Pursuant to the Stalking No Contact Order Act, Illinois permits a person to file a Petition for a Stalking No Contact Order and to request relief from individuals engaging in stalking behavior. The perpetrator against whom relief is requested, also known as the Respondent, must be engaging in a course of conduct of stalking. This is generally proven by two or more acts of any method, including following a person, conducting surveillance of the person, appearing at the person’s home, work or school, making unwanted phone calls, sending unwanted emails or text messages, leaving objects for the person, vandalizing the person’s property, or injuring a pet.
There are two types of Stalking No Contact Orders that an individual may request. The first is the Emergency Stalking No Contact Order. This Order only lasts for 14 to 21 days, after which it may be extended. An individual should file an Emergency Order when the harm which the Order is intended to prevent would likely occur if the Respondent were given any prior notice of the Order being requested. It should also be requested if the stalking is continuous in nature, and will not stop until an Order is entered.
A Plenary Stalking No Contact Order requires that notice be given to the other side, and a hearing date set. At the hearing, both sides can bring witnesses and submit evidence to the Court. It is highly recommended that both sides retain an attorney to assist in this Hearing. A Plenary Stalking No Contact Order can last up to two years. At the conclusion of the two years, the Order can be extended by Motion of the Petitioner. If the individual is convicted of stalking at a criminal trial, the Order will be permanent in nature.
The Court has discretion in the type of relief granted. In general, the Court will Order one or more of the following: 1) Prohibit the Respondent from threatening to commit or committing stalking; 2) Order the Respondent not to have contact with the Petitioner or any other third person specifically named by the Court; 3) Prohibit the Respondent from coming within a specified distance of the Petitioner or Petitioner’s residence, school, daycare, place of employment, or any specified place frequented by the Petitioner; 4) Prohibiting the Respondent from possessing a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card or possessing or buying firearms; and 5) Any other injunctive relief the Court deems necessary to protect the Petitioner or third party specifically named by the Court. If the Petitioner would like to modify or vacate a previously granted Order, they must file the appropriate Motion with the Court.
Before filing a Stalking No Contact Order, it is best for an individual to consult with an attorney about their legal options. Illinois law also provides for Orders of Protection for Domestic or Workplace Violence victims. Victims of sexual assault, sexual abuse, and rape are recommended to file a Civil No Contact Order for Sexual Assault instead of a filing a Petition for a Stalking No Contact Order.