Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB6109
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Full Text of HB6109  99th General Assembly




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1    AN ACT concerning domestic violence.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Supreme Court Act is amended by adding
5Section 7.5 as follows:
6    (705 ILCS 5/7.5 new)
7    Sec. 7.5. Electronic filing pilot program. The Supreme
8Court may establish a pilot program for the filing of petitions
9for temporary orders of protection by electronic means and for
10the issuance of such orders by audio-visual means pursuant to
11the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986. The administrative
12director shall maintain an up-to-date and publicly-available
13listing of the sites, if any, at which a petition for an ex
14parte temporary order of protection may be filed, and at which
15electronic appearances in support of the petition may be made,
16in accordance with the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986.
17In developing the pilot program, the administrative director
18shall strive for a program that is regionally diverse and takes
19into consideration, among other things, the availability of
20public transportation, population density, and the
21availability of facilities for conducting the program.
22    Section 10. The Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 is



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1amended by changing Section 202 as follows:
2    (750 ILCS 60/202)  (from Ch. 40, par. 2312-2)
3    Sec. 202. Commencement of action; filing fees; dismissal.
4    (a) How to commence action. Actions for orders of
5protection are commenced:
6        (1) Independently: By filing a petition for an order of
7    protection in any civil court, unless specific courts are
8    designated by local rule or order.
9        (2) In conjunction with another civil proceeding: By
10    filing a petition for an order of protection under the same
11    case number as another civil proceeding involving the
12    parties, including but not limited to: (i) any proceeding
13    under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage
14    Act, Illinois Parentage Act of 2015, Nonsupport of Spouse
15    and Children Act, Revised Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement
16    of Support Act or an action for nonsupport brought under
17    Article 10 of the Illinois Public Aid Code, provided that a
18    petitioner and the respondent are a party to or the subject
19    of that proceeding or (ii) a guardianship proceeding under
20    the Probate Act of 1975, or a proceeding for involuntary
21    commitment under the Mental Health and Developmental
22    Disabilities Code, or any proceeding, other than a
23    delinquency petition, under the Juvenile Court Act of 1987,
24    provided that a petitioner or the respondent is a party to
25    or the subject of such proceeding.



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1        (3) In conjunction with a delinquency petition or a
2    criminal prosecution: By filing a petition for an order of
3    protection, under the same case number as the delinquency
4    petition or criminal prosecution, to be granted during
5    pre-trial release of a defendant, with any dispositional
6    order issued under Section 5-710 of the Juvenile Court Act
7    of 1987 or as a condition of release, supervision,
8    conditional discharge, probation, periodic imprisonment,
9    parole, aftercare release, or mandatory supervised
10    release, or in conjunction with imprisonment or a bond
11    forfeiture warrant; provided that:
12            (i) the violation is alleged in an information,
13        complaint, indictment or delinquency petition on file,
14        and the alleged offender and victim are family or
15        household members or persons protected by this Act; and
16            (ii) the petition, which is filed by the State's
17        Attorney, names a victim of the alleged crime as a
18        petitioner.
19    (b) Filing, certification, and service fees. No fee shall
20be charged by the clerk for filing, amending, vacating,
21certifying, or photocopying petitions or orders; or for issuing
22alias summons; or for any related filing service. No fee shall
23be charged by the sheriff for service by the sheriff of a
24petition, rule, motion, or order in an action commenced under
25this Section.
26    (c) Dismissal and consolidation. Withdrawal or dismissal



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1of any petition for an order of protection prior to
2adjudication where the petitioner is represented by the State
3shall operate as a dismissal without prejudice. No action for
4an order of protection shall be dismissed because the
5respondent is being prosecuted for a crime against the
6petitioner. An independent action may be consolidated with
7another civil proceeding, as provided by paragraph (2) of
8subsection (a) of this Section. For any action commenced under
9paragraph (2) or (3) of subsection (a) of this Section,
10dismissal of the conjoined case (or a finding of not guilty)
11shall not require dismissal of the action for the order of
12protection; instead, it may be treated as an independent action
13and, if necessary and appropriate, transferred to a different
14court or division. Dismissal of any conjoined case shall not
15affect the validity of any previously issued order of
16protection, and thereafter subsections (b)(1) and (b)(2) of
17Section 220 shall be inapplicable to such order.
18    (d) Pro se petitions. The court shall provide, through the
19office of the clerk of the court, simplified forms and clerical
20assistance to help with the writing and filing of a petition
21under this Section by any person not represented by counsel. In
22addition, that assistance may be provided by the state's
24    (e) As provided in this subsection, the administrative
25director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts,
26with the approval of the administrative board of the courts,



