The ex-girlfriend sought an order of protection.  The trial court ordered a two year, plenary order of protection against the ex-boyfriend.  He appealed. 

On appeal, he argues that the trial court erred in entering a plenary order of protection against him based upon the evidence presented at trial. The issue raised was whether the trial court’s finding of abuse was against the manifest weight of the evidence.  The Appellate Court first had to consider what constitutes “abuse” under the Act. The Act discusses both “physical abuse” and “harassment” as subcategories of “abuse.”

The ex-girlfriend had testified as to a specific physical altercation that resulted in the ex-boyfriend’s arrest.  The ex-boyfriend testified that he was only responding to the ex-girlfriend’s physical altercation.  However, there was sufficient evidence that he had physically abused her.  Especially given that he had been placed under arrest and held in custody for three weeks.

The evidence clearly showed that he had harassed her.  Despite conflicting testimony between the parties. The trial court found the ex-girlfriend to be more credible than the ex-boyfriend.  It noted that she testified that a number of his actions caused her emotional distress.  1) parking on the street outside her home 2) driving slowly by 3) placing a recording device in her home to listen to her private conversations 4) sending her incoherent and alarming letters 5) showing up at her place of employment and 6) confronting her.

Foster v. Statham, 2020 IL App (5th) 190103