Fifth Judicial District of Pennsylvania
County of Allegheny
Protection From Abuse (PFA) | Presenting a PFA Petition

Consistent with the Order of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania dated April 1, 2020, this Court having originally declared a judicial emergency in the Fifth Judicial District of Pennsylvania through April 14, 2020, President Judge Clark now declares that the judicial emergency be extended through May 8, 2020. The Fifth Judicial District Emergency Operations Plan dated March 26, 2020, as amended, shall remain in effect through the duration of the judicial emergency. Additionally, in recognition of the likelihood that this judicial emergency may, of necessity, be extended through May 31, 2020, it is further ORDERED that any case postponed due to this emergency be scheduled after May 31, 2020, and that the suspension of the operation of Rule 600 be applied to those postponements, subject to constitutional limitations. Cases that can be resolved entirely through the use of Advanced Communication Technology may be postponed to a date prior to May 31, 2020.

Pro se or unrepresented Plaintiffs: PFA applications are available from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Pro se applicants should report to the PFA Department as early as possible beginning at 8:30 a.m. Applicants will be directed to the intake area where they will receive information about completing a Pro Se PFA Petition and Temporary Order. Non-lawyer legal advocates from the county’s four domestic violence programs are available in the intake area in the morning to offer applicants emotional support, safety planning and referrals to other community resources.

Attorney filings: Temporary PFA hearings begin at 11:30 a.m., Monday through Friday. Attorneys should prepare a Petition and Temporary Order and deliver the original paperwork to the PFA Department a half hour before the start of the hearing. The Plaintiff must be present for the hearing.

Minor Plaintiffs: A parent, adult household member or guardian ad litem may seek relief on behalf of minor children.

Minor Defendants: A PFA Petition filed against a minor Defendant will be processed through the PFA Department following the same procedures as an adult Defendant. The minor Defendant must have a parent or adult household member who can be appointed as a guardian ad litem for purposes of the PFA proceeding.

Incapacitated Adult Plaintiffs: A guardian may seek relief on behalf of an adult who has been declared an incapacitated person under 20 Pa.C.S.A. §51, Subch. B (relating to appointment of a guardian).

There are NO fees or costs assessed to Plaintiffs filing a Protection from Abuse action.

More information is available in the Children’s Court Manual.

Criminal Division
Family Division
Magisterial District Courts & PMC

Family Division - Children's Court (Protection From Abuse Department)
440 Ross Street, Suite 3030
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
412.350.6489 fax
directions by Google maps
Hours of Operation
Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Protection from Abuse (PFA) Intake Hours
8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.