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Understanding a temporary protective order in Pennsylvania

It is an unfortunate reality that there are times when domestic abuse takes place between people in a relationship in Pennsylvania. There are certain steps that a person who is facing abuse and violence can take to put a legal stop to it. Understanding the criteria for this can help with filing an order to be protected. Following the steps is important to getting the temporary and then final order.

First, there must be a filing of the protection from abuse. Next, the judge will review the case to decide whether there should be a temporary protection order. This decision on whether to grant the order will hinge on the statement of the person who claims that he or she is being abused. If the judge believes that abuse was taking place, a temporary order of protection will be issued and there will be a hearing for a final order, generally within 10 days.

The person who is accused of abuse will need to be notified of the temporary order of protection along with the hearing date. Usually, the local law enforcement agency will serve this court order. When he or she is served, there can be an arrest if the terms are violated. There is a difference between a temporary and a final order of protection. The temporary order will issue restrictions in which the abused person will receive certain protections. The only people allowed to give statements when trying to get the temporary order are the person seeking protection and witnesses. The hearing date will be set. And unless it is extended, it will expire after 10 days.

People who are facing domestic abuse have the ability to seek a protective order and be shielded by the law. For those who are being subjected to this type of treatment, a temporary order for protection from abuse (PFA) is a useful tool to gain protection. Of course, having help from an attorney in seeking the PFA is a wise decision and the first call that an abused person should make.

Source: pabar.org, "Protection From Abuse," accessed on Jan. 10, 2017

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