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Illinois’ Numerous Anti-Stalking Laws

Illinois has numerous laws targeted at various types of stalking behavior, such as cyber-stalking, stalking, and aggravated stalking.

If you are a victim of stalking in Illinois, you might find protection in one of the below laws, or a combination thereof. A Chicago family law attorney may be able to help you navigate the system.

  • The Illinois anti-cyber stalking law: The Illinois Family Law Gazette previously explained this law in its post “Cyberstalking in Illnois: Old game, new rules.” Illinois cyberstalking statute can be found in Section 12-7.5 of the Criminal Code of 1961 (720 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/12-7.5). Put most simply, the cyberstalking statute essentially makes it a crime to use the Internet or other electronic means to harass someone. In that way, it is a fairly common-sense approach to changes in society. As you may have noted, the Illinois cyberstalking statute is part of the criminal code, so cyberstalking is a crime in Illinois. However, most likely your case would have to be a very severe one for the police or prosecutors to pursue it. Victims of cyberstalking could pursue an order of protect (aka restraining order) that could order the stalker to stop. Further, a stalking victim may be able to sue the stalker for emotional distress and an invasion of privacy.
  • Illinois Anti-Stalking Act and Anti-Aggravated Stalking Act: These laws can be found at 720 ILCS 5/12‑7.3 and 720 ILCS 5/12‑7.4, respectively. The essence of these laws is to criminalize behavior such as threatening a victim, causing a victim emotional distress, or placing a victim under surveillance on two or more occasions. The difference between stalking and “aggravated stalking” is that the stalker has causes bodily harm to the victim; confined or restrained the victim; or violated a temporary restraining order, an order of protection, a stalking no contact order, a civil no contact order, or an injunction prohibiting domestic violence as described in the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986.
  • Illinois’ Stalking No Contact Order Act: The Illinois Family Law Gazette previously wrote about this law in its post “New Illinois Anti-Stalking Law: the Stalking No Contact Order Act.” The “no contact order” statute can be found at 740 Illinois Compiled Statutes 21/1. The Act provides a means for stalking victims to procure an order of protection (aka restraining order) when he or she is NOT in a domestic relationship with the stalker. Illinois’ Stalking No Contact Order Act might be used to procure an order of protection against someone who is a victim of cyberstalking.
  • Order of Protection under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act: When a victim’s stalker is someone with whom he or she has been in a domestic relationship (such as a romantic relationship), the victim may seek an order of protection under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act. Emergency orders of protection can be obtained in one day, and the stalker need not be present. However, after a statutory period, the victim may again appear in court and ask that the temporary emergency order of protection be extended.

8 comments… add one

  • I have a former boyfriend with a serious mental health history that I have a Emergency Order of Protection. He filed today for a civil one against ME, with 5600 in damages based on lies. he has been planning such things all along. I have a clean record of 13 year of behavior analysis services, in retaliation for trying to break things off, he vaguely threatens me, then outright harassesses me, when I finally put my foot down he filed these lies. My career, the money… The emotional distress. It’s killing me

  • It is typical that a deranged stalker would try to position himself as the victim. You will want to have the order of protection against you quashed, and you may want to seek legal help for your efforts in stopping his stalking behavior.

  • hello. my husband is stalking me. he was put something to see my every text, call, bank transactions, as well as email. i am scared. he is emotional abusive. what actions can i take against?

  • Alice,

    You face a serious problem. Some of your husbands actions may be an illegal violation of your privacy, but I cannot determine this for sure without knowing all the facts. You will need an attorney, and you most likely should seek a divorce rather than live under such conditions. I suggest communicating with an attorney from a friends phone, or getting a no-contract phone and NOT using your home computer.

  • I believe I’m being stalked electronically,and indirectly – where things are being said about me, to others in my field. I would be interested in obtaining the name of a reasonable lawyer who could advise me of my ‘victim of stalking’ rights and also advise me what to do.

  • Hedy,

    I am not sure exactly what the suspected stalker is doing, but speaking to people you know is not stalking. If the person you are concerned about is spreading untrue facts about you, then that may be defamation. However, if the person is merely stating his opinion, that’s not defamation.

    Regards,
    Chicago family law attorney David Wolkowitz

  • Hi, I need some info. My sister and I keep getting harrased by our father, who lives in south Carolina. He and my Mom divorced when I was 2, and we’ve only met him once or twice. My family has always said how disturbed he is, but when I was 40 I decided to try and get to know him, since I neede to find out just who my father was. Needless to say, I found out he is a very disturbed person mentally, and I subtly broke off contact with him last year. Since then, he has found my sister’s email address and has attacked both her and I repeatedly with terrible emails that even my worst enemy would never say about me. Long story short, can I somehow take legal action against him so this email harrasment can stop? Thanks.

    Sincerely,

    Rich

  • Rich,

    That sounds like a stressful situation. We call know lawyers are lawyers to make money – but I have to suggest that the most simple, and least expensive way to handle your problem may be for your sister to change email addresses. I can only practice law in Illinois, so if you are in Illinois, and want help with this problem, you can feel free to contact me.

    Chicago divorce lawyer David Wolkowitz
    Three-One-Two-554-5433.

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