K.N. v. N.J. - I recently represented a client who was facing a Petition for a Civil Order of Protection in Rolling Meadows. The client had no criminal record whatsoever. Because of my client's job, and the security clearances that he needs to have, if we had lost the case and a Civil Order of Protection was placed on my client, he would have lost his security clearance which would have caused him to lose his job. Therefore, it was absolutely necessary that we win the case and not allow an Order of Protection to be entered against my client.
A Petition for an Order of Protection is a request that the Court enter a Court Order prohibiting an individual from having contact against another person. There's two ways to obtain an Order of Protection. The first is after criminal charges are filed against a defendant. Most of the time, a criminal Order of Protection will arise out of a Domestic Battery case. After an arrest is made, the victim, or the prosecutor, may request that the Criminal Court enter an Order of Protection prohibiting the defendant from having some sort of contact with the victim. If an Order of Protection is entered in a criminal case, violating the Order of Protection is a crime which could result in the arrest and criminal prosecution for Violating an Order of Protection. In addition to charges, the prosecutor may file a Petition to Revoke Bond for picking up a new criminal case while on Bond. When a criminal defendant is released on bond, one of the Conditions of Bond is that the defendant does not commit any criminal offenses. Committing a criminal offense can cause the Judge to revoke the Bond and Order the Defendant to be held in custody until the case is finished.
Another way to get an Order of Protection is for an individual to file a Petition for an Order of Protection asking that the Court conduct a hearing and issue a Civil Order of Protection prohibiting the Respondent from contacting the Petitioner. A civil Petition for an Order of Protection is like a lawsuit filed by one party against another. The person filing the lawsuit has the burden of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence, that they are entitled to the relief requested because the Respondent has engaged in abuse, or threatened to abuse, the Petitioner and the Court is convinced that it is necessary to have an Order entered to protect the Petitioner.
While the reasons for entering and Order of Protection are similar in a criminal case or in a civil case, whether a Petition for an Order of Protection is requested in a civil case criminal case is important. If a civil Order of Protection is requested, the Rules of Civil Procedure apply. The Rules of Civil Procedure give the parties the right to conduct discovery before a hearing is conducted. This part of a Civil Order of Protection case is often overlooked by lawyers and litigants. A lawyer who handles Civil Order of Protection cases should have a good understanding of the Code of Civil Procedure so that they can take advantage of all of the different Discovery requests that could help the practitioner prosecute or defend a Civil Order of Protection case.
In this case, the Civil Order of Protection case was filed by my client's ex-girlfriend. In the Petition, she claimed that my client had physically threatened her on previous occasions, had threatened to sue her for defamation if she ever tried to get an Order Protection against him, refused to remove his vehicle from their apartment parking spot, refused to transfer her phone number from his cell phone account to her, and was making false and defamatory statements against her with their friends. In the Petition, the Petitioner mentioned several events where my client raised his voice and said some very disparaging things to her. After I was hired by the client, I issued a Supreme Court Rule 214 Request to Produce for any police reports or witness statements that the Petitioner may have. I also issued a Supreme Court Rule 237 Notice to Produce requesting that the Petitioner bring all of her evidence to Court. The Petitioner responded to my 214 Request to Produce by letting me know that she did not have any police reports or any witness statements. So, going into the hearing, I knew that the Petitioner did not have any police reports or any written witness statements. And in response to my Rule 214 Request to Produce, the Petitioner notified me that she had a witness that would be appearing in court to testify on her behalf.
At the hearing, the Petitioner testified about several incidents involving my client where my client raised his voice to her, call her names, and was very disrespectful to her. She testified that he was not turning over her phone number to her and was not moving his car from the apartment parking spot that they shared when he lived with her. The Petitioner had her girlfriend testify that she witnessed my client treating her in a disrespectful manor and that he would frequently yell at her and call her names. On cross-examination, I was able to establish that the Petitioner never called the police, never claimed that my client had physically harmed her, and that other than being disrespectful, my client had never physically harmed her. I was able to cross-examine the witness and established that she never saw my client physically harm or threaten the Petitioner and that she never saw the police come to the residence.
After hearing all of the evidence and the arguments from the Petitioner and me, the Court ruled in favor of my client and refused to issue an Order of Protection against my client. My client walked out of Court without an Order of Protection entered against him and without fear of losing his job.
James Dimeas is a nationally-recognized, award-winning, criminal defense lawyer, with over-28 years of experience handling Domestic Violence and Order of Protection cases throughout Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, and Lake County. Recently, James Dimeas was named a "Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer in the State of Illinois for the years 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021" by the American Society of Legal Advocates. James Dimeas was named a "Best DUI Attorney," "The Best DUI Lawyer in Schaumburg," and "Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago" by Expertise. James Dimeas was named a "Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer" by The National Trial Lawyers. The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys gave James Dimeas the "Top 10 Attorney Award for the State of Illinois." James Dimeas is rated 'Superb' by AVVO, 10 out of 10, the highest classification possible for any criminal defense lawyer, or Domestic Battery lawyer, or Order of Protection lawyer, in the United States. The American Society of Criminal Law Attorneys recognized James Dimeas as a "10 Best Attorney for Client Satisfaction." Attorney and Practice Magazine gave James Dimeas the "Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorney Award for Illinois."
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