In Cook County, Illinois, the forms a victim needs to file to obtain a “domestic violence oder of protection” can be found online as part of a service called TurboCourt (find the Cook County forms here). If you do not live in Cook County, Illinois, you will have to use a different method to obtain an oder of protection.
If you want to obtain an order of protection against someone with whom you are in a domestic relationship, you should consider the following:
- Filling out the Forms – Speed vs. Secrecy: Filling out an online form can be quicker and easier than going to court and filling out a form by hand. However, you should seriously consider accessing the form from a computer to which your abuser does not have access. This way, your abuser will not find out, through your browsing history or otherswise, that you plan to get an oder of protection.
- Location of Court: When you go here to fill out your forms, you will be asked to choose a location, or the District of the court for your city. Later you will be able to find the addresses of the court you choice. If you have problems locating the address for the court you should go to in oder to file your papers, call the non-emergency police number for your city and they will be able to tell you.
- Submitting the Forms: You do have a valid order of protection once you fille out the forms. You must take the forms to the appropriate courthouse, go through an intake procedure where clerks ask you questions about the information you filled out, then schedule you to go before a judge that same day (so long as you did not get there too late). Information on who files a request for an order of protection, the fact that an order of protection exists, and more, is public record.
- Testifying: You will appear before a judge and the juge will ask you qustions, based on the forms you filled out. Essentially, you will be repeating what you put on the forms. The entire hearing before the judge will most likely take under ten minutes.