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Everything You Need to Know About Orders of Protection in Illinois

There a 3 ways an Order of Protection can start in Illinois:

  1. If a person independently appears in court and files a petition for an order of protection asking for one to be entered
  2. In conjunction with another civil case when a person files a petition with the same case number as a pending case, usually in connection with a divorce or probate case
  3. In conjunction with a criminal or delinquency case, the order of protection can be entered and follow along with the criminal or delinquency case.


  • Civil No Contact Order – generally protects victims of sexual assault
  • Stalking No Contact Order- protects people who are the victims of stalking behavior
  • Order of Protection- protects people who are family or household members

750 ILCS 5/60-103(6) defines “family or household member” – includes dating relationships, people who were formerly married or have a child in common, people who used to live together, and caretakers for people who are older or have disabilities.

A civil order of protection is brought by a person who feels they need protection from another person.

LENGTHS (750 ILCS 60/220):

  • An Emergency Order of Protection is what can be issued right away by a judge without the other party being there (this is called ex parte when only one party is present). It is good for 14-21 days.
  • An Interim Order of Protection is good for 30 days and is usually granted once an emergency order is set to expire, the interim order of protection continues to protect the person while the case is pending. For instance, it takes some time for a hearing to be held for a more permanent or longer order of protection so while the court process is happening, often interim orders are entered to continue that protection.
  • A Plenary Order of Protection is good for a fixed period of time up to two years. Unfortunately there is no order of protection that is good forever.
  • However, any of these 3 orders of protections may be extended one or more times.

A violation of a civil order of protection can be a criminal offense. If so, the violator will be arrested and charged with a crime in a separate proceeding.


In Chicago, a civil no contact order, a stalking no contact order or an order of protection will be heard at 555 W. Harrison, Chicago, IL. These cases can also be heard in the Skokie, Maywood, Bridgeview, Markham or Rolling Meadows courthouses if they are outside the downtown area. However, cases that are filed with a pending divorce case will be heard where that case is pending, such as Daley Center at 50 W. Washington, or any of the suburban courthouses in Cook County.

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