Legal Assistance

What is an Order of Protection (OP)?

An OP is a written court order, signed by a judge, which requires an abusive household or family member (including someone in a dating relationship) to do or not do certain things. It can order an abuser to stay away completely, to stop all abusive behavior while allowing contact, and/or it can order an abuser to leave the household for the duration of the OP. It can protect you and other household members.

How long will the OP last?

An Emergency OP lasts up to 21 days. During the 21 days, law enforcement will attempt to serve the abuser with the order. At the next court date, a judge can grant a Plenary OP that can last up to two years. At any point an OP can be modified to suit your needs.

What does an individual need to bring to court to get an OP?

At the emergency hearing try to know the abuser's date of birth and current address. At the plenary hearing bring evidence (photographs of injuries, hospital or doctor reports, police reports, threatening voicemail messages, witnesses, etc.) to try to convince the judge that abuse has taken place.

For support in obtaining an Order of Protection:

  • If you live in Chicago, call (773) 274-5232 x 23. The Chicago Courthouse is located at 555 W. Harrison St.
  • If you live in Rolling Meadows, Arlington Heights, or the Near-North Suburbs, call (847) 818-8900. The Rolling Meadows Courthouse is located at 2121 Euclid Ave.
  • If you live anywhere else, call our Crisis Line for assistance at (800) 603-HELP.

Free Legal Clinic:

Every month we offer opportunities for domestic violence survivors to meet with family law attorneys who volunteer their time and services to provide free legal advice to survivors of domestic violence. During these one- on-one consultations, attorneys answer questions about Orders of Protection, divorce, child support, child custody, and other issues.

We are currently offering these legal clinics:

North Side of Chicago

  • When: 4th Tuesday of every month
  • Time: 1:00pm-3:00pm
  • Where: Between Friends' main office in Chicago

Please Call (773) 274-5232 x 23 to confirm date and time or to reserve your space at the next legal clinic.

In Rolling Meadows

  • When: 2nd Thursday of every month (through Nov. 9th)
  • Time: Noon-2:00pm
  • Where: Rolling Meadows Courthouse

Please call (847) 818-8900 to confirm date and time or to reserve your space at the next legal clinic.

Other Free or Low-Cost Services

(Servicios gratis o de precio bajo)

Life Span Legal Aid/Vida Entera Asistencia Legal

  • Intakes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm
  • Registro martes y jueves, de 9:30 de la mañana a 12:00 de la tarde
  • (312) 408 — 1210

Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago/Fundación de Asistencia Legal de Chicago

  • (847) 475 — 3703 (northern suburbs/los suburbios norteños)
  • (312) 341 — 1070 (Chicago/Chicago)

Northwest Suburban Bar Association/Asociación Abogacía de los Suburbios Noroeste

  • Low cost consultations/Consultaciones de precios bajos
  • (847) 221 — 2681
800-603-HELP(4357) Crisis Hotline
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