23c6101h

 

 

PART VII

ABUSE OF FAMILY

 

Chapter

  61.  Protection from Abuse

  63.  Child Protective Services

  65.  Newborn Protection

  67.  Domestic and Sexual Violence Victim Address

Confidentiality

 

Enactment.  Part VII was added Dec. 19, 1990, P.L.1240, No.206, effective in 90 days.

 

 

CHAPTER 61

PROTECTION FROM ABUSE

 

Sec.

§ 6101.  Short title of chapter.

§ 6102.  Definitions.

§ 6103.  Jurisdiction.

§ 6104.  Full faith and credit and foreign protection orders.

§ 6105.  Responsibilities of law enforcement agencies.

§ 6106.  Commencement of proceedings.

§ 6107.  Hearings.

§ 6108.  Relief.

§ 6108.1. Return of relinquished firearms, other weapons and ammunition and additional relief.

§ 6108.2. Relinquishment for consignment sale, lawful transfer or safekeeping.

§ 6108.3. Relinquishment to third party for safekeeping.

§ 6108.4. Registry or database of firearm ownership.

§ 6108.5. Penalties for release of information.

§ 6109.  Service of orders.

§ 6110.  Emergency relief by minor judiciary.

§ 6111.  Domestic violence counselor/advocate.

§ 6112.  Disclosure of addresses.

§ 6113.  Arrest for violation of order.

§ 6113.1. Private criminal complaints for violation of order or agreement.

§ 6114.  Contempt for violation of order or agreement.

§ 6114.1. Civil contempt or modification for violation of an order or agreement.

§ 6115.  Reporting abuse and immunity.

§ 6116.  Confidentiality.

§ 6117.  Procedure and other remedies.

§ 6118.  Full faith and credit (Repealed).

§ 6119.  Immunity.

§ 6120.  Inability to pay.

§ 6121.  Warrantless searches.

§ 6122.  Construction.

 

Enactment.  Chapter 61 was added December 19, 1990, P.L.1240, No.206, effective in 90 days.

Saved from Suspension.  Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure No. 1910.49, as amended March 30, 1994, provided that Chapter 61 shall not be deemed suspended or affected by Rules 1910.1 through 1910.31 governing actions for support.

Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure No. 1915.24, as amended March 30, 1994, provided that Chapter 61 shall not be deemed suspended or affected by Rules 1915.1 through 1915.18 relating to actions for custody, partial custody and visitation of minor children.

Special Provisions in Appendix.  See the preamble to Act 66 of 2005 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to legislative findings and declarations.

Cross References.  Chapter 61 is referred to in section 6105 of this title; sections 2711, 6105 of Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses); sections 1126, 1725.1, 5924, 62A18, 6302, 8127, 9711 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure); section 1417 of Title 66 (Public Utilities).

23c6101s

§ 6101.  Short title of chapter.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Protection from Abuse Act.

23c6102s

§ 6102.  Definitions.

(a)  General rule.--The following words and phrases when used in this chapter shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Abuse."  The occurrence of one or more of the following acts between family or household members, sexual or intimate partners or persons who share biological parenthood:

(1)  Attempting to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury, serious bodily injury, rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault or incest with or without a deadly weapon.

(2)  Placing another in reasonable fear of imminent serious bodily injury.

(3)  The infliction of false imprisonment pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. § 2903 (relating to false imprisonment).

(4)  Physically or sexually abusing minor children, including such terms as defined in Chapter 63 (relating to child protective services).

(5)  Knowingly engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts toward another person, including following the person, without proper authority, under circumstances which place the person in reasonable fear of bodily injury. The definition of this paragraph applies only to proceedings commenced under this title and is inapplicable to any criminal prosecutions commenced under Title 18 (relating to crimes and offenses).

"Adult."  An individual who is 18 years of age or older.

"Certified copy."  A paper copy of the original order of the issuing court endorsed by the appropriate clerk of that court or an electronic copy of the original order of the issuing court endorsed with a digital signature of the judge or appropriate clerk of that court. A raised seal on the copy of the order of the issuing court shall not be required.

"Comparable court."  A foreign court that:

(1)  has subject matter jurisdiction and is authorized to issue ex parte, emergency, temporary or final protection orders in that jurisdiction; and

(2)  possessed jurisdiction over the parties when the protection order was issued in that jurisdiction.

"Confidential communications."  All information, whether written or spoken, transmitted between a victim and a domestic violence counselor or advocate in the course of the relationship. The term includes information received or given by the domestic violence counselor or advocate in the course of the relationship, as well as advice, reports, statistical data, memoranda or working papers, records or the like, given or made in the course of the relationship. The term also includes communications made by or to a linguistic interpreter assisting the victim, counselor or advocate in the course of the relationship.

"Domestic violence counselor/advocate."  An individual who is engaged in a domestic violence program, the primary purpose of which is the rendering of counseling or assistance to victims of domestic violence, who has undergone 40 hours of training.

"Domestic violence program."  A nonprofit organization or program whose primary purpose is to provide services to domestic violence victims which include, but are not limited to, crisis hotline; safe homes or shelters; community education; counseling systems intervention and interface; transportation, information and referral; and victim assistance.

"Family or household members."  Spouses or persons who have been spouses, persons living as spouses or who lived as spouses, parents and children, other persons related by consanguinity or affinity, current or former sexual or intimate partners or persons who share biological parenthood.

