In which county can I file for an order of protection?
A petition for an order of protection may be filed in any county where you live, where the abuser lives, where the abuse occurred or where you are temporarily located if you left your home to avoid further abuse and could not obtain safe temporary housing in the county where your home is located. However, if you are asking for the abuser to be removed from the home (known as “exclusive possession”) as part of your order of protection, you can ONLY file in the county where the home is located1unless you meet one of the following exceptions (and then you can file in the county or judicial circuit where the residence is located or in a neighboring county or judicial circuit):
- you are also filing for a divorce in addition to the order of protection;2 or
- you have fled to a different county to escape the abuse. However, in this case, you can only get exclusive possession of the home by a judge in a neighboring county as part of an emergency order. The case would then have to be transferred to the county where the home is located to get exclusive possession in an interim or plenary order.3
1 750 ILCS 60/209(a)
2 750 ILCS 60/209(b)(1)
3 750 ILCS 60/209(b)(2)