In 2021, our client, a survivor of domestic violence, was wrongfully denied a Plenary Order of Protection; despite her abuser, a trained in MMA fighter, admitting to putting his arms around her neck and holding her in a submission pose until she begged to be let free.  Our Order of Protection Appeals team partnered with Dentons to appeal that decision.

On July 27, 2022 in a victory for survivors across Illinois, the First District Appellate Court reversed the trial court’s denial of our client’s petition for order of protection. The opinion reads in part:

 “We agree with petitioner that the Act provides that once the trial court finds that the petitioner has been abused, “ ‘an order of protection *** shall issue.’ ” (Emphasis in original.) Id. at 348 (quoting 750 ILCS 60/214(a) (West 2004)). Under the Act, abuse is “physical abuse, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, interference with personal liberty or willful deprivation.” 750 ILCS 60/103(1) (West 2020). The circuit court here seemed to place little emphasis on the question of whether petitioner was abused, instead focusing almost entirely on the question of whether petitioner or respondent was the aggressor.”

The appellate court reaffirmed what the law says: that survivors don’t ever deserve to be abused, that survivors don’t have to be perfect to seek protection from the courts, that harassment is abuse, and that a history of abuse matters and, indeed, is critical to understanding current abuse.

This case was supported by a very strong amicus brief written by DV LEAP and their pro bono counsel Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, and joined by The Network, Life Span Center for Legal Services and Advocacy, Prairie State Legal Services, Inc., Ascend Justice, Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Land of Lincoln Legal Aid, Inc., Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services, and Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation.

Our partnership with Dentons provides appellate representation to individuals who have been wrongfully denied remedies guaranteed under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act. This victory highlights the amazing partnership with Dentons and the resources and attention they bring to these cases.

You can read the full decision here.

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