If you are a resident of Allegheny County and are in need of a Protection from Abuse order, your first step is going to the Court of Common Pleas Family Division in downtown Pittsburgh. At the courthouse, there will be legal advocates and the PFA coordinator there to help you with all your questions and filing needs. The time period for filing PFA's is from 9-11am on all weekdays that the court is open, however if you need an Emergency Protection from Abuse order, you can obtain one by going to night court which is also located in downtown Pittsburgh. If you need a PFA after 11am on weekdays, you can also get one from a local District Justice.
A PFA protects you and possibly your children from all contact from the other party. The process of obtaining a PFA does not require the other party's attendance or knowledge. This type of process is known as ex parte. Further if the other party lives in the same household as you, they will be removed and not permitted to return until the final PFA hearing. A PFA can also force the other party to provide financial support for various expenses and needs. If you have children with the other party, a PFA can also provide for temporary full custody provisions. If the other party breaks any of the terms of the PFA, you can call the police and they will be arrested. The charges associated with violating a PFA are criminal, not family related. If you or anyone you know needs more information about a PFA, please contact our Pennsylvania family and criminal law attorneys today.