Recently, actress Olivia Wilde sought and received a restraining order against an apparent stalker of her family. The star, once engaged to Jason Sudeikis, applied for the restraining order to protect herself, Sudeikis, and their two young children against one Nathaniel Fuhs—a 30 year-old-man who allegedly harassed the celebrity's family.
According to stories surrounding the order, Fuhs “imagined that he was Wilde's boyfriend.” With this understanding, the man showed up at Wilde's home to complain about Wilde's relationship with her current boyfriend, Harry Styles. Wilde says she has security footage to back her claims. Fuhs also wrote Wilde and Sudeikis unwelcome and ominous notes referencing his own fragile sanity.
Wilde's specific circumstances may be unique to her, but her pursuit of a restraining order is a more universally appreciated endeavor. Stalking, threats, and abuse are against the law, but when family situations get messy, or relationships get complicated, these types of actions become (unfortunately) all too common.
What types of actions merit a protective order?
Wilde was worried that someone was stalking her family, but that isn't the only reason that someone can file for a PFA or restraining order. According to PA law, abuse is:
- Any situation in which one person causes or tries to cause another person physical harm;
- Sexual assault or rape;
- Any sexual or physical abuse of minors;
- Causing someone to fear that they are in serious, immediate physical harm;
- Following someone or threatening them (e.g., stalking)
- Interfering with someone else's ability to move around freely
In Wilde's case, she had sufficient reason to believe that someone was stalking her family, so she filed for a protective order.
Who can file for a PFA?
Pennsylvania law makes it very clear who can file for a restraining or protective order. To file the paperwork, you must either be an adult household member or guardian filing on behalf of a minor child, or you must have some type of relationship with the alleged abuser. Some type of past intimacy qualifies as a relationship—but that intimacy doesn't have to be sexual or romantic.
In Wilde's case, she was able to file a protective order for her children simply because she was their guardian. There's a chance, however, that the simple fact that Fuhs provided some claims that he and Wilde had been involved also provided Wilde with the rationale to file due to a past relationship.
Pennsylvania PFAs do work to create some enforceable distance between the filer and the alleged abuser. Some examples of actions that a PFA can accomplish include:
- Ordering an abuser to cease threatening or stalking behavior;
- Evicting an abuser from a home;
- Ordering an abuser to stay away from a specific area or person;
- Ordering an abuser to pay support;
- Prohibiting an abuser to acquire firearms for a specific time.
Other actions may be available depending on the nature of the case. However, filing and following a PFA can both be delicate, difficult activities. More often than not, there are intense emotions involved, which can make matters tricky—and Pennsylvania law enforcement takes matters involving PFAs very seriously.
Trust Joseph D. Lento to Help You Face PFA-Related Allegations
Joseph D. Lento is a dedicated attorney who will treat your case with empathy and experience. Contact the Lento Law Firm online or call us on 888-535-3686.