The Illinois Domestic Violence Act (IDVA) is found at 750 ILCS 60/et seq. The purpose of the IDVA is to prohibit abuse, reduce the abuser's access to the victim, and address any related issues such as child custody and economic support. Abuse per the IDVA, 750 ILCS 60/103 is defined as:Physical abuseHarassment (repeatedly calling, following, threats of force, confinement, restraint)Intimidation of a dependentInterference with personal libertyWillful deprivationThere are two main types of Orders of Protection, an Emergency Order Protection (EOP) and a Plenary Order of Protection (POP). The specific part of the IDVA governing an EOP is 750 ILCS 60/217 and 750 ILCS 60/219 for a POP. An EOP is granted ex parte and lasts for 14-21 days, but can be extended. A POP is a final order that can last up to two years. A third type of order, an Interim Order of Protection (IOP), is sometimes used. An IOP is a temporary order that can last for up to 30 days.This Guide Me will allow you to navigate both the EOP and POP processes efficiently to better serve your client.Under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act, Who Can File a Petition and Who Is Protected? Per the IDVA, 750 ILCS 60/201, a petition can be filed by a person who has been the victim of abuse at the hands of either:A family member orA household memberThe IDVA protects the:VictimChildren or dependant adults in the victim's careOther household membersPeople employed by the victim's home such as a babysitterWhat Needs to be Included in the Petition for an Order of Protection? The structure of the petition is as follows:Basic information about parties (establishes statutory relationship, venue, and jurisdiction over parties and minor children)Allegations made as to specific remedies (the allegations need to be put in your client's affidavit)Remedies requested (the remedies follow the allegation section)It is important to remember that for the EOP, unlike the POP, the Petitioner must allege that would be at greater risk of further harm if the Respondent knew the Petitioner was trying to get the order of protection. 750 ILCS 60/217(3).Keep in mind that there is not a separate petition for an EOP and a POP in Cook County. There is only one petition and this petition can serve as the basis for both the EOP & POP.The Petitioner is your client and the Respondent is the party who your client is alleging abused her.What Needs to be in the Affidavit Attached to the Petition? Petitioner's relationship with the Respondent (nature of relationship, whether there are any children in common, if they ever lived together, and when they separated);Incidents of abuse (This should be presented in reverse chronological order. It is necessary to include the last incident, date, location, who was present);Need for order of protection (list types of further abuse that client fears and who may fall victim to further abuse); andEmergency nature of case (establish that the harm she seeks to prevent would likely if Respondent were given notice about the order of protection).See "Sample Affidavit" in the Related Articles section of this Guide Me to further assist you in drafting your client's affidavit.What Is and How Does One Obtain the Remedy of Exclusive Possession? Exclusive possession is the prohibition of Respondent from entering or remaining in any residence, household, or premises of the Petitioner including one owned or leased by the Respondent. 750 ILCS 60/214(b)(2). In order for the court to grant the Petitioner exclusive possession, the Petitioner must prove:(1) She has a right to occupancy 750 ILCS 60/214(b)(2)(A); and,If the Respondent also has a right to occupancy, the court will balance the: (i) hardships to Respondent and any minor child or dependent adult in Respondent's care if exclusive possession is granted with (ii) the hardships to Petitioner and any minor child or dependent adult in Petitioner's care resulting from continued exposure to the risk of abuse (should Petitioner remain at the household or residence) or from loss of possession of the residence or household (should Petitioner leave to avoid the risk of abuse). The balance of hardships is presumed to favor possession by Petitioner unless the presumption is rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence, showing that the hardships to Respondent substantially outweigh the hardships to Petitioner and any minor child or dependent adult in Petitioner's care. 750 ILCS 60/214(b)(2)(B).Please note that the grant of exclusive possession of the residence, household, or premises shall not affect title to real property.How Do I Conduct An Emergency Order of Protection Hearing? Once your case is called, step up in front of the judge and introduce self and client;Wail for your client to be sworn in;Ask your client introductory questions;Ask your client about particular incidents of abuse that are relevant to the remedies requested (Since the EOP hearing is ex parte, the court will most likely allow you to ask leading questions);Ask your client about her fear of future abuse if the abuser was given notice of the hearing;Ask questions regarding the remedies that require balancing of hardships.For further guidance, see "Model Script for Emergency Order of Protection" in the Related Articles section of this Guide Me.What Happens After the Emergency Order of Protection Hearing? The Judge may:Grant an EOP (this lasts for 14-21 days but can be extended);Deny the EOP, but continue the matter for hearing on the POP (if this happens, ask your client if she would rather proceed with the case or withdraw the petition so that the Respondent does not receive notice); orDeny the EOP and dismiss the case.If the case is continued for hearing, regardless of whether an EOP has been issued or not, the Respondent will be served by the Sheriff. Service of process on the Respondent is automatic unless the Respondent is outside Cook County. You can contact the Sheriff to confirm that there has been service. The proof of service will be sent to the Clerk's office for inclusion in the court file by the time you have to go back to court for the POP hearing.If the EOP is granted, give a copy of the EOP to client and tell her to carry it with her at all times.If your client is granted exclusive possession of the residence and needs to have the Respondent removed from the shared residence:Make an extra copy of the EOP for your client;Instruct your client to go to the police station nearest to the residence, notify the police of the order of protection, and ask for the Respondent to be removed from the residence; andThe police will accompany your client to the residence and the police officers will remove the Respondent from the home.What if the Order of Protection is Violated? If the Respondent has been served and the order of protection is violated, it is known as a Violation of Order of Protection (VOOP). This is a misdemeanor crime and the police are required to take a report or make an arrest.Your client should understand the following about how to enforce her order of protection:Call the police; If the Respondent is not arrested, the client can file a police report against the Respondent for violating the Order of Protection;In order to pursue criminal charges