"Firearm."  Any weapon which is designed to or may readily be converted to expel any projectile by the action of an explosive or the frame or receiver of any such weapon as defined by 18 Pa.C.S. § 6105(i) (relating to persons not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms).

"Foreign protection order."  A protection order as defined by 18 U.S.C. § 2266 (relating to definitions) issued by a comparable court of another state, the District of Columbia, Indian tribe or territory, possession or commonwealth of the United States.

"Hearing officer."  A magisterial district judge, judge of the Philadelphia Municipal Court, arraignment court magistrate appointed under 42 Pa.C.S. § 1123 (relating to jurisdiction and venue), master appointed under 42 Pa.C.S. § 1126 (relating to masters) and master for emergency relief.

"Master for emergency relief."  A member of the bar of the Commonwealth appointed under section 6110(e) (relating to emergency relief by minor judiciary).

"Minor."  An individual who is not an adult.

"Other weapon."  Anything readily capable of lethal use and possessed under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for lawful uses which it may have. The term does not include a firearm.

"Safekeeping permit."  A permit issued by a sheriff allowing a person to take possession of any firearm, other weapon or ammunition that a judge ordered a defendant to relinquish in a protection from abuse proceeding.

"Secure visitation facility."  A court-approved visitation program offered in a facility with trained professional staff operated in a manner that safeguards children and parents from abuse and abduction.

"Sheriff."

(1)  Except as provided in paragraph (2), the sheriff of the county.

(2)  In a city of the first class, the chief or head of the police department.

"Victim."  A person who is physically or sexually abused by a family or household member. For purposes of section 6116 (relating to confidentiality), a victim is a person against whom abuse is committed who consults a domestic violence counselor or advocate for the purpose of securing advice, counseling or assistance. The term shall also include persons who have a significant relationship with the victim and who seek advice, counseling or assistance from a domestic violence counselor or advocate regarding abuse of the victim.

"Weapon."  Anything readily capable of lethal use and possessed under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for lawful uses which it may have. The term includes a firearm which is not loaded or lacks a magazine, clip or other components to render it immediately operable and components which can readily be assembled into a weapon as defined by 18 Pa.C.S. § 907 (relating to possessing instruments of crime).

(b)  Other terms.--Terms not otherwise defined in this chapter shall have the meaning given to them in 18 Pa.C.S. (relating to crimes and offenses).

23c6102v

(Oct. 6, 1994, P.L.574, No.85, eff. 60 days; Mar. 31, 1995, 1st Sp.Sess., P.L.985, No.10, eff. 60 days; June 22, 2001, P.L.576, No.39, eff. 60 days; Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days; Nov. 10, 2005, P.L.335, No.66, eff. 180 days; Oct. 9, 2008, P.L.1352, No.98, eff. 60 days)

 

2008 Amendment.  Act 98 amended the def. of "hearing officer" in subsec. (a). Section 10 of Act 98 provided that nothing in Act 98 shall be construed or deemed to provide arraignment court magistrates with retirement benefits or rights different from those availiable to bail commissioners immediately prior to the effective date of Act 98.

 2005 Amendment.  Act 66 amended the defs. of "confidential communications" and "hearing officer" and added the defs. of "firearm," "master for emergency relief," "other weapon," "safekeeping permit," "sheriff" and "weapon" in subsec. (a).

2004 Amendment. See sections 28 and 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability and construction of law.

2001 Amendment.  Act 39 added the defs. of "certified copy," "comparable court" and "foreign protection order" in subsec. (a).

1995 Amendment.  Act 10, 1st Sp.Sess., amended the def. of "abuse" in subsec. (a).

Cross References.  Section 6102 is referred to in sections 3701, 5322, 6702, 6711 of this title; sections 2711, 6102 of Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses); sections 1726.2, 8127 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).

23c6103s

§ 6103.  Jurisdiction.

(a)  General rule.--The court shall have jurisdiction over all proceedings under this chapter.

(b)  Effect of departure and nonresidence.--The right of the plaintiff to relief under this chapter shall not be affected by either of the following:

(1)  The plaintiff's leaving the residence or household to avoid further abuse.

(2)  The defendant's absence from this Commonwealth or the defendant's nonresidence in this Commonwealth, provided that the court has personal jurisdiction over the defendant in accordance with 42 Pa.C.S. § 5322 (relating to bases of personal jurisdiction over persons outside this Commonwealth).

23c6103v

(Nov. 10, 2005, P.L.335, No.66, eff. 180 days)

23c6104s

§ 6104.  Full faith and credit and foreign protection orders.

(a)  General rule.--A court shall recognize and enforce a valid foreign protection order issued by a comparable court. The validity of a foreign protection order shall only be determined by a court.

(b)  Affirmative defense.--Failure by a comparable court to provide reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard shall be an affirmative defense to any charge or process filed seeking enforcement of a foreign protection order. A comparable court shall have complied with that court's notice requirements and shall have given the defendant the opportunity to be heard before the foreign order was issued. In the case of ex parte orders, the comparable court shall have complied with that court's notice requirements and have given the defendant an opportunity to be heard within a reasonable period of time after the order was issued, consistent with due process.

(c)  Invalid orders.--A foreign protection order issued by a comparable court against a party who has filed a petition, complaint or other written pleading for a protection order is not valid and not entitled to full faith and credit if:

(1)  no cross or counter petition, complaint or other written pleading was filed seeking the protection order; or

(2)  a cross or counter petition, complaint or other written pleading was filed and the court did not make a specific finding that each party was entitled to a protection order.

