The Role of Temporary Restraining Orders in Domestic Abuse Cases

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), approximately 42.4 million women in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner at least one in their lifetime. Domestic violence is a serious problem that victims throughout the United States often face alone, with the fear that their partner may punish them if they were to seek help. Although domestic abuse may result in serious physical injuries, it is not limited to only physical abuse. In Illinois, domestic abuse is defined in the Illinois Domestic Violence Act (“ The Act”) as physical abuse, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, interference with a personal liberty or willful deprivation. Victims of domestic abuse should remove themselves from the abusive environment and get legal enforcement involved immediately.

Temporary Restraining Orders

temporary restraining order (TRO) is an order from the court that is issued against a defendant (the abuser) to instruct him/her to temporarily refrain from engaging in certain conduct. The purpose of a TRO is to protect the victim until there is a hearing to determine whether a permanent order requiring a defendant to cease engaging in the conduct should be granted. Typically, a TRO will be granted once the plaintiff files a complaint, provides the defendant with notice of the complaint and the following requirements can be met:

  • The plaintiff has an ascertainable need to be protected;
  • The plaintiff will suffer irreparable harm if the TRO is not granted;
  • The plaintiff has no adequate remedy at law; and
  • The plaintiff has a likelihood of winning on the merits of the case.

In “emergency situations,” a temporary restraining order can be obtained without notifying the defendant when it can be shown the victim will suffer immediate and irreparable injury. In order for the court to grant a TRO without notice, the following requirements must be alleged in the complaint:

  • The date and time of when the TRO was sought is endorsed;
  • The TRO was filed with the clerk’s office and entered into record;
  • The complaint defines what the injuries are;
  • The complaint states why the injury is irreparable;
  • The complaint states why the motion was granted without notice;
  • The complaint specified how long the TRO is valid for; and
  • If the TRO is to be extended, the complaint explains why.

Get Help from a Domestic Violence Attorney

Temporary restraining orders can be an effective way to seek immediate relief from an abusive and hostile situation. If you or a loved one is a victim of domestic abuse, remove yourself from the situation and contact one of our experienced DuPage County domestic violence attorneys at Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C. We can help you file a TRO against your abuser and provide you with all available legal options so that you never have to be scared for your life again.