When an abusive relationship begins to endanger one’s life, an Order of Protection may become necessary. The Order of Protection is a legal order issued by a state court which requires one person to stop harming another person. If the abuser fails follow the court’s order, then the victim can report the abuser to the police or the court.
There are three types of Order of Protection:
Emergency Order ~ This can be obtained based solely on the victim’s testimony to a judge. This order can be granted by the judge without prior notice to the abuser and without the abuser being present in court. This order can be filed even on holidays or weekend or when the court is closed. A petition for a 21-day emergency order before any available circuit or associate judge can be filed. This can last till the victim can have a full hearing for a plenary order which is usually within 14-21 days.
Interim Order ~ This order does not require a full court hearing. However, the abuser must have appeared in court or the abuser must know of the date of the victim’s court hearing before the victim can be given an interim order. The Interim Order is often used to protect the victim in between emergency order expiration and the victim’s full court hearing for a plenary order.
Plenary Order ~ This order can be issued after a court hearing in which the victim and the abuser both present evidence and it can last up to two years. Also there is no limit on the number of times the Plenary Order can be renewed.
A petition for an Order of Protection can be filed in any county. However, if the victim is asking for the abuser to be removed from the home as part of the order of protection then the victim can only file in the county in which the home is located.
Unless, the victim is also filing for a divorce along with the order of protection or the victim has gone to a different county to escape the abuse. However, in such a situation the victim can get possession of the home through a judge in a neighboring county as part of an emergency order. Then the case would be transferred to the county in which the home is located to get possession in an interim or plenary order.
To a victim, while undergoing abuse, all this may sound too overwhelming. There are many resources to help with such processes and make it easier. It’s important to remember and remind the domestic abuse victims, that they are not alone and there’s much support for victims.
To learn more about Orders Of Protection CLICK HERE.