(d)  Filing a foreign protection order.--A plaintiff may file a certified copy of a foreign protection order with the prothonotary in any county within this Commonwealth where the plaintiff believes enforcement may be necessary. The following provisions shall apply:

(1) No costs or fees associated with filing a foreign protection order shall be assigned to the plaintiff, including the cost of obtaining certified copies of the order. Costs and fees associated with filing a foreign protection order may be assessed against the defendant.

(2)  Upon filing of a foreign protection order, a prothonotary shall transmit, in a manner prescribed by the Pennsylvania State Police, a copy of the order to the Pennsylvania State Police registry of protection orders.

(3)  Filing of a foreign protection order shall not be a prerequisite for service and enforcement.

(e)  Orders issued in another judicial district within this Commonwealth.--The filing of an order issued in another judicial district within this Commonwealth is not required for enforcement purposes.

23c6104v

(Oct. 6, 1994, P.L.574, No.85, eff. 60 days; June 22, 2001, P.L.576, No.39, eff. 60 days; Nov. 10, 2005, P.L.335, No.66, eff. 180 days)

 

2005 Amendment.  Act 66 amended subsec. (d).

Cross References.  Section 6104 is referred to in section 6105 of this title.

23c6105s

§ 6105.  Responsibilities of law enforcement agencies.

(a)  General rule.--The police department of each municipal corporation, the Pennsylvania State Police and the sheriff of each county shall insure that all their officers, deputies and employees are familiar with the provisions of this chapter. Instruction concerning protection from abuse shall be made a part of the training curriculum for all trainee officers and deputies. All law enforcement agencies within this Commonwealth shall adopt a written domestic violence policy.

(b)  Notice of services and rights.--Each law enforcement agency shall provide the abused person with oral and written notice of the availability of safe shelter and of domestic violence services in the community, including the hotline number for domestic violence services. The written notice, which shall be in English and Spanish and any additional language required by local rule of court, shall include the following statement:

"If you are the victim of domestic violence, you have the right to go to court and file a petition requesting an order for protection from domestic abuse pursuant to the Protection From Abuse Act (23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 61), which could include the following:

(1)  An order restraining the abuser from further acts of abuse.

(2)  An order directing the abuser to leave your household.

(3)  An order preventing the abuser from entering your residence, school, business or place of employment.

(4)  An order awarding you or the other parent temporary custody of or temporary visitation with your child or children.

(5)  An order directing the abuser to pay support to you and the minor children if the abuser has a legal obligation to do so."

(c)  Mandatory report.--Each law enforcement agency shall make an incident report, on a form prescribed by the Pennsylvania State Police, consistent with the report required by the Federal National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). The mandate for incident report completion shall not be operative until the Pennsylvania State Police have implemented NIBRS. The incident report may include the following:

(1)  Names, addresses and telephone numbers of the victim, the accused, any witnesses and the caller.

(2)  A second permanent address and telephone number for the victim, such as a close family member or a friend.

(3)  A statement of the relationship between the victim and the accused.

(4)  A narrative for the incident, including the date, time and whether the accused appeared intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance.

(5)  What, if any, weapons were used or threatened to be used.

(6)  A description of any injuries observed by the officer.

(7)  A description of any injuries described by the victim but not observed by the officer and an indication that the injury was not observed.

(8)  Documentation of any evidence that would tend to establish that a crime was committed.

(9)  An indication of whether an arrest was made and the reason for electing not to arrest, whether there was a warrantless arrest, an arrest with a warrant or no arrest.

(10)  Whether the accused actually was arrested or whether there is an outstanding arrest warrant.

(11)  The crimes with which the accused was charged.

(12)  If the accused was arrested and arraigned, whether bail was set and any conditions of bail imposed.

(13)  If the officer did not arrest or seek an arrest warrant even though arrest was authorized, a detailed explanation of the reasons for the officer's decision not to arrest.

(14)  The names and ages of any children present in the household and their address and telephone number if children were relocated.

(15)  Notation of previous incidents of which the officer is personally aware.

(16)  Notation of previous incidents reported by the victim or witnesses.

(17)  If an officer was injured in the incident, the nature and circumstances of the injury.

(d)  Notice of arrest.--All law enforcement agencies shall make reasonable efforts to notify any adult or emancipated minor protected by an order issued under this chapter of the arrest of the defendant for violation of an order as soon as possible. Unless the person cannot be located, notice of the arrest shall be provided not more than 24 hours after preliminary arraignment.

(e)  Statewide registry.--

(1)  The Pennsylvania State Police shall establish a Statewide registry of protection orders and shall maintain a complete and systematic record and index of all valid temporary and final court orders of protection, court-approved consent agreements and a foreign protection order filed pursuant to section 6104(d) (relating to full faith and credit and foreign protection orders). The Statewide registry shall include, but need not be limited to, the following:

(i)  The names of the plaintiff and any protected parties.

(ii)  The name and address of the defendant.

(iii)  The relationship between the plaintiff and defendant.

(iv)  The date the order was entered.

(v)  The date the order expires.

(vi)  The relief granted under sections 6108(a)(1), (2), (4), (6) and (7) (relating to relief) and 6110(a) (relating to emergency relief by minor judiciary).

(vii)  The judicial district in which the order was entered.

(viii)  Where furnished, the Social Security number and date of birth of the defendant.

(ix)  Whether or not any or all firearms, other weapons or ammunition were ordered relinquished.