against the Respondent, the client must take the police report to the State's Attorney's office located at 555 W. Harrison to inquire about pressing charges for the violation of the Order of Protection.What Happens When I Return to Court for the Plenary Order of Protection Hearing? Any of the following may occur when you return to court:Proceed to hearing on the POP;Proceed to a default prove up and request that a POP be entered by default (this can be done when the Respondent has been served, but does not show up for the hearing);Enter a POP by agreement (draft the order and have both parties review and sign it and then present the order to the court on the record); orContinue the case and extend the EOP (this occurs when more time is needed to allow for service of the Respondent and/or the Respondent needs time to obtain counsel).How Do I Prepare for and Conduct a Contested Plenary Order of Protection Hearing? Prepare your client by having her review the affidavit and explain what will happen in court;Practice direct and cross exam questions, including questions required to lay foundations or authenticate evidence;Speak personally with the witnesses to make sure you know what they can and will testify to;During the direct exam, it is important to go through all incidents of abuse and ask questions related to the remedies that require balancing the hardships (children, exclusive possession, etc.);During the cross-exam, point out inconsistencies and have a keen sense of what the Respondent did not dispute;Use the closing argument as an opportunity to argue your clients need for an order of protection as well as specific remedies requested.For further guidance, see "Model Script for Plenary Order of Protection" in the Related Articles section of this Guide Me.Can an Order of Protection Address Child Support Issues and Visitation? Yes. Before child support is ordered, the Respondent must be personally served or must appear in court. Child support can be ordered in paragraph 12 of the POP, or a separate Uniform Support Order (USO) can be entered. A USO is beneficial because a Notice for Withholding can then be sent to the Respondent's employer requiring payments to be taken directly from his paycheck.As far as visitation, it is important to make the terms clear and not contradict other provisions of the order of protection. One consideration is whether to request that visitation be supervised or otherwise restricted.Meet and Do Intake with Client Introduce yourself to the client and ask the client to wait while you e-mail or call your firm to initiate a conflict check;Explain the process of obtaining an order of protection and your role to the client; andGather basic information about the parties using the "Pro Bono Project Intake Sheet" in the Related Articles section of this Guide Me. Also, ask the client what made them come to court today to get a general overview of the situation.Prepare Paperwork for Filing Once the conflict check is complete and the case has been accepted, execute the letter of engagement with the client;Ask your client the "Order of Protection Interview Questions" in the Related Articles section of this Guide Me. As you do this, you can use your clients' answers to prepare the affidavit and paperwork for filing;Complete all the following paperwork to file: Petition for Order of Protection, Affidavit, Summons, Sheriff's Information Sheet, and Domestic Relations Cover Sheet. If you have time, draft an Emergency Order of Protection; andHave your client review and sign all the documents.File Paperwork with the Clerk's Office Grab a tag that says "This paperwork was prepared by a pro bono attorney" and bring the paperwork to the Clerk's office at 555 W. Harrison.Keep in mind that paperwork must be turned in by Noon to ensure your client's case is heard prior to the 1:00pm lunch break. As far as the afternoon shift, the clerks prefer if the paperwork is completed by 4:30p.m.As you wait for the papers to be filed, prepare your client for the EOP Hearing by reviewing with her the "Model Script for Emergency Order of Protection" in the Related Articles section of this Guide Me. Attend Emergency Order of Protection Hearing Once you have received the filed paperwork back from the Clerk's office, proceed with your client to your assigned courtroom; When you arrive in the courtroom, hand the filed paperwork to the clerk and identify yourself as an attorney. Then, wait for your case to be called;Once your case is called, introduce yourself and what firm you are with to the judge as well as introducing your client;Wait for your client to be sworn in by the judge or clerk;The judge will give you the go ahead to proceed with the hearing and then you can begin to ask your clients the questions from the "Model Script for Emergency Order of Protection" in the Related Articles section of this Guide Me;After the hearing is complete, wait for the clerk to process the paperwork and then take the paperwork to the first floor to make copies (your client should have a stamped original of the Petition for Order of Protection and any orders entered as you should have a copy of each); andMake sure your client is aware of the time and location of the next court date and what she needs to do from now until then (she should have your contact information).Contact Sheriff to Confirm Service of Process Prior to the return court date, contact the Cook County Sheriff, if the Respondent lives in Cook County, to confirm service on the Respondent. Proof of service will also be sent to the Clerk's Office for inclusion in the court file. Please note that if the Respondent has not been served, you will have to ask the judge for a continuance of the case and an extension of the EOP (as this order expires on the return court date). Return to Court for Plenary Order of Protection Hearing If the Respondent has been served, but does not show up for the court hearing, ask the court to find the Respondent in default and enter a POP. The judge will still make you proceed with a brief hearing, so follow "Default Questions for Plenary Order of Protection" found in the Related Articles section of this Guide Me; orIf the Respondent is present and does not agree to the Plenary Order, proceed with a contested hearing. Use the "Model Script for Plenary Order of Protection" in the Related Articles section of this Guide Me; orIf the Respondent has not been served, you will have to ask the judge for a continuance of the case and an extension of the EOP. You will need to fill out a "Disposition Order," which you can obtain from the clerk when you check in. In addition, you will need to fill out an alias summons at the Clerk's Office after court, so that the Sheriff can try again to serve the Respondent before the next court date. If the Respondent is difficult to serve, you may request service by publication or file a Motion to Appoint a Special Process Server on the next court date.Make Sure Client Understands Next Steps Make sure that your client understands the outcome of the hearing, what the order of protection means and how long it lasts (usually 21 days for an EOP and 2 years for a POP), and that she should immediately contact the police if the Respondent violates the order of protection.