FAQ: Served with Order of Protection?

Having an Illinois order of protection against you can be scary. That’s why you need an Illinois order of protection defense lawyer. Representing yourself is risky, and increases the chance that you will be stuck with an order or protection against you. Check out his FAQ about being served with an order of protection.

What is an order or protection?

An order of protection is a court order which prohibits an accused person from taking certain actions relative to the accuser. For example, the accused person could be prohibited from the following:

  1. Being in the same place as the accused
  2. Contacting the accuser by any method, such as phone and/email
  3. Going to the accuser’s workplace
  4. Going to the accuser’s home
  5. Taking certain property from the accuser
  6. Going to a home that is shared with the accuser
  7. Having contact with kids where the accuser is the other parent
  8. Posting things on social media about the accuser

Orders of protection are sometimes called “restraining orders.” In Illinois, however, the correct term is “order of protection.

Is an order of protection criminal, or civil?

An order of protection case can be civil, or criminal. Aside from this particular part of this article, the rest of the article is about civil orders of protection, because we don’t handle criminal law (but we can refer you to a criminal defense attorney).

Civil orders of protection are obtained by a person who makes an accusation, called the petitioner, against an accused person, the respondent. But for the sake of this article, we will refer to the person asking for the order of protection as the accuser, and we will refer to the person defending against the order of protection as the accused.

Why didn’t I know about the court date?

Perhaps you were surprised when a sheriff’s deputy showed up and served you with an emergency order of protection.

You might feel alarmed, and scared. And you might wonder how someone could get an order of protection against you without the court having given you any chance to defend yourself.

The reasons there might be an order of protection against you before you’ve had a chance to go to court is because the law allows for the accuser to obtain an order of protection without having provided any notice to the accused. That type of order of protection is called an “emergency order of protection.”

It is very easy to get an emergency order of protection. Obviously, an accuser can go into court, make up lies that seem kind of bad, and without the accused person there, the judge can order an emergency order of protection.

But after the accuser gets the emergency order of protection, the accused has the right to a court hearing.

What if I didn’t do it?

If you tell me you “didn’t do it,” I’ll probably believe you until I see proof otherwise.

Accusers often get orders of protections as a way to get revenge against an ex, or a way to get the upper-hand in an Illinois divorce.

Here are some claims that have been made about my past clients, and the facts that prove they were untrue:

  1. Rape: The accuser claimed she was raped by my client on Father’s Day. But on that day he was in Illinois, and the accuser’s Facebook page showed she was on a float trip – in Michigan!
  2. Phone harassment: The accuser claimed my client was harassing her by calling her “all day, everyday” for a week. Did the accuser forget about phone records? It turns out my client only called the accuser 4 times in one week.
  3. Verbal harassment: The accuser filed an emergency petition for order of protection claiming that the accused verbally harassed her over many months until she finally got the courage to move out. She said he was so horrible that she could barely function. But the evidence told a different story. Even after the accuser moved out, she went to dinner with my client, took road trips, and had him over to her place. After I proved all that, her credibility was shot.

What if the accuser is a great liar?

If you think the accuser is a great liar, you might be worried that the lies will hold up in court.

But often, they don’t. That’s because the accuser has probably never been cross-examined before, and has probably never had to testify in court.

My cross examination has lead to liars crying, and passing out. Chances are, the person who you think is a great liar is only a frequent liar that lacks the skill of a truly “great” liar.

Can I represent myself in an order of protection?

You can certainly represent yourself in an Illinois order of protection case.

If you do, you will likely fail for the following reasons:

  1. You don’t know the rules of evidence, so you cannot use evidence you want to use.
  2. You don’t know how to gather the evidence that would help you.
  3. You don’t know how to cross examine someone
  4. You don’t know the law
  5. You are too worried an emotional about the accusations being made against you
  6. The accuser’s lawyer is probably a lot more skilled at litigation than you are

Should I just agree to an order of protection?

Some people call me and tell me that plan to agree to the order of protection since they don’t want to see accuser again.

That’s totally stupid.

Employers and potential employers could find out about an order of protection against you, and that could cost you a job.

So imagine if someone filed a petition for an order of protection against you, and it was filled with extravagant lies about all the atrocities you committed, then a judge granted an order of protection, and then a potential employer (or someone else) look it up. Whoever checked out the file would probably think all the allegations are true.

How do a I get an order of protection lawyer?

If you are looking for an Illinois order of protection lawyer, you’ve come to the right place. We have phenomenal experience in defending people against unwarranted attempts to get an order of protection.

About the author: Contact Illinois family law attorney David Wolkowitz at 312-554-5433 or online. He is a family law and divorce attorney serving Chicago and the Counties of Cook, Champaign, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will. Areas of practice include divorce, uncontested divorce, child custody, visitation, spousal maintenance, child support, and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction & Enforcement Act (the “UCCJEA”).