(2)  The prothonotary shall send, on a form prescribed by the Pennsylvania State Police, a copy of the protection order or approved consent agreement to the Statewide registry of protection orders so that it is received within 24 hours of the entry of the order. Likewise, amendments to or revocation of an order shall be transmitted by the prothonotary within 24 hours of the entry of the order for modification or revocation. The Pennsylvania State Police shall enter orders, amendments and revocations in the Statewide registry of protection orders within eight hours of receipt. Vacated or expired orders shall be purged from the registry.

(3)  The registry of the Pennsylvania State Police shall be available at all times to inform courts, dispatchers and law enforcement officers of any valid protection order involving any defendant.

(4)  When an order granting relief under section 6108(a)(7) has been entered by a court, such information shall be available to the Pennsylvania State Police for the purpose of conducting a criminal history records check in compliance with the applicable provisions of 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 61 Subch. A (relating to Uniform Firearms Act).

(5)  Information contained in the Statewide registry shall not be subject to access under the act of June 21, 1957 (P.L.390, No.212), referred to as the Right-to-Know Law.

(f)  Information concerning crimes of violence.--Each police department in a city, borough or township and the Pennsylvania State Police shall transmit to the Pennsylvania State Police, in a manner prescribed by the Pennsylvania State Police, the information specified in subsection (c) related to crimes of violence between family or household members.

(g)  Annual report.--The Pennsylvania State Police shall annually compile and analyze the incident report data received and publish a Statewide report which includes aggregate, county and department-based statistical profiles. The Pennsylvania State Police shall transmit a copy of the annual report to the Governor, the General Assembly and each domestic violence program in this Commonwealth.

(h)  Enforcement of foreign protection orders.--

(1)  All foreign protection orders shall have the presumption of validity in this Commonwealth, and police officers shall make arrests for violations thereof in the same manner as set for violations of protection orders issued within this Commonwealth. Until a foreign order is declared to be invalid by a court, it shall be enforced by all law enforcement personnel in this Commonwealth.

(2)  A police officer shall rely upon any copy of a foreign protection order which has been presented to the officer by any source and may verify the existence of a protection order consistent with the provisions of section 6113(a) (relating to arrest for violation of order). The fact that a foreign protection order has not been filed with a prothonotary or entered into the Pennsylvania State Police registry shall not be grounds for law enforcement to refuse to enforce the order.

(i)  Immunity.--The following entities shall be immune from civil liability for good faith conduct in any action arising in connection with a court's finding that the foreign order is invalid or unenforceable:

(1)  Law enforcement agencies and their agents and employees.

(2)  County correctional and detention facilities and their agents and employees.

(3)  Prothonotaries and their agents and employees.

23c6105v

(Oct. 6, 1994, P.L.574, No.85, eff. 60 days; Dec. 16, 1997, P.L.549, No.58, eff. 60 days; June 22, 2001, P.L.576, No.39, eff. 60 days; Nov. 10, 2005, P.L.335, No.66, eff. 180 days)

 

2005 Amendment.  Act 66 amended subsec. (e).

2001 Amendment.  Act 39 amended subsec. (e)(1) and added subsecs. (h) and (i).

References in Text.  The act of June 21, 1957 (P.L.390, No.212), referred to as the Right-to-Know Law, referred to in subsec. (e)(5), was repealed by the act of February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the Right-to-Know Law.

Cross References.  Section 6105 is referred to in sections 6106, 6109, 6114 of this title; section 62A04 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).

23c6106s

§ 6106.  Commencement of proceedings.

(a)  General rule.--An adult or an emancipated minor may seek relief under this chapter for that person or any parent, adult household member or guardian ad litem may seek relief under this chapter on behalf of minor children, or a guardian of the person of an adult who has been declared incompetent under 20 Pa.C.S. Ch. 51 Subch. B (relating to appointment of guardian) may seek relief on behalf of the incompetent adult, by filing a petition with the court alleging abuse by the defendant.

(a.1)  False reports.--A person who knowingly gives false information to any law enforcement officer with the intent to implicate another under this chapter commits an offense under 18 Pa.C.S. § 4906 (relating to false reports to law enforcement authorities).

(a.2)  Notification of defendant's occupation.--The plaintiff shall notify the court if the plaintiff has reason to believe that the defendant is a licensed firearms dealer, is employed by a licensed firearms dealer or manufacturer, is employed as a writer, researcher or technician in the firearms or hunting industry or is required to carry a firearm as a condition of employment.

(b) Plaintiff fees not permitted.--No plaintiff seeking relief under this chapter shall be charged any fees or costs associated with the filing, issuance, registration or service of a petition, motion, complaint, order or any other filing. Prohibited fees or costs shall include, but are not limited to, those associated with modifying, withdrawing, dismissing or certifying copies of a petition, motion, complaint, order or any other filing, as well as any judicial surcharge or computer system fee. No plaintiff seeking relief under this chapter shall be charged any fees or costs associated with filing a motion for reconsideration or an appeal from any order or action taken pursuant to this chapter. Nothing in this subsection is intended to expand or diminish the court's authority to enter an order pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1023.1 (relating to Scope. Signing of Documents. Representations to the Court. Violation).

(c)  Assessment of fees and costs against the defendant.--When an order is granted pursuant to this chapter, fees and costs shall be assessed against the defendant. The court shall waive fees and costs upon a showing of good cause or when the court makes a finding that the defendant is not able to pay the costs. Nothing in this subsection is intended to expand or diminish the court's authority to enter an order pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1023.1.

