Abuse and PFAs

Is someone abusing you? Stalking you? Harassing you? You may need a Protection from Abuse (PFA) order requiring them to stop. If you or a loved one fears for his or her well-being, our office may be able to help.

Or perhaps you may need someone to help defend you against unfair PFA allegations.

Regarding Protection from Abuse Matters, below is an abbreviated and very summarized version of part of what the Pennsylvania Pa.R.C.P. and/or Pa.C.S.A. provides.

(Please note that this content may not be continuously updated, and thus may not contain the most recent updates and/or revisions of the Pennsylvania laws and supplemental information. This information is provided for overview and information purposes, and is not meant to be legal advice. It is always best to consult with an experienced family law attorney, who utilizes much more than the following information, including caselaw, statutory law, and other resources to provide legal advice.):

Rule 1901.1. Venue.

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), an action for protection from abuse may be brought in a county in which 
(1) the plaintiff resides, either temporarily or permanently, or is employed, or 
(2) the defendant may be served, or 
(3) the abuse occurred. 
(b) If the relief sought includes possession of the residence or household to the exclusion of the defendant, the action shall be brought only in the county in which the residence or household is located.

Rule 1901.2. Scheduling.

Each judicial district shall establish times when the court will hear temporary Protection From Abuse matters.

Rule 1901.3. Commencement of Action.

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), an action shall be commenced by presenting to the court or filing with the prothonotary a petition setting forth the alleged abuse by the defendant. The petition shall be substantially in the form set forth in Rule 1905(b) and shall have as its first page the Notice of Hearing and Order set forth in Rule 1905(a). 
(b) An action may be commenced by filing with the prothonotary a certified copy of an emergency order entered pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 6110.

Rule 1901.4. Service and Registration of Order.

(a) Service of the petition and temporary order shall be in accordance with Rule 1930.4. 
(b) An Affidavit of Service substantially in the form set forth in Rule 1905(d) shall be filed with the prothonotary. 
(c) Upon the filing of a protection order with the prothonotary, the prothonotary shall transmit a copy of the order to the State Police PFA Registry in the manner prescribed by the Pennsylvania State Police.

Rule 1901.5. Enforcement.

(a) When an arrest is made for violation of an order, a complaint for indirect criminal contempt shall be completed and signed by either a police officer or the plaintiff. When the complaint is filed by a police officer, neither plaintiff’s presence nor signature is required. 
(b) If an arrest is not affected, a complaint for indirect criminal contempt may be completed and signed by the plaintiff pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 6113.1.

Rule 1901.7. Decision. Post-trial relief.

(a) The decision of the court may consist of only general findings of abuse but shall dispose of all claims for relief. The court’s order shall be rendered substantially in the form set forth in Rule 1905(e). 
(b) No motion for post-trial relief may be filed to the final order.

Please contact Pittsburgh domestic abuse and PFA lawyer Bethany L. Notaro, Esq. for more information.

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