Protection from Abuse actions can be frightening – whether you are the plaintiff seeking protection or the defendant looking to beat the petition. In Pennsylvania, there are three types of protection orders: Protection from Abuse Order (PFA), Protection of Victims of Sexual Violence Order (SVPO), and the Protection from Intimidation Order (PFI). These orders seek to end abuse, threats, harassment and stalking by outlining appropriate and allowed actions by the defendant. This entails prohibiting the defendant from entering the plaintiff’s home or contacting the plaintiff in public places – even over the phone or social media. These orders can even force the defendant to leave the residence when the defendant and plaintiff are cohabitating.
A Temporary Protection Order allows the court to hear the petitioner in an ex parte proceeding – meaning without the opposing party present. The judge will then consider a number of factors to determine whether an immediate presence of abuse exists. Some of these factors are: whether the temporary protection order is not likely to achieve its purpose in the absence of an abusive condition; whether the defendant previously violated a protection order; whether past or present abuse to the plaintiff or any of the plaintiff’s minor children resulted in injury; and whether the abuse occurred in public. “Abuse” may be threats of suicide; killing or threatening to kill pets; escalation of violence; stalking or obsessive behavior, sexual violence; or drug or excessive alcohol use. If a Temporary PFA is entered, then a hearing on the final PFA must occur within ten business days of the filing of the petition.
A Final Order PFA essentially follows the Temporary PFA and can remain in place for up to 3 years. It must order the defendant to refrain from abusing, stalking, harassing, threatening, or attempting to threaten to use physical force against the plaintiff or minor children. This order also may require the defendant to relinquish all firearms. A Final Order PFA may include custody terms and arrangements. If your Final Order PFA has such terms, then it is imperative that you retain an effective Family Law attorney to pursue a custody complaint or modification.
A PFA is no joke and retaining effective counsel as soon as possible after being served the PFA incredibly important. At Joe Pometto Law, we have extensive experience assisting those seeking PFA’s and those defending against them. Given the implications of both, our firm is ready and able to assist you – no matter what side you are on. THERE IS NO GOOD REASON FOR YOU TO FACE THESE ISSUES ALONE. GO FOR JOE – CONTACT OUR FIRM NOW.
SOME FAMILY LAW CASE RESULTS FROM OUR FIRM:
Westmoreland County: Atty. Pometto
PFA Dismissed After Hearing
Allegheny County: Atty. Veres
Emergency Custody Petition Granted – Client Gained Sole Custody
Allegheny County: Atty. Veres
Wins Custody Modification Hearing – Client Retains Current Custody