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Legal Information: Illinois

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of
January 23, 2024

What types of orders of protection are available? How long do they last?

There are three types of orders. Emergency and interim orders of protection provide temporary, short-term protection. A plenary order offers longer-term protection.

Emergency orders. An emergency order can be obtained based solely on your testimony to a judge. The judge can grant this order ex parte (without prior notice to the abuser and without him/her being in court) if the harm you are trying to prevent would be likely to happen if s/he is notified that you applied for the order.1In order to get the abuser removed from your shared home, the judge must believe that the immediate danger of further abuse outweighs the hardship to the abuser of being suddenly removed from his/her home.2 You may also be able to get possession of personal property in an emergency order if the judge believes that the abuser would likely get rid of the property if s/he knew you were asking the judge for it or if you have an immediate and pressing need for possession of that property.3

You can file for an emergency order even on holidays and weekends or when the court is closed at night. You can file a petition for a 21-day emergency order before any available circuit judge or associate judge.4 The emergency order will last until you can have a full hearing for a plenary order, usually within 14-21 days.5

Interim orders. You do not need to have a full court hearing to be granted an interim order. However, the abuser (or possibly his/her lawyer) must have made an initial appearance before the court or the abuser must have been notified of the date of your court hearing before you can be given an interim order.6 Interim orders are often used to protect you in between the time when your emergency order expires and your full court hearing for a plenary order takes place. An interim order lasts for up to 30 days.7

Plenary orders. A plenary order of protection can be issued only after a court hearing in which you and the abuser both have a chance to present evidence. A plenary order may last up to two years,8 and there is no limit on the number of times an order of protection can be renewed.9 See How do I change or extend my order of protection? for more information on renewing an order. You may want to have a lawyer represent you in the hearing, especially if you believe the abuser will have a lawyer. Go to our IL Finding a Lawyer page for legal referrals.

1 750 ILCS 60/217(a)(3)(i)
2 750 ILCS 60/217(a)(3)(ii)
3 750 ILCS 60/217(a)(3)(iii)
4 750 ILCS 60/217(c)(1)
5 750 ILCS 60/220(a)(1)
6 750 ILCS 60/218(a)(3)
7 750 ILCS 60/220(a)(2)
8 750 ILCS 60/220(b)
9 750 ILCS 60/220(e)