(d)  Surcharge on order.--When a protection order is granted under section 6107(a) (relating to hearings), other than pursuant to an agreement of the parties, a surcharge of $100 shall be assessed against the defendant. All moneys received from surcharges shall be distributed in the following order of priority:

(1)  $25 shall be forwarded to the Commonwealth and shall be appropriated to the Pennsylvania State Police to establish and maintain the Statewide registry of protection orders provided for in section 6105.

(2)  $50 shall be retained by the county and shall be used to carry out the provisions of this chapter as follows:

(i)  $25 shall be used by the sheriff.

(ii)  $25 shall be used by the court.

(3)  $25 shall be forwarded to the Department of Public Welfare for use for victims of domestic violence in accordance with the provisions of section 2333 of the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177, No.175), known as The Administrative Code of 1929.

(d.1)  Limitation.--The surcharge allocated under subsection (d)(1) and (3) shall be used to supplement and not to supplant any other source of funds received for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this chapter.

(e)  Court to adopt means of service.--The court shall adopt a means of prompt and effective service in those instances where the plaintiff avers that service cannot be safely effected by an adult individual other than a law enforcement officer or where the court so orders.

(f)  Service by sheriff.--If the court so orders, the sheriff or other designated agency or individual shall serve the petition and order.

(g)  Service of petition and orders.--The petition and orders shall be served upon the defendant, and orders shall be served upon the police departments and sheriff with appropriate jurisdiction to enforce the orders. Orders shall be promptly served on the police and sheriff. Failure to serve shall not stay the effect of a valid order.

(g.1)  Service of original process of a foreign protection order.--No plaintiff or petitioner shall be charged any costs or fees associated with the service of original process of a foreign protection order. Costs or fees associated with the service of original process of a foreign protection order may be assessed against the defendant.

(h)  Assistance and advice to plaintiff.--The courts and hearing officers shall:

(1)  Provide simplified forms and clerical assistance in English and Spanish to help with the writing and filing of the petition for a protection order for an individual not represented by counsel.

(2)  Provide the plaintiff with written and oral referrals, in English and Spanish, to the local domestic violence program, to the local legal services office and to the county bar association's lawyer referral service.

23c6106v

(Oct. 6, 1994, P.L.574, No.85, eff. 60 days; June 22, 2001, P.L.576, No.39, eff. 60 days; Nov. 10, 2005, P.L.335, No.66, eff. 180 days)

 

2005 Amendment.  Act 66 amended subsecs. (b), (c), (d), (g) and (g.1) and added subsecs. (a.2) and (d.1).

Cross References.  Section 6106 is referred to in sections 6108, 6110 of this title.

23c6107s

§ 6107.  Hearings.

(a)  General rule.--Within ten business days of the filing of a petition under this chapter, a hearing shall be held before the court, at which the plaintiff must prove the allegation of abuse by a preponderance of the evidence. The court shall, at the time the defendant is given notice of the hearing, advise the defendant of the right to be represented by counsel, of the possibility that any firearm, other weapon or ammunition owned and any firearm license possessed may be ordered temporarily relinquished, of the options for relinquishment of a firearm pursuant to this chapter, of the possibility that Federal law may prohibit the possession of firearms, including an explanation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8) (relating to unlawful acts), and that any protection order granted by a court may be considered in any subsequent proceedings under this title. This notice shall be printed and delivered in a manner which easily attracts attention to its content and shall specify that child custody is one of the proceedings where prior protection orders may be considered.

(b)  Temporary orders.--

(1)  If a plaintiff petitions for temporary order for protection from abuse and alleges immediate and present danger of abuse to the plaintiff or minor children, the court shall conduct an ex parte proceeding.

(2)  The court may enter such a temporary order as it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff or minor children when it finds they are in immediate and present danger of abuse. The order shall remain in effect until modified or terminated by the court after notice and hearing.

(3)  In addition to any other relief, the court may, pursuant to section 6108 (relating to relief), direct that the defendant temporarily relinquish to the sheriff any firearms, other weapons or ammunition for the duration of the temporary order if the petition demonstrates any of the following:

(i)  Abuse which involves a firearm or other weapon.

(ii)  An immediate and present danger of abuse. In determining whether an immediate and present danger of abuse exists, the court shall consider a number of factors, including, but not limited to:

(A)  Whether the temporary order of protection from abuse is not likely to achieve its purpose in the absence of such a condition.

(B)  Whether the defendant has previously violated a protection from abuse order.

(C)  Whether past or present abuse to the plaintiff or any of the plaintiff's minor children resulted in injury.

(D)  Whether the abuse occurred in public.

(E)  Whether the abuse includes:

(I)  threats of abuse or suicide;

(II)  killing or threatening to kill pets;

(III)  an escalation of violence;

(IV)  stalking or obsessive behavior;

(V)  sexual violence; or

(VI)  drug or excessive alcohol use.

(4)  If the court orders the defendant to temporarily relinquish any firearm, other weapon or ammunition pursuant to paragraph (3), the defendant shall decide in what manner the defendant is going to relinquish any firearm, other weapon or ammunition listed in the order. Relinquishment may be to the sheriff pursuant to section 6108(a)(7) or to a third party for safekeeping pursuant to section 6108.3 (relating to relinquishment to third party for safekeeping).

