What You Need to Know About Suing an Abuser in Illinois
Illinois Courts state you can file a Small Claims Complaint for $10,000 or less based on the agreement or the fact that they have harmed you. Here’s how to sue an abuser in Illinois.
To sue an abuser, you can file a Small Claims Complaint where you can sue someone for $10,000 or less as long as it is based on the agreement or fact that they harmed you. To file a Small Claims Complaint, you must fill out the necessary forms and file them while waiting for a court date. Illinois law states a person can also file for an Order of Protection restricting the abuser from a family or household member. To obtain an Order of Protection, you must fill out the necessary forms and file them while waiting for a scheduled court date.
Illinois Domestic Violence Act
According to the Illinois Attorney General, domestic violence is any person who hits, chokes, kicks threatens or harasses a family or household member.
Illinois law defines family or household members as:
- Family members related by blood or marriage
- People who are married or used to be married
- People who share or shared homes, apartments, or other living space
- People who have a child or children
- People who have a blood relationship through a child or children
- People who are dating or used to date
- People who have disabilities
How To Sue an Abuser in Illinois
According to Illinois Courts, you can file a Small Claims Complaint where you can sue someone for $10,000 or less. A Small Claims Complaint allows you to sue someone based on the agreement or fact that they have harmed you.
Forms needed to file a Small Claims Complaint:
After you fill out the Small Claims Complaint and Small Claims Summons, you must file them with the Circuit Clerk. You then serve the abuser with copies of your Smalls Claims Complaint and Small Claims Summons through the Circuit Clerk, the sheriff, or through a special process server but additional forms are necessary. A court date will either be automatically scheduled or you can schedule the court date through the Circuit Clerk.
Order of Protection in Illinois
Illinois law states a victim can have an order of protection. An order of protection is a court order restricting someone who has abused a family or household member.
An Order of Protection may:
- Prohibit the abuser from continuing threats and abuse
- Order an abuser out of a shared residence
- Order an abuser to stay away from you and other persons protected by the order
- Prevent the abuser from taking any shared child or children
- Require the abuser to attend counseling
How to Obtain an Order of Protection
Illinois law requires you to fill out forms to obtain an Order of Protection.
Forms needed to obtain an Order of Protection:
After filling out the forms, you can file your forms with the Clerk of the Circuit Court in the county where you live, the country where the abuser lives, where the abuse occurred, or where you are staying to avoid abuse. You can file your forms electronically, in person, or by mail. After filing, you ask the Circuit Clerk to schedule a court date or one will be scheduled automatically.
FAQs About Suing an Abuser in Illinois
Who can file a Small Claims Court case in Illinois?
Illinois law states any person 18 years or older can file a Small Claims Court case with or without a lawyer. People under the age of 18 must file with a lawyer.
Is there a cost to file a Small Claims Complaint in Illinois?
There is a cost to file a Small Claims Complaint in Illinois that is related to filing and serving. If you cannot afford to pay, you can ask the court to file your forms for free or at a reduced cost by filling out the Application for Waiver of Court Fees.
Who is protected under the Order of Protection besides me in Illinois?
Illinois law states anyone who lives or works in your house, your minor children, high-risk adults with disabilities, and your animals.