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Protection from Abuse Orders

When someone is being abused or threatened, time can be critical. Fisher & Fisher Law Offices acts quickly on behalf of our clients who need to seek protection orders. Our experienced attorneys have been helping residents obtain PFA orders in Northeast Pennsylvania, including Monroe, Wayne, Pike, Luzerne, Lackawanna, Carbon, and Northampton Counties for over 30 years.

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Pennsylvania has enacted a Protection from Abuse statute, which protects any person in a relationship, regardless of whether they are married, from harassing, abusing, hitting or stalking behaviors. Protection from abuse (PFA) orders are often sought in divorce cases when one of the parties accuses the other of spousal or child abuse. Reasons may include:

  1. Attempting to cause or causing (with or without a deadly weapon):
  • Bodily injury
  • Rape
  • Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse
  • Sexual assault
  • Aggravated indecent assault
  • Indecent assault (touching a person’s intimate parts for the purposes of arousal without consent, under force or threat of force, or while the person is unconscious) or
  • Incest
  1. Placing another in reasonable fear of immediate serious bodily injury ;
  2. False imprisonment;
  3. Physical or sexual abuse of a child; or
  4. Engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts toward another person, including following the person, under circumstances which place the person in reasonable fear of bodily injury. In other words, stalking or harassment that makes you afraid of bodily injury.

After a hearing on the merits, a Temporary PFA order may be made into a final Order which will remain in effect for a period of up to 18 months. PFA orders may order a party to refrain from all physical contact, as well as telephone and email communication.

To obtain a PFA order, a party has to prove that he or she is in fear of imminent bodily injury, that they have been stalked or threatened, and that they are in fear. You cannot seek protection from a future threat—there must be a threat of imminent abuse. In the appropriate case, the order can provide for immediate eviction from the home and the relinquishment of any firearms.

After a hearing, the PFA order can continue for a period of up to three years from the date that it is entered. Charges of spousal or child abuse are often made in the early stages of a domestic dispute, but there may be long-term implications to the entry of a PFA order, and you should contact the experienced family law attorneys at Fisher & Fisher to discuss these ramifications. If you think you may need to file a PSA order, call our law offices today for a free consultation.

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