When and Where to File an Order of Protection

When to File an Order of Protection

Filing for an Emergency Order of Protection should be done as soon as possible after an abusive incident. Judges consider how much time has passed between the most recent incident of abuse and the day the petition is filed. Because all Orders of Protection begin as an Emergency Petition, it is important to establish that you consider the situation an emergency and so should the judge. If there is been a substantial amount of time between the last incident and the day of filing, make sure you have a reasonable answer to give the judge. If the judge does not deem the situation an emergency, the judge can set the petition over for hearing so they have an opportunity to hear both sides of the situation. This would be the hearing for the plenary order of protection, which can be extended for up to 2 years.

Where to File an Order of Protection

The county where you choose to file the OP must meet one of four criterium as follows; you live in that county, the abuser lives in that county, the abuse took place in the county, or an OP can be filed in a county the victim fled to for their protection. If you have other pending family litigation, it may be helpful to file in the same county where the other cases are being litigated. Judges try to steer away from overwriting another judge or entering orders in a case where another judge is actively involved.

The when and where of filing an Order of Protection is only one of many questions you may have about your situation. Our firm offers free consultations to discuss the details of your specific case. Please contact our office if you have any specific questions at 815-600-8950 or contact us online.


This is a legal advertisement from Sterk Family Law Group. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such. This article is for informational and educational purposes only.

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