What to Expect at a Plenary Order of Protection Hearing

A court hearing can be an overwhelming thought to anyone. A hearing for a Plenary Order of Protection may be especially overwhelming due to the emotional nature of the circumstances. This process requires patience and flexibility. The hearing date set on the Emergency Order of Protection (EOP) may or may not be the date the Plenary hearing is held. A hearing can be delayed for many reasons and this can be very frustrating, but it is important to keep in mind that if there are any delays or extensions of the hearing date, the EOP remains in effect.

With respect to the court process, a hearing for a Plenary Order of Protection will be assigned on a large court docket that can take a few hours for the Judge to get through. The Judge will typically first handle cases in which either the Petitioner or Respondent fails to appear and grant the requests of the party appearing. Next the Judge will address those cases in which there is no objection to the entry of the Plenary Order. Finally, contested matters will be heard by the Judge.

The hearing is an opportunity for Petitioner to present all their evidence and witnesses and for the Respondent to present contrary evidence and witnesses to dispute the allegations. It is often helpful to have an attorney present for these hearings, especially if the other party has an attorney present because the Judge will be more strict in following formal procedures then if both parties were pro se (appearing with no legal representation). Upon hearing everything presented, the Judge will make a decision based on the evidence whether or not to enter the Plenary Order. A Plenary Order can be entered for up to two years. The Judge may ask the Petitioner how long they want the order in place or use their discretion to decide the length of the order.

The process to defend or pursue a Plenary Hearing is likely 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 at 815-600-8950 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.


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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