Order of Protection

What is an Order of Protection?

An OP is a written court order, signed by a judge, which requires an abusive household or family member (including someone in a dating relationship) to do or not do certain things. It can order an abuser to stay away completely, to stop all abusive behavior while allowing contact, and/or it can order an abuser to leave the household for the duration of the OP. It can protect you and other household members.

How long will the Order of Protection last?

An Emergency Order of Protection lasts up to 21 days. During the 21 days, law enforcement will attempt to serve the abuser with the order. At the next court date, a judge can grant a Plenary Order of Protection that can last up to two years. At any point an Order of Protection can be modified to suit your needs.

What does an individual need to bring to court to get an Order of Protection?

At the emergency hearing try to know the abuser’s date of birth and current address. At the plenary hearing bring evidence (photographs of injuries, hospital or doctor reports, police reports, threatening voicemail messages, witnesses, etc.) to try to convince the judge that abuse has taken place.

For support in obtaining an Order of Protection:

If you live in Mercer County, call the Family Crisis Center at (309) 582-7233. The legal advocates at the Family Crisis Center will assist you in completing the required paper work.