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Know the Laws: Illinois

UPDATED September 19, 2017

Stalking No Contact Orders

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A stalking no contact order provides protection if you are a victim of stalking and do not qualify for a domestic violence order of protection.  If you would qualify for a domestic violence order of protection, that is the petition that you would file instead. 

Basic info

back to topWhat is the legal definition of stalking in Illinois?

Stalking is a “course of conduct” (two or more acts) directed at you, and the abuser knows (or should know) that these actions would cause a reasonable person to fear for his/her safety, fear for the safety of another person, or suffer emotional distress.  The "course of conduct" could include, but is not limited to, behavior where the abuser directly, indirectly, or through third parties, does any of the following:

  • follows you, monitors you, observes you, keeps watch over you, threatens you, or communicates to you or about you;
  • engages in other "contact" with you that is started or continued without your consent, or s/he ignores a request that you make for the contact to stop (see examples of contact below); or
  • interferes with or damages your property or pet.*

Examples of “contact” include, but are not limited to: being in your physical presence; appearing within your sight; coming towards you or contacting you in a public place or on private property; appearing at your workplace or home; entering onto or remaining on property that you own or lease or are currently in; and placing an object on or delivering an object to property owned, leased, or occupied by you.*

* 740 ILCS 21/10

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back to topWhat types of stalking no contact orders are there? How long do they last?

There are two types of stalking no contact orders: emergency orders and plenary orders.

Emergency stalking no contact orders: An emergency stalking no contact order can be issued if, after reading your petition and possibly questioning you, the judge believes:

  • you are the victim of stalking; and
  • there is “good cause” to grant you immediate protection without notifying the abuser before the hearing (also known as an ex parte hearing) because the abuser would likely harm you if s/he were notified ahead of time that you were going to come to court to ask for a civil no contact order.*

An emergency order will generally last for between 14 and 21 days.*1

Note: If you need an emergency order when the court is closed, you can request an emergency order from any available circuit judge or associate judge.  There may be one judge in each county who is available to issue an emergency order by phone or fax at any time when the courts are closed.*2

Plenary stalking no contact orders: A plenary stalking no contact order can be issued after the abuser receives notice of the court case and both you and the abuser have a chance to appear in court.*3  A plenary stalking no contact order can last for two years (or any fixed period of time up to two years).*4

* 740 ILCS 21/95(a)
*1 740 ILCS 21/105(a)
*2 740 ILCS 21/95(c)
*3 740 ILCS 21/100
*4 740 ILCS 21/105(b)

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back to topHow can a stalking no contact order help me?

In a stalking no contact order, the judge can order that the abuser not:

  • stalk (or threaten to stalk) you;
  • contact you or a protected third party named in your order;
  • come within a specified distance of you, your home, school, daycare, work, or another place to which you often go;
  • come within a certain distance of the abuser’s own residence, school, or work; however, a judge can only keep the abuser away from these places if the abuser has “actual notice” of the court case and is given the chance to appear in court; and
  • buy or possess firearms or a Firearm Owners Identification Card.

The judge can also order any other provision that the judge believes would help protect you or another protected party.*

If you and the abuser attend the same public or private elementary, middle, or high school, the judge can order the abuser to not attend that school and that s/he accept a change of placement or program as determined by the school administration.  Another option is that the judge can allow the abuser to continue to attend the same school but can place restrictions on the abuser's movements within the school.  When deciding whether or not to do either of these options, the judge must consider the following additional factors:

  • how serious the abuser’s behavior is;
  • any continuing physical danger or emotional distress to you;
  • your and the abuser’s educational rights under federal and state law;
  • the availability of a transfer of the abuser to another school; and
  • the expense, difficulty and educational disruption that would be caused by transferring the abuser to another school – evidence of this would be presented by the abuser.**

Note: The abuser will have an opportunity to try to prove that transferring or changing schools or programs is not an available option for him/her.  If the abuser is ordered to change schools or transfer programs, the abuser’s parent(s), guardian(s), or legal custodian(s) are responsible for his/her transportation and other costs of changing schools.**

* 740 ILCS 21/80(b)
** 740 ILCS 21/80(b-5)

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