FAMILY or HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS include spouses, former spouses, parents, children, stepchildren and other persons related by blood or by present or prior marriage, persons who share or formerly shared a common dwelling, persons who have or allegedly have a child in common, persons who share or allegedly share a blood relationship through a child, persons who have or have had a dating or engagement relationship, and persons with disabilities and their personal assistants.

In the case of a high-risk adult with disabilities, family or household members includes any person who has the responsibility for a nigh-risk adult as a result of a family relationship or who has assumed responsibility for all or a portion of the care of a high-risk adult with disabilities voluntarily, or by express or implied contract, or by court order.

Depending on your individual situation, the judge may also issue orders granting temporary maintenance, child support, child custody, and possession of your home.

An Emergency Order of Protection may be in effect for up to 21 days, an Interim Order of Protection for up to 30 days and a Plenary (Final) Order of Protection for up to 2 years.

In the case of a high-risk adult with disabilities, "family or household members" includes any person who has the responsibility for a high-risk adult as a result of a family relationship or who has assumed responsibility for all or a portion of the care of a high-risk adult with disabilities voluntarily, or by express or implied contract, or by court order.

_________________________________________________________________________________________ When you come into Court for the purpose of filing a Petition for an Order of Protection: You will need to bring a good (valid) address for the person against whom you are filing the Petition.

Once a petition has been filed with the Circuit Clerk, the clerks will: give the file a case number; send the individual filing the petition into a courtroom immediately; and prepare the forms for the Sheriff Once an Order of Protection is issued by a judge, the order is maintained by the Circuit Clerks Office.

This process may take two to three hours to complete.

In order to obtain an Emergency Order of Protection, you must appear before a Judge for a hearing to establish that abuse has occurred and that further abuse is likely to occur again if the abuser were given prior notice of the filing of your case.

If, after the hearing for an Emergency Order, the Judge finds an Emergency Order is necessary, it will be entered upon the conclusion of your hearing.

You cannot file a Petition for an Order of Protection in a situation involving only destruction of, or threat of harm to, property alone.