Last month I attended a CLE on the Protection From Abuse (PFA) Act in Pennsylvania. For those of you who may be in need of seeking a PFA or may be a Defendant who has been served with a PFA, here are the nuts and bolts:

I. A PFA is an Order of Court available to victims of domestic abuse. Generally, the Order prohibits the Defendant from contacting the victim for a specified period of time.

II. A person may obtain a PFA against a spouse or former spouse, current or former paramour or sexual partner, a parent, child or another person related by blood or marriage who has been abusive towards them.

III. PFA’s may also be used to exclude a person from a residence or place of work, restrict a person from contact with a child, order temporary custody or support and turn over any weapons or firearms that the Defendant may have.

IV. A Temporary PFA remains in effect for 7 to 10 business days until a court hearing is held before a Common Pleas Judge.

V. At the court hearing the Final PFA could be ordered to remain in effect for up to 36 months.

VI. Various defenses are available to a Defendant if you have been unfairly targeted or falsely accused of abuse.

VII. If an individual violates a PFA Order by contacting, harassing or threatening the Plaintiff (even through a third party), then that individual could face a charge of Indirect Criminal Contempt which could result in up to 6 months of jail time.

As with most every matter involving the courts, I encourage every PFA Plaintiff and Defendant to seek the representation of an attarney.Inflatable Happy Clown Bouncer

– Dan Nevins