You can still ask a judge You can still ask a judge for an Order of Protection. Although most courts do not hear cases in person, courts are open remotely for many types of cases. This includes Orders of Protection.
An Order of Protection forces the abusive person to stop the physical abuse or harassment. The order may prevent the abusive person from contacting you at all. If you live together, the order can force the person to move out.
In this article we will review the help that the courts offer. But the court is not always the only or the best option. You know best what kind of plan will keep you safe.
Before taking action, call the Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline at 877-863-6338. It is multilingual, confidential and available 24 hours a day. You can also call your local domestic violence agency. These organizations can help you understand your options. They can also tell you what to expect if you decide to go to court.
Asking for a protection order during the pandemic
To get an Order of Protection, you must present court documents and speak to a judge. Due to the coronavirus (Covid-19), courts have different rules about which cases they are hearing in person and which cases are heard remotely (by phone or Zoom). But you can still get an Order of Protection, no matter where you are in the state.
Present in person
Cook County has a Domestic Violence Court at 555 W. Harrison in Chicago. You can still appear in person to ask for an Order of Protection. You must wear a mask. The court is not currently offering childcare services.
From inside the Domestic Violence Court, you can get help over the phone from an advocate by calling Ascend Justice at 312-239-0413. These people can help you fill out your court papers. Your hearing will most likely take place through Zoom even if you are in court. Instructions for downloading Zoom or using the program through your phone are below.
Archive papers remotely
If you live in Cook County and don’t want to go to Domestic Violence Court in person, you can still file your court papers remotely and present your case through Zoom. You can do this on your own or you can get help. You can ask an advocate for help by calling 708-689-3422 or by calling Ascend Justice at 312-239-0413 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. M. At 5:00 p. M. Lawyers, defenders and lawyers. Volunteer attorneys can help you complete your court papers over the phone. They can also help you work with the court to hold a video hearing through Zoom with a judge.
If you are applying from outside the Domestic Violence Court, you can email your documents to [email protected] This includes:
- Cover page
- Information sheet
- Petition for a protection order
- Emergency protection order
- Electronic filing exemption
If you submit your documentation before 3 p.m., you should receive instructions to present your case through Zoom that same day. Even if you receive a return email saying that your case will be heard the next day, you should check your email until 5pm. You can still receive instructions to appear in court through Zoom on the same day.
If you already have a domestic relations case pending in Cook County against the person who is abusing you, your Order of Protection can be filed under that case number and combined with that case. You can get help preparing and submitting that documentation from a Legal Aid Chicago attorney by calling 312-229-6020.
Cook County Hearing Dates
If your petition continues after your first day in court, you will have to return to court later. Unless your judge tells you otherwise, Cook County Courts use Zoom for petition hearings to:
- Protection orders,
- Contactless stalking orders, and
- Civil no-contact orders.
This is whether your case is in civil or criminal court. You do not need to come to court. However, if you do not present yourself remotely to your Zoom audience, your case may be dismissed. Or a default judgment may be entered against you.
How to get Zoom access codes
Zoom information is posted online for Cook County courtrooms and for courtrooms in domestic violence court.