Fighting an order of protection in Illinois is not easy. Since these orders are meant to protect an alleged victim, courts view them very seriously.

After a protection order is issued, the court decides whether it stays in place. Even if the order applicant asks the court to dismiss it, the judge may still continue the order. However, the respondent — the person the order is against — can fight to end it.

Respondents should never violate a temporary protection order even if they are going to fight it. Once a respondent has been officially served the order, it is legal and enforceable.

A temporary protection order is a short-term solution. It protects the applicant based solely on their word until the court holds a hearing. Once the court hears from both parties, the judge will decide whether to make the order permanent.

The respondent should retain an attorney and gather evidence for the hearing, which is usually held within 30 days after the applicant asked for the order. This hearing is the respondent’s first chance to fight it. Relevant evidence might include medical or police reports, witness statements and other proof that the applicant doesn’t need protection from the respondent.

Should the judge decide to issue the order at the hearing, the respondent can keep fighting by filing a motion to dismiss in accordance with state laws. The court will then hold another hearing for both parties to present their cases again.

A person with an order of protection against them does have some options. A domestic violence attorney can help them gather evidence and fight the order in court even if a permanent order has already been issued by a judge. An experienced attorney will also assist in navigating the very serious legal system for domestic violence.