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1may adopt rules to establish and implement a pilot program to
2allow the electronic filing of petitions for temporary orders
3of protection and the issuance of such orders by audio-visual
4means to accommodate litigants for whom attendance in court to
5file for and obtain emergency relief would constitute an undue
6hardship or would constitute a risk of harm to the litigant.
7        (1) As used in this subsection:
8            (A) "Electronic means" means any method of
9        transmission of information between computers or other
10        machines designed for the purpose of sending or
11        receiving electronic transmission and that allows for
12        the recipient of information to reproduce the
13        information received in a tangible medium of
14        expression.
15            (B) "Independent audio-visual system" means an
16        electronic system for the transmission and receiving
17        of audio and visual signals, including those with the
18        means to preclude the unauthorized reception and
19        decoding of the signals by commercially available
20        television receivers, channel converters, or other
21        available receiving devices.
22            (C) "Electronic appearance" means an appearance in
23        which one or more of the parties are not present in the
24        court, but in which, by means of an independent
25        audio-visual system, all of the participants are
26        simultaneously able to see and hear reproductions of



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1        the voices and images of the judge, counsel, parties,
2        witnesses, and any other participants.
3        (2) Any pilot program under this subsection (e) shall
4    be developed by the administrative director or his or her
5    delegate in consultation with at least one local
6    organization providing assistance to domestic violence
7    victims. The program plan shall include but not be limited
8    to:
9            (A) identification of agencies equipped with or
10        that have access to an independent audio-visual system
11        and electronic means for filing documents; and
12            (B) identification of one or more organizations
13        who are trained and available to assist petitioners in
14        preparing and filing petitions for temporary orders of
15        protection and in their electronic appearances before
16        the court to obtain such orders; and
17            (C) identification of the existing resources
18        available in local family courts for the
19        implementation and oversight of the pilot program; and
20            (D) procedures for filing petitions and documents
21        by electronic means, swearing in the petitioners and
22        witnesses, preparation of a transcript of testimony
23        and evidence presented, and a prompt transmission of
24        any orders issued to the parties; and
25            (E) a timeline for implementation and a plan for
26        informing the public about the availability of the



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1        program; and
2            (F) a description of the data to be collected in
3        order to evaluate and make recommendations for
4        improvements to the pilot program.
5        (3) In conjunction with an electronic appearance, any
6    petitioner for an ex parte temporary order of protection
7    may, using the assistance of a trained advocate if
8    necessary, commence the proceedings by filing a petition by
9    electronic means.
10            (A) A petitioner who is seeking an ex parte
11        temporary order of protection using an electronic
12        appearance must file a petition in advance of the
13        appearance and may do so electronically.
14            (B) The petitioner must show that traveling to or
15        appearing in court would constitute an undue hardship
16        or create a risk of harm to the petitioner. In granting
17        or denying any relief sought by the petitioner, the
18        court shall state the names of all participants and
19        whether it is granting or denying an appearance by
20        electronic means and the basis for such a
21        determination. A party is not required to file a
22        petition or other document by electronic means or to
23        testify by means of an electronic appearance.
24            (C) Nothing in this subsection (e) affects or
25        changes any existing laws governing the service of
26        process, including requirements for personal service



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1        or the sealing and confidentiality of court records in
2        court proceedings or access to court records by the
3        parties to the proceedings.
4        (4) Appearances.
5            (A) All electronic appearances by a petitioner
6        seeking an ex parte temporary order of protection under
7        this subsection (e) are strictly voluntary and the
8        court shall obtain the consent of the petitioner on the
9        record at the commencement of each appearance.
10            (B) Electronic appearances under this subsection
11        (e) shall be recorded and preserved for transcription.
12        Documentary evidence, if any, referred to by a party or
13        witness or the court may be transmitted and submitted
14        and introduced by electronic means.
15(Source: P.A. 98-558, eff. 1-1-14; 99-85, eff. 1-1-16.)