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What You Can Do About Stalking

A Peoria police officer accused of stalking a fellow officer has been in the headlines recently as Illinois taxpayers join the fray. The accused officer has been receiving the legal defense services of a city-employed attorney, according to an agreement negotiated by the police union of Peoria. The city council recently voted to stop paying the defendant’s legal fees, but the union is appealing the motion. The defendant is accused of using the police department’s equipment to stalk the plaintiff.

What is stalking?

Illinois has extensive laws governing stalking, harassment, and cyberstalking. According to the laws, stalking is a series of acts that would cause reasonable people to fear for their safety or suffer emotional distress. Stalking can involve surveillance, threat, damage to property, or any other act with the sole purpose of causing fear. Stalking is a felony offense which can be carried out in person, via a third party, by phone, or by electronic device.

What you can do to stop it

Stalking is against the law, and you have a right to make it stop. In most cases, the victim is acquainted with the perpetrator. Many divorce cases, especially those involving domestic violence, involve stalking or other types of harassment. If you are being stalked, here are some actions you can take:

  • Tell the stalker to stop — State it in writing and document how and when you requested the stalker to cease and desist from the unwanted behavior.
  • File charges — Ask your attorney to assist you in filing criminal charges, if your stalker is your ex-spouse or if you are still legally married.
  • Request an order of protection — If you have reason to fear for your safety or the safety of your children, an Order of Protection can provide effective relief.

Unfortunately, no order of protection can completely prevent an act of violence. If you have made every effort to stop your stalker and you still fear for your safety, ask your attorney to help you relocate to a temporary shelter until the danger has passed.

Attorneys take every threat seriously, and so should you. Contact us if you are being stalked or harassed. You have the right to feel safe in your own home, at your workplace and elsewhere.

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Paul Chatzky
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About Born in Havana, Cuba, Paul Chatzky is fluent in Spanish and English, enabling him to effectively represent a wider range of individuals and businesses. He is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, and is listed among Illinois Super Lawyers, which is a reflection of his high ethical standards and exceptional legal knowledge. As…

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Deborah E. Chatzky
Paralegal

About Prior to joining the firm as a paralegal, Debbie was employed by major banking institutions as a loan processor and as an executive secretary. Debbie was also employed as an administrative assistant for the Board of Jewish Education. Having majored in Sociology, Debbie graduated from the University of Florida in 1980. Debbie completed her…

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