1. Fill out Restraining Order forms
You will need to fill out the following forms and make 3 copies of each:
- Petition and Affidavit for an Emergency Workplace Protection Restraining Order: Tells the judge why you are asking for the Restraining Order
- Summons: Tells the abuser about the case
- Workplace Protection Restraining Order: This is the document the judge will sign if your petition is granted.
2. File your forms with the court
Now that you have filled out your forms, you need to file them with the clerk. The way to do that depends on the county where you are filing.
Now that you have filled out your forms, you need to file them with the clerk. The method you are required to use depends on the county where you are filing.
- E-filing: Most counties require you to file your forms and documents electronically. See E-Filing Basics for more information.
- Paper filing: If your county allows paper filing, or you have an E-filing Exemption Certificate, take your completed forms to the circuit court clerk's office in the courthouse. See courthouse locations. The clerk will stamp your forms. This stamp is important because it's proof that you filed the form with the court. They will give you a copy for your records.
The judge will then decide if an Emergency Order is necessary. They will also set a date for a full court hearing for a Plenary Workplace Protection Restraining Order.
3. Get the Sheriff to tell the other party about your case
The clerk will take the court documents to the county sheriff's office. The Sheriff will serve the petition and summons to the abuser, along with the Emergency Order, if one was granted. The Sheriff will charge a fee to deliver a copy of the court papers to the respondent. If you cannot afford to pay the fee, you can learn more about filing court papers for free.
4. Go to the hearing
Go to the court date for the Plenary Order, which can last for up to one year. The judge will decide whether or not your petition should be granted.
At the hearing, the victim may be called to testify, unless he or she is a victim of domestic violence. A victim of domestic violence cannot be ordered to appear in court or testify in this type of case. If the judge decides that testifying might cause the victim distress, the victim can testify in the judge's chambers.
If the abuser does not come to court, the judge may decide to go forward with the hearing and issue a Plenary Order. The judge may also decide to continue the case and reschedule the hearing.
If the judge enters a Workplace Protection Restraining Order, and the abuser violates the order, the employer will have to go back to court to ask the judge to punish him or her. They can do this by filing a Petition for a Rule to Show Cause.
Updated: January 2018