(c)  Continued hearings.--If a hearing under subsection (a) is continued and no temporary order is issued, the court may make ex parte temporary orders under subsection (b) as it deems necessary.

23c6107v

(Oct. 6, 1994, P.L.574, No.85, eff. 60 days; Dec. 16, 1997, P.L.549, No.58, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Nov. 10, 2005, P.L.335, No.66, eff. 180 days)

 

2005 Amendment.  Act 66 amended subsecs. (a) and (b).

Cross References.  Section 6107 is referred to in sections 6106, 6108 of this title.

23c6108s

§ 6108.  Relief.

(a)  General rule.--The court may grant any protection order or approve any consent agreement to bring about a cessation of abuse of the plaintiff or minor children. The order or agreement may include:

(1)  Directing the defendant to refrain from abusing the plaintiff or minor children.

(2)  Granting possession to the plaintiff of the residence or household to the exclusion of the defendant by evicting the defendant or restoring possession to the plaintiff if the residence or household is jointly owned or leased by the parties, is owned or leased by the entireties or is owned or leased solely by the plaintiff.

(3)  If the defendant has a duty to support the plaintiff or minor children living in the residence or household and the defendant is the sole owner or lessee, granting possession to the plaintiff of the residence or household to the exclusion of the defendant by evicting the defendant or restoring possession to the plaintiff or, with the consent of the plaintiff, ordering the defendant to provide suitable alternate housing.

(4)  Awarding temporary custody of or establishing temporary visitation rights with regard to minor children. In determining whether to award temporary custody or establish temporary visitation rights pursuant to this paragraph, the court shall consider any risk posed by the defendant to the children as well as risk to the plaintiff. The following shall apply:

(i)  A defendant shall not be granted custody, partial custody or unsupervised visitation where it is alleged in the petition, and the court finds after a hearing under this chapter, that the defendant:

(A)  abused the minor children of the parties or poses a risk of abuse toward the minor children of the parties; or

(B)  has been convicted of violating 18 Pa.C.S. § 2904 (relating to interference with custody of children) within two calendar years prior to the filing of the petition for protection order or that the defendant poses a risk of violating 18 Pa.C.S. § 2904.

(ii)  Where the court finds after a hearing under this chapter that the defendant has inflicted abuse upon the plaintiff or a child, the court may require supervised custodial access by a third party. The third party must agree to be accountable to the court for supervision and execute an affidavit of accountability.

(iii)  Where the court finds after a hearing under this chapter that the defendant has inflicted serious abuse upon the plaintiff or a child or poses a risk of abuse toward the plaintiff or a child, the court may:

(A)  award supervised visitation in a secure visitation facility; or

(B)  deny the defendant custodial access to a child.

(iv)  If a plaintiff petitions for a temporary order under section 6107(b) (relating to hearings) and the defendant has partial, shared or full custody of the minor children of the parties by order of court or written agreement of the parties, the custody shall not be disturbed or changed unless the court finds that the defendant is likely to inflict abuse upon the children or to remove the children from the jurisdiction of the court prior to the hearing under section 6107(a). Where the defendant has forcibly or fraudulently removed any minor child from the care and custody of a plaintiff, the court shall order the return of the child to the plaintiff unless the child would be endangered by restoration to the plaintiff.

(v)  Nothing in this paragraph shall bar either party from filing a petition for custody under Chapter 53 (relating to custody) or under the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure.

(vi)  In order to prevent further abuse during periods of access to the plaintiff and child during the exercise of custodial rights, the court shall consider, and may impose on a custody award, conditions necessary to assure the safety of the plaintiff and minor children from abuse.

(5)  After a hearing in accordance with section 6107(a), directing the defendant to pay financial support to those persons the defendant has a duty to support, requiring the defendant, under sections 4324 (relating to inclusion of medical support) and 4326 (relating to mandatory inclusion of child medical support), to provide health coverage for the minor child and spouse, directing the defendant to pay all of the unreimbursed medical expenses of a spouse or minor child of the defendant to the provider or to the plaintiff when he or she has paid for the medical treatment, and directing the defendant to make or continue to make rent or mortgage payments on the residence of the plaintiff to the extent that the defendant has a duty to support the plaintiff or other dependent household members. The support order shall be temporary, and any beneficiary of the order must file a complaint for support under the provisions of Chapters 43 (relating to support matters generally) and 45 (relating to reciprocal enforcement of support orders) within two weeks of the date of the issuance of the protection order. If a complaint for support is not filed, that portion of the protection order requiring the defendant to pay support is void. When there is a subsequent ruling on a complaint for support, the portion of the protection order requiring the defendant to pay support expires.

(6)  Prohibiting the defendant from having any contact with the plaintiff or minor children, including, but not limited to, restraining the defendant from entering the place of employment or business or school of the plaintiff or minor children and from harassing the plaintiff or plaintiff's relatives or minor children.

(7)  Ordering the defendant to temporarily relinquish to the sheriff the defendant's other weapons and ammunition which have been used or been threatened to be used in an incident of abuse against the plaintiff or the minor children and the defendant's firearms and prohibiting the defendant from acquiring or possessing any firearm for the duration of the order and requiring the defendant to relinquish to the sheriff any firearm license issued under section 6108.3 (relating to relinquishment to third party for safekeeping) or 18 Pa.C.S. § 6106 (relating to firearms not to be carried without a license) or 6109 (relating to licenses) the defendant may possess. A copy of the court's order shall be transmitted to the chief or head of the police force or police department of the municipality and to the sheriff of the county of which the defendant is a resident. When relinquishment is ordered, the following shall apply:

(i)  (A)  The court's order shall require the defendant to relinquish such firearms, other weapons, ammunition and any firearm license pursuant to the provisions of this chapter within 24 hours of service of a temporary order or the entry of a final order or the close of the next business day as necessary by closure of the sheriffs' offices, except for cause shown at the hearing, in which case the court shall specify the time for relinquishment of any or all of the defendant's firearms.

