Harassment is a serious social problem that can lead to violence and other crimes. A victim of harassment in Chicago can file for a restraining order to stop the harassment. The restraining order may order the harasser to cease the behavior and even making any kind of contact with the victim. Victims in Chicago should learn how to file for a restraining order with the Cook County Circuit Court. A victim can then obtain an order of protection from a judge to stop the harassment.
Determine the basis for the Illinois restraining order. You can get a restraining order in Chicago and throughout the state if you are a family member of the harasser or a member of the same household. In addition to blood relatives and relatives by marriage, you can get a protective order against current and former spouses, dating partners and cohabitants. You can file for an order against the father or mother of your child. Additionally, stepparents and stepchildren also qualify as relatives under Illinois restraining-order law. You can also get an order against someone acting as your caregiver.
Visit the clerk's office at the Cook County Circuit Court. Chicago is in Cook County. Victims in Illinois generally file for protective orders at the Circuit Court in the county where the victim or abuser lives or where the abuse took place. You can visit or call the Cook County Circuit Court clerk with the following contact information:
Richard J. Daley Center Room 1001 50 W. Washington St. Chicago, IL 60602 312-603-5031 cookcountyclerkofcourt.org
Tell the personnel at the clerk's office that you want to file for an emergency protective order. You will receive a packet of information and forms to complete to petition the court for the restraining order. The court personnel will direct you to a judge's court for a hearing.
Appear in the courtroom as directed and give the court clerk the filing papers. The judge will ask you questions. Tell the judge that you want an emergency order of protection and explain your harassment claims. The judge may issue an emergency order of about 14 to 21 days. At any rate, the court will schedule another hearing and order the sheriff to serve the harasser.
Show up at the scheduled hearing to testify. Bring along any evidence or witnesses to bolster your harassment claim. Depending on the situation, you may receive an interim order of protection that lasts up to 30 days or a renewable, plenary order of protection that can last up to two years.
- You can seek the state prosecuting attorney's assistance to get a harassment restraining order in criminal court. Use this option if the state is already prosecuting the harasser.
- You can also file for a protective order for one of your minor children, anyone in your household or an incapacitated adult.
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