Civil Division:

Phone: 815-434-8671
Fax: 815-433-6647
119 W. Madison Street, Room 201
Ottawa, IL 61350

Traffic/Criminal Division:

Phone: 815-434-8271
Fax: 815-434-8299
707 Etna Road, Room 141
Ottawa, IL 61350

Office Hours:

8:00am - 4:30pm
Monday - Friday

Walk-in Divorce

Mon, Wed, Fri
9:00am - 10:00am

Walk-in Probate/Guardianship

Tues, Wed, Thurs
9:00am - 10:00am