If you are a victim of domestic violence, and if the courthouse is closed, you are still able to obtain a Protection from Abuse Order. A hearing officer is available to receive petitions for PFAs from when the courthouse closes each day until it opens the next morning, from Friday at closing until Monday morning, and in the event there are no judges available due to illness, vacation, or duties outside of the county.
The hearing officer can, if he or she deems it necessary, enter an order prohibiting the defendant from abusing the plaintiff or minor children, can give the plaintiff possession of the parties’ residence to the exclusion of the defendant, and prohibiting the defendant from having any contact with the plaintiff or minor children. The order would be temporary in nature and would be entered with good cause shown by the plaintiff, meaning immediate and present danger of abuse.
If a hearing officer grants a PFA order as indicated above, that order will expire at the end of the next business day on which the court is available. If an emergency PFA order is granted, the plaintiff will be instructed to file a PFA Petition in the Court of Common Pleas immediately upon its reopening to obtain a new temporary order of protection from a judge.
In the event you find yourself or your children in danger of abuse when the courthouse is closed, an emergency protection order can be obtained to protect you until a time at which you are able to file a petition with the court.
To schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys or for further information, call us at the Law Offices of Gregory P. LaMonaca, P.C., at (610) 892-3877