from the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial Circuit, Will
County, Illinois. Circuit No. 18-OP-1113 Honorable David
Garcia, Judge, Presiding.
A. Joshua, of Fred A. Joshua P.C., of Hickory Hills, for
Elgindy and Andrea DeTellis, of Prairie State Legal Services,
Inc., of Joliet, for appellee.
JUSTICE SCHMIDT delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices Lytton and O'Brien concurred with the
judgment and opinion.
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.
¶ 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.
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