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