What is a Protection from Abuse (PFA) order in Pennsylvania? VIDEO

A Protection from Abuse order in Pennsylvania is as the name references. It's an order issued by the court that grants a person, the protected person that is, Protection from Abuse, the abuse being perpetrated or allegedly perpetrated by the defendant. A plaintiff would take steps, say with his or her attorney to seek a Protection from Abuse order. A temporary order would often be issued by the court with notice of a hearing and by law has to be within 10 days.

The final hearing, although, the term final is a term used loosely, in some limited instances the court may not issue a Temporary PFA order and instead would issue only the notice of the hearing where a hearing would take place. Then the plaintiff at that time could seek a Final Protection from Abuse order at that hearing date. There's a difference between a Temporary PFA order and a Final PFA order, Protection from Abuse. A Final PFA order, it can last for up to three years in Pennsylvania. A Final PFA order can be issued after, say, a trial and a judge finds a finding of abuse or it could be issued by agreement of the defendant without admitting to the allegations.

You have to meet the specific terms of the Protection from Abuse statute in Pennsylvania to be eligible for a PFA, for example, an intimate relationship or have household members. There's very specific definitions and terms that one would have to meet to be eligible in seeking a PFA. Having an experienced PFA attorney can help you best understand and navigate the process and they should be involved from as early as possible in the case.

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