from the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial Circuit, Will
County, Illinois. Circuit No. 18-OP-1113 Honorable David
Garcia, Judge, Presiding.
Attorneys for Appellant: Fred A. Joshua, of Fred A. Joshua
P.C., of Hickory Hills, for appellant.
Attorneys for Appellee: Mona Elgindy and Andrea DeTellis, of
Prairie State Legal Services, Inc., of Joliet, for appellee.
PRESIDING JUSTICE SCHMIDT delivered the judgment of the
court, with opinion. Justices Lytton and O'Brien
concurred with the judgment and opinion.
SCHMIDT, PRESIDING JUSTICE
1 Petitioner, Nancy Dibenedetto, filed a verified
petition for a plenary order of protection against
respondent, Robert Dibenedetto, her husband. In the petition,
Nancy alleged a history of verbal, emotional, and physical
abuse that spanned decades but recently increased in
frequency and severity. Following a hearing on the petition,
the court granted Nancy's petition. It made several
findings as to the credibility of witnesses. The court, in
its written order, indicated the abuse was likely to continue
in the absence of an order of protection. Robert appeals,
arguing the court did not conform its written or oral
decision to the statutory requirements necessary to issue an
order of protection. Further, Robert asserts the court's
findings concerning the alleged abuse were against the
manifest weight of the evidence. We affirm.
2 I. FACTS
3 The parties have been married for over 45 years.
On May 24, 2018, Nancy filed a verified petition for an order
of protection against Robert. The petition also requested
that the court issue an emergency order of protection. Nancy
alleged that Robert verbally abused her, insulted her daily,
routinely humiliated her in public, tracked her movements,
threatened to kill her, frequented her place of work to cause
problems, and physically abused her in the past. The circuit
court denied Nancy's motion for an emergency order of
4 On May 30, 2018, Nancy filed an emergency motion
to rehear her order of protection. In her emergency motion,
Nancy alleged Robert placed a global positioning system (GPS)
device in her vehicle, sent text messages indicating his
knowledge of her location, visited her place of work despite
the fact that her employer banned him from entering her
workplace, persistently called her, and went to all of their
children's houses looking for her. Nancy was in fear for
her life due to Robert's past threats to kill her should
she ever leave him. Nancy knew Robert had access to firearms.
She believed her safety was threatened, particularly at work.
On June 6, 2018, the circuit court entered an emergency order
of protection that ordered Robert to stay away from Nancy and
cease further acts or threats of abuse.
5 The court heard arguments on Nancy's petition
for a plenary order of protection in November 2018. Nancy
testified that she suffered emotional, physical, and verbal
abuse from Robert for the duration of their marriage;
Robert's abuse recently increased. In May 2018, the
parties' youngest child told Nancy she would be moving
out to go to college. Nancy decided she was finally going to
leave Robert because she felt her obligations to her children
lessened. Robert would check her calendar to determine her
work hours and ensure Nancy was home when she was not
working. Due to his heightened awareness of her location,
Nancy entered a women's shelter in May 2018.
6 Nancy detailed Robert's history of abuse back
to 1979, when he sent her to the emergency room after
breaking her eye socket her for coming home late. Robert
repeatedly removed the engine coil wire from Nancy's
vehicle to prevent her from going anywhere. Nancy filed for
divorce and an order of protection in 1999. The court granted
Nancy's petition for an order of protection. Robert told
Nancy he would attend marriage counseling. Nancy withdrew her
petitions. After Robert and Nancy reconciled, Robert told
Nancy she was lucky she decided to take him back because he
was ready to "blow 'em away." Robert followed
Nancy to monitor where she went and with whom. Nancy
described Robert's practice of going to the grocery store
with her, verbally insulting her in front of the other
customers, and refusing to pay for the groceries unless she
7 In February 2018, Robert's alleged abuse
escalated. Nancy attended college classes; she began
separating herself from Robert as a result. Robert threatened
her, saying, "[i]f you think you're leaving,
I'll kill ya." Robert made these types of threats
three to four times a month. In April 2018, Robert came to
Nancy's workplace. He brought the spare set of keys to
Nancy's vehicle and dangled them in front of her. He told
her he was going to take the car to have work done. Nancy
believed Robert was threatening her, taking her car away as
punishment. Robert never fixed the vehicle. Regarding the GPS
device Nancy found in her car in May 2018, Robert sent her a
text message that read, "GPS is real nice. Why are you
doing this? When are you coming home? Where the heck are
you?" After Nancy filed her petition for an order of
protection, Robert persistently called and messaged Nancy. He
continued to show up at her workplace looking for her. Nancy
believed her safety was at risk without the order of
8 Tina Ogrondik, the parties' child, also
testified. She witnessed Robert physically abuse Nancy at
least five times that she could recall. Tina supported
Nancy's testimony that Robert used Nancy's vehicle to
exert power over her. If Nancy did not act to Robert's
liking, he would take away her vehicle. Tina believed Robert
wanted to discover Nancy's location after the court
granted her an emergency order of protection in June 2018.
Robert came over three to four times a day looking for Nancy.
He did the same with his other children. Days before the
hearing, Robert told Tina that there was still hope for his
relationship with Nancy; he would not give up.
9 Finally, Robert took the stand. Since Nancy
initiated these proceedings, he filed for divorce. Robert
either outright denied all of Nancy's allegations ...