Leving firm wins dad relief from order of protection
By Diego Garcia
CHICAGO — An Illinois father is out from under an ex-parte order of protection that kept him from seeing his children, thanks to the work of the Law Offices of Jeffery M. Leving Ltd.
Attorney Jeffery M. Leving, founder and president of the firm, will talk about the case, modified for broadcast, on the Dads Rights Legal Hour, 9–10 a.m. CDT Saturday, Aug. 15, on Power 92.3 FM Chicago.
The case in question was alarming in terms of the number of issues entailed — an improperly issued ex-parte order of protection, pending litigation, DCFS involvement, and the fear that the mother would take the children out of state.
A father with three boys in DuPage County received a letter from DCFS saying that the agency had investigated a report of suspected child abuse against him.
According to court documents, the mother filed a petition for an ex-parte order of protection, which was granted — keeping this wholly innocent father away from his children. Ex parte means only one side was heard in court, which can be impermissible in a circumstance where a case involving both litigants is already being heard by the court, which was the situation here, as a case was already under way.
The father also feared that the mother was planning to abscond with the children to another state, where they could be out of reach of the Illinois courts and a hassle for dad to litigate to get his children back.
The Leving legal team went to court and asked for three things: For the court to re-hear the petition for the ex-parte order of protection and ultimately to rescind it, to provide the father access to his children, and to bar the mother from taking the children out of state. The judge granted this dad everything he requested. “We won! A great victory for this dad,” Leving says.
However, Leving says ex-parte orders of protection are now a legal tactic in divorce and custody litigation.
“It appears to me that it’s a strategy for mothers to have their lawyers obtain ex-parte orders of protection against dads, with no notice, just because they can — and then they’ll use the issuance of the ex-parte order of protection as evidence of the father being abusive,” Leving says. “The dads then arrive home and are told by the mother or by the police that they can’t enter their home, as it would be in violation of the ex-parte order of protection — and if they do, they’ll likely be arrested and hauled off to jail. You can see how this would cause a man who’s already on edge to be pushed over it — and even if all he does is yell, it can make it look like the order of protection has at least a modicum of justification. But it’s really a self-fulfilling prophecy: Had there been no order of protection, the dad wouldn’t have been so mad!”
Leving says fathers who find themselves on the receiving end of a dubious order of protection should stay calm and contest the order in court.
Jeffery M. Leving is founder and president of the Law Offices of Jeffery M. Leving Ltd.,and is an advocate for the rights of fathers. In addition to How to be a Good Divorced Dad, he is the author of Fathers’ Rights and Divorce Wars. To learn more about Jeffery M. Leving and his latest court victories, follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and view his videos on You Tube.