How Protective Orders Work in Chicago, Part II

When we last left Kelly, the judge had released her on bond so she may return to Dash Riprock’s waiting arms. That is the good news, but the bad news is that the judge granted a protective order that directed her to stay away from Lizzy. No more texting, calling, or showing up at her work unannounced, like she had done in the past. At this point, because of the procedure in Illinois and the botched police interrogation, the judge has basically only heard one side of the story.

In many other states, Kelly might not be subject to a protective order at all, unless Lizzy could establish a pattern of incidents so disturbing that they made it impossible for Lizzy to live her life and that Kelly either intended to harm Lizzy by acting in this way or behaved recklessly. Illinois law works a little differently, however, so relief may still be available.

Stalking No Contact Orders in Chicago

In the absence of physical violence, which is not the same thing as physical injury, the alleged victim may ask the judge for an SNC order. The judge will grant this order if:

  • There are two or more harassing incidents. Such occasions could be direct contact, such as phone calls or visits, indirect contact (approaching the alleged victim in public or coming onto the alleged victim’s property), or interference with property. “Property” includes a pet.
  • Furthermore, the alleged abuser must know (or should have known) that the alleged conduct would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress.

Indirect contact could also include mailing disturbing items to the alleged victim or leaving such items where the alleged victim is likely to find them.

If the alleged victim shows good cause to believe that the behavior will continue unless the judge acts, the judge will issue an ex parte emergency order which lasts up to 21 days. In addition to no-contact provisions, an emergency order may also require the alleged abuser to surrender owned firearms, at least in some cases. After a hearing, a judge may issue a plenary order that lasts up to two years.

Sexual Assault Civil No Contact Orders

To obtain a protective order, the alleged victim must have some relationship with the alleged abuser. That relationship could be romantic, familial, or social (e.g. roommates). But sexual assault CNC orders require no such relationship. Instead, the alleged abuser must only show that the alleged abuser committed a nonconsensual sexual act. That act does not have to be penetration, but it must be more than workplace sexual harassment.

Procedurally, the same rules apply in terms of EPOs and plenary orders.

The Criminal Offense of Violating an Illinois Protective Order

A 720 ILCS 5/12-3.4 violation is a very serious matter, partially because many judges hand out rather harsh sentences in these cases, and partially because there is no intent element. The prosecutor only needs to prove that the defendant violated the protective order, not that the defendant maliciously violated the order.

Lack of service is not a defense, but lack of knowledge is a defense. There is a difference. If the prosecutor establishes that the defendant probably knew about the order, perhaps because s/he evaded service, the jury can still find the defendant guilty.

Count on Tenacious Lawyers

Alleged victims have several protective order options. For a confidential consultation with an experienced criminal law attorney in Schaumburg, contact Glasgow & Olsson.

(image courtesy of Aaron Mello)

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