(B)  A defendant subject to a temporary order requiring the relinquishment of firearms, other weapons or ammunition shall, in lieu of relinquishing specific firearms, other weapons or ammunition which cannot reasonably be retrieved within the time for relinquishment in clause (A) due to their current location, provide the sheriff with an affidavit listing the firearms, other weapons or ammunition and their current location. If the defendant, within the time for relinquishment in clause (A), fails to provide the affidavit or fails to relinquish, pursuant to this chapter, any firearms, other weapons or ammunition ordered to be relinquished which are not specified in the affidavit, the sheriff shall, at a minimum, provide immediate notice to the court, the plaintiff and appropriate law enforcement authorities. The defendant shall not possess any firearms, other weapons or ammunition specifically listed in the affidavit provided to the sheriff pursuant to this clause for the duration of the temporary order.

(C)  As used in this subparagraph, the term "cause" shall be limited to facts relating to the inability of the defendant to retrieve a specific firearm within 24 hours due to the current location of the firearm.

(ii)  The court's order shall contain a list of any firearm, other weapon or ammunition ordered relinquished. Upon the entry of a final order, the defendant shall inform the court in what manner the defendant is going to relinquish any firearm, other weapon or ammunition ordered relinquished. Relinquishment may occur pursuant to section 6108.2 (relating to relinquishment for consignment sale, lawful transfer or safekeeping) or 6108.3 or to the sheriff pursuant to this paragraph. Where the sheriff is designated, the sheriff shall secure custody of the defendant's firearms, other weapons or ammunition and any firearm license listed in the court's order for the duration of the order or until otherwise directed by court order. In securing custody of the defendant's relinquished firearms, the sheriff shall comply with 18 Pa.C.S. § 6105(f)(4) (relating to persons not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms). In securing custody of the defendant's other weapons and ammunition, the sheriff shall provide the defendant with a signed and dated written receipt which shall include a detailed description of the other weapon or ammunition and its condition.

(iii)  The sheriff shall provide the plaintiff with the name of the person to which any firearm, other weapon or ammunition was relinquished.

(iv)  Unless the defendant has complied with subparagraph (i)(B) or section 6108.2 or 6108.3, if the defendant fails to relinquish any firearm, other weapon, ammunition or firearm license within 24 hours or upon the close of the next business day due to closure of sheriffs' offices or within the time ordered by the court upon cause being shown at the hearing, the sheriff shall, at a minimum, provide immediate notice to the court, the plaintiff and appropriate law enforcement agencies.

(v)  Any portion of any order or any petition or other paper which includes a list of any firearm, other weapon or ammunition ordered relinquished shall be kept in the files of the court as a permanent record thereof and withheld from public inspection except:

(A)  upon an order of the court granted upon cause shown;

(B)  as necessary, by law enforcement and court personnel; or

(C)  after redaction of information listing any firearm, other weapon or ammunition.

(vi)  As used in this paragraph, the term "defendant's firearms" shall, if the defendant is a licensed firearms dealer, only include firearms in the defendant's personal firearms collection pursuant to 27 CFR § 478.125a (relating to personal firearms collection).

(7.1)  If the defendant is a licensed firearms dealer, ordering the defendant to follow such restrictions as the court may require concerning the conduct of his business, which may include ordering the defendant to relinquish any Federal or State license for the sale, manufacture or importation of firearms as well as firearms in the defendant's business inventory. In restricting the defendant pursuant to this paragraph, the court shall make a reasonable effort to preserve the financial assets of the defendant's business while fulfilling the goals of this chapter.

(8)  Directing the defendant to pay the plaintiff for reasonable losses suffered as a result of the abuse, including medical, dental, relocation and moving expenses; counseling; loss of earnings or support; costs of repair or replacement of real or personal property damaged, destroyed or taken by the defendant or at the direction of the defendant; and other out-of-pocket losses for injuries sustained. In addition to out-of-pocket losses, the court may direct the defendant to pay reasonable attorney fees. An award under this chapter shall not constitute a bar to litigation for civil damages for injuries sustained from the acts of abuse giving rise to the award or a finding of contempt under this chapter.

(9)  Directing the defendant to refrain from stalking or harassing the plaintiff and other designated persons as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. §§ 2709 (relating to harassment) and 2709.1 (relating to stalking).

(10)  Granting any other appropriate relief sought by the plaintiff.

(b)  Identifying information.--Any order issued under this section shall, where furnished by either party, specify the Social Security number and date of birth of the defendant.

(c)  Mutual orders of protection.--Mutual orders of protection shall not be awarded unless both parties have filed timely written petitions, complied with service requirements under section 6106 (relating to commencement of proceedings) and are eligible for protection under this chapter. The court shall make separate findings and, where issuing orders on behalf of both petitioners, enter separate orders.

(d)  Duration and amendment of order or agreement.--A protection order or approved consent agreement shall be for a fixed period of time not to exceed three years. The court may amend its order or agreement at any time upon subsequent petition filed by either party.

