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Pennsylvania PFA Orders Without Cause

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Jul 12, 2022 | 0 Comments

Pennsylvania's Protection from Abuse Act has the laudable goal of reducing domestic violence. Courts issue PFA orders to restrain spouses or other intimate partners and other household family members from continuing with sexual assaults, domestic violence, stalking, and threats of those behaviors. To get a PFA order, the Protection from Abuse Act's Section 6106(a) requires that the plaintiff plead the defendant's abuse. The Act's Section 6102(a) defines abuse broadly to include bodily injury, sexual assault, false imprisonment, stalking, and other injurious behaviors. But the plaintiff seeking the PFA order must allege and prove one or more of those abuse grounds to obtain the PFA order. Courts should not be issuing PFA orders without statutory grounds, especially because PFA orders can be so extremely disruptive, affecting housing, transportation, employment, child custody, and other family relationships. PFA orders need good cause. A PFA order issued without cause is an abuse and misuse of the Protection from Abuse Act.

Manipulating and Abusing PFA Orders

Little question exists that some plaintiffs manipulate and abuse PFA order requests. Plaintiffs claiming grounds for a PFA order may do so to serve their own agenda, not for any needed abuse protection. Plaintiffs manipulate PFA orders for all kinds of unauthorized purposes, including to coerce money, retain property, obtain child custody, and deny child visitation, and for vengeance and retaliation over affairs, breakups, and other perceived or real offenses. Plaintiffs also seek PFA orders while deluded or confused over what really happened or mistaken as to what a PFA order requires. PFA orders sometimes, and perhaps often, issue without cause, even though the Pennsylvania legislature carefully crafted the Protection from Abuse Act's notice and hearing procedures to discourage abuse.

Penalties for False PFA Orders

Pennsylvania's Protection from Abuse Act also carries penalties for the manipulation and abuse of PFA orders. For example, the Act's Section 6106(a.1) titled “False Reports” provides that a “person who knowingly gives false information to any law enforcement officer with the intent to implicate another under this chapter commits an offense … relating to false reports to law enforcement authorities….” The plaintiff who files a court complaint with false allegations of abuse violates court rules, while the plaintiff who testifies falsely about abuse that did not happen commits perjury. Pennsylvania law provides plenty of remedies for holding the PFA plaintiff accountable for lies, falsehoods, inaccuracies, and misrepresentations. But those remedies may not prevent substantial injury to the PFA defendant who suffers the unjust order.

Pennsylvania PFA Defense Attorney Available

Your best course in the face of a PFA complaint that lacks good cause for the court to issue a PFA order is to retain a skilled, experienced, and aggressive Pennsylvania PFA defense attorney. Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm provide premier and winning defense of PFA order requests, including requests for which the plaintiff has no good cause. Don't let a party manipulate the Protection from Abuse Act to ruin your reputation and relationships. Call 888-535-3686 for attorney defense now or use the online service.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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