(740 ILCS 21/20)
    Sec. 20. Commencement of action; filing fees.
    (a) An action for a stalking no contact order is commenced:
        (1) independently, by filing a petition for a
stalking no contact order in any civil court, unless specific courts are designated by local rule or order; or
        (2) in conjunction with a delinquency petition or a
criminal prosecution as provided in Article 112A of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963.
    (a-1) A petition for a stalking no contact order may be filed in person or online.
    (a-5) When a petition for an emergency stalking no contact order is filed, the petition and file shall not be public and shall only be accessible to the court, law enforcement, petitioner, victim advocate, counsel of record for either party, and State's Attorney for the county until the petition is served on the respondent.
    Accessibility to the petition and file under this subsection prior to the petition being served on the respondent shall be in accordance with Section 5 of the Court Record and Document Accessibility Act.
    (b) Withdrawal or dismissal of any petition for a stalking no contact order prior to adjudication where the petitioner is represented by the State shall operate as a dismissal without prejudice. No action for a stalking no contact order shall be dismissed because the respondent is being prosecuted for a crime against the petitioner. For any action commenced under item (2) of subsection (a) of this Section, dismissal of the conjoined case (or a finding of not guilty) shall not require dismissal of the action for a stalking no contact order; instead, it may be treated as an independent action and, if necessary and appropriate, transferred to a different court or division.
    (c) No fee shall be charged by the clerk of the court for filing petitions or modifying or certifying orders. No fee shall be charged by the sheriff for service by the sheriff of a petition, rule, motion, or order in an action commenced under this Section.
    (d) The court shall provide, through the office of the clerk of the court, simplified forms for filing of a petition under this Section by any person not represented by counsel.
(Source: P.A. 102-831, eff. 5-13-22; 102-853, eff. 1-1-23; 103-154, eff. 6-30-23; 103-166, eff. 1-1-24.)