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Order of Protection

Are you safe?

If you believe you or your children are unsafe and you are in the Rockford, IL / Winnebago County, IL area, you can also seek help through the Rockford Family Peace Center. You can also contact the National 24 Hour Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

Learn more about Orders of Protection with Attorney Zach Townsend and Michelle Michaels on Good Day Stateline.

If you are the victim of physical abuse, verbal abuse, or harassment, you may need an order of protection. Orders of protection come in over one thousand varieties, and go well beyond restrictions on contact. Nearly all orders of protection make it a crime for the Respondent to contact the Petitioner, but, thereafter, each order of protection can take on a life of its own. Many orders of protection name multiple “protected parties,” which can include the adult or minor children of the petitioning or responding party.

When a child is named as a “protected party” against a parent, orders of protections often come with child support obligations, restrictions on visitation, and the denial of other parental rights. In addition to child related issues, orders of protection are sometimes used to address personal property issues, or to remove someone from their own home. Moreover, the Court can require the turnover of guns, and the Court can even require the respondent to wear a GPS tracking device.

Most people do not realize that orders of protection are not just for people in physically abusive relationships. Orders of protection are granted for verbal and emotional abuse as well, harassment, and willful deprivation. Hiding or concealing a minor child, threatening to hide or conceal a minor child, as well as neglect are all reasons for an order of protection to be granted. A respondent’s history of using guns makes an order of protection more likely to be granted.

Orders of protection can have serious consequences to your FOID card. If you are the respondent in an order of protection, you typically lose your right to carry weapons too. In other words, the respondent usually loses their FOID card and also has their concealed carry license revoked as well. You will need to refer to the order protection itself in order to determine whether the respondent gun rights have been affected.

How Do I File a Restraining Order?

When orders of protection are not an option, our law firm often pursues other restraining orders. Orders of temporary relief and stalking no contact orders are often a second line of defense for victims of abuse. Unlike stalking no contact orders, orders of protection require a romantic or familial relationship with the Respondent

Stalking No Contact Orders

Orders of Protection are granted frequently to Petitioners represented by Rockford lawyers. Orders of Protection, sometimes referred to as “restraining orders,” are orders of the Court that prohibits contact between two people. The individual requesting the order of protection is known as the petitioner, and the person against whom the order of protection is sought is known as the respondent. Orders of protection come with a specific requirement, you must be related to the respondent as a boyfriend or girlfriend, former spouse, family member, or similar type of relative. Unless you are seeking an order of protection against a current or former family or household member, you will not have standing to make the request for order of protection and your petition will be dismissed.

For people that are seeking an order of protection against someone who is not a family member, you have an option for relief: stalking no contact orders are available at the Winnebago County Courthouse. The stalking no contact order is a close cousin to the order of protection. Stalking no contact orders, just like orders of protection, are enforced by the police and have FOID card revocation consequences. Lastly, just like order of protection offenders, individuals who violate stalking no contact orders can be arrested and charged with a criminal misdemeanor or felony.

If you need help filling for an Order of Protection or a Stalking No Contact Order, or need representation as you navigate the legal process because you have had an Order of Protection filed against you, Attorney Zach Townsend can help.  Schedule a free legal consultation today.

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