Steps to Take to File a Restraining Order in Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Cases
Restraining Order in Domestic Violence Cases
If you're facing physical, sexual, or emotional abuse from a spouse, partner, or any other family member, you have the legal right to put an end to it. An important step to take to put an end to violence and abuse in your life is to get a restraining order. You have the right to feel safe in your own home. If you have been the victim of domestic violence in Pennsylvania, you can file a "protection from abuse" order.
This civil order can provide you protection from abuse from a family member, parent, sibling, ex-spouse, relative, partner, or person with whom you have a child. Anyone who has feared injury or who has suffered physical harm can seek protection.
For more information, contact the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C. We are here to help.
What You Need to Do to Get Protection in Pennsylvania
Here are the steps you need to take to get a protection from abuse order:
Step 1: Get the petition at your county courthouse.
You can file your petition for protection from abuse order with the Court of Common Pleas in the county where you live or work. You may even file this petition in a county where the abuser can be served, or in the county where the said abuse happened.
But, if you are going to ask the judge to remove the abuser from your home, it is critical that you file the petition where the residence is located. When you go to the courthouse, remember to bring some form of identification such as your driver's license. Also, it might be helpful to call the courthouse in advance to see if you can schedule a time slot when your petition can be presented to the judge. At the courthouse, you will get all the forms you need to file.
Step 2: Be sure to fill out the forms.
As part of the process, you will need to fill out the required forms including a protection from abuse (PFA) petition. On the petition, the person filing the petition (you) is the "plaintiff" and the abuser would be listed as the "defendant." Be sure to read the protection from abuse form petition carefully. If you don't understand something, ask the courthouse staff. In the form, describe all details about how the defendant injured or threatened you. Include the location of the threat, if it involved a weapon, and list incidents that involved violence. Describe the acts of violence that were committed, such as hitting, punching, grabbing, shoving, etc. Be as specific as you can. The form must be signed before a notary or a judge at the courthouse.
Step 3: A judge will review and evaluate your petition.
When you present your petition to the judge, they will evaluate it based on the facts and evidence. If the judge believes that you or your children are in immediate danger, they may sign a temporary order, which will remain in effect until the officials hearing. Pennsylvania law states that the case shall be heard by a judge in 10 days. After this hearing, the judge may grant you a final PFA. It is important that you keep a copy of the temporary order with you at all times.
Contact an Experienced Lawyer in Montgomery County
Restraining orders don't stop every instance of abuse, but they do play a role in domestic violence prevention. They spell out clear penalties for abusers who violate the terms of the agreement and give victims an opportunity to request protection. Some even give victims the right to seek compensation from their abuser for medical bills and lost wages from missing work.
If you or your children are in physical danger, call the authorities right away. If you've suffered abuse and would like protection, DO NOT hesitate to discuss your options with a family law attorney. A restraining order sends a clear message to your abuser that if they get near you, there will be consequences.
You have a right to feel safe in your home, work, or school. Our experienced family law attorneys will help you get that right.
Call the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C. at (866) 290-9292 for a free confidential consultation.