(e)  Extension of protection orders.--

(1)  An extension of a protection order may be granted:

(i) Where the court finds, after a duly filed petition, notice to the defendant and a hearing, in accordance with the procedures set forth in sections 6106 and 6107, that the defendant committed one or more acts of abuse subsequent to the entry of the final order or that the defendant engaged in a pattern or practice that indicates continued risk of harm to the plaintiff or minor child.

(ii)  When a contempt petition or charge has been filed with the court or with a hearing officer in Philadelphia County, but the hearing has not occurred before the expiration of the protection order, the order shall be extended, at a minimum, until the disposition of the contempt petition and may be extended for another term beyond the disposition of the contempt petition.

(2)  Service of an extended order shall be made in accordance with section 6109 (relating to service of orders).

(3)  There shall be no limitation on the number of extensions that may be granted.

(f)  Support procedure.--The domestic relations section shall enforce any support award in a protection order where the plaintiff files a complaint for support under subsection (a)(5).

(g)  Notice.--Notice shall be given to the defendant, in orders issued under this section, stating that violations of an order will subject the defendant to arrest under section 6113 (relating to arrest for violation of order) or contempt of court under section 6114 (relating to contempt for violation of order or agreement). Resumption of coresidency on the part of the plaintiff and defendant shall not nullify the provisions of the court order.

(h)  Title to real property unaffected.--No order or agreement under this chapter shall in any manner affect title to any real property.

23c6108v

(June 23, 1993, P.L.124, No.28, eff. imd.; Oct. 6, 1994, P.L.574, No.85, eff. 60 days; Dec. 16, 1997, P.L.549, No.58, eff. 60 days; May 10, 2000, P.L.35, No.10, eff. imd.; Dec. 9, 2002, P.L.1759, No.218, eff. 60 days; Nov. 10, 2005, P.L.335, No.66, eff. 180 days)

 

References in Text.  Chapter 45, referred to in subsec. (a)(5), was repealed by the act of April 4, 1996, P.L.58, No.20. The subject matter is now contained in Parts VIII and VIII-A of this title.

Former Chapter 53 (Custody), referred to in this section, is repealed. The subject matter is now contained in Chapter 53 (Child Custody).

Cross References.  Section 6108 is referred to in sections 6105, 6107, 6108.2, 6108.3, 6108.5, 6110, 6113, 6117, 6120, 6303, 6711 of this title; sections 2709, 2709.1, 6105, 6106 of Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses).

23c6108.1s

§ 6108.1.  Return of relinquished firearms, other weapons and ammunition and additional relief.

(a)  General rule.--Any court order requiring the relinquishment of firearms, other weapons or ammunition shall provide for the return of the relinquished firearms, other weapons or ammunition to the defendant upon expiration of the order or dismissal of a petition for a protection from abuse order. The defendant may take custody of the firearms, other weapons and ammunition provided that the defendant is otherwise eligible to lawfully possess the relinquished items. The defendant shall not be required to pay any fees, costs or charges associated with the returns, whether those fees, costs or charges are imposed by the Pennsylvania State Police, any local law enforcement agency or any other entity, including a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer or licensed dealer in order to secure return of the relinquished firearms, other weapons or ammunition.

(b)  Modification of court's order providing for return of relinquished firearm, other weapon or ammunition.--

(1)  The defendant may petition the court to allow for the return of firearms, other weapons and ammunition to the defendant prior to the expiration of the court's order. The petition shall be served upon the plaintiff and the plaintiff shall be a party to the proceedings regarding that petition.

(2)  Any other person may petition the court to allow for the return of that other person's firearms, other weapons and ammunition prior to the expiration of the court's order. The petition shall be served upon the plaintiff, and the plaintiff shall be given notice and an opportunity to be heard regarding that petition.

(c)  Modification of court's order to provide for alternative means of relinquishing firearms, other weapons or ammunition.--The defendant may petition the court for modification of the order to provide for an alternative means of relinquishment in accordance with this chapter. The petition shall be served upon the plaintiff, and the plaintiff shall have an opportunity to be heard at the hearing as provided in subsection (d). Where the court orders a modification pursuant to this subsection providing for alternative means of relinquishment, the sheriff shall proceed as directed by the court.

(d)  Hearing.--Within ten business days of the filing of any petition under this section, a hearing shall be held before the court.

(e)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Other person."  Any person, except the defendant, who is the lawful owner of a firearm, other weapon or ammunition relinquished pursuant to this chapter.

"Safekeeping."  The secure custody of a firearm, other weapon or ammunition ordered relinquished by an active protection from abuse order.

23c6108.1v

(Nov. 10, 2005, P.L.335, No.66, eff. 180 days)

 

2005 Amendment.  Act 66 added section 6108.1.

Cross References.  Section 6108.1 is referred to in section 6108.3 of this title; section 6105 of Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses).

23c6108.2s

§ 6108.2.  Relinquishment for consignment sale, lawful transfer or safekeeping.

(a)  General rule.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a defendant who is the subject of a final protection from abuse order, which order provides for the relinquishment of firearms, other weapons or ammunition during the period of time the order is in effect, may, within the time frame specified in the order and in lieu of relinquishment to the sheriff, relinquish to a dealer licensed pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. § 6113 (relating to licensing of dealers) any firearms, other weapons or ammunition for consignment sale, lawful transfer or safekeeping.

(b)  Affidavit.--A defendant relinquishing firearms, other weapons or ammunition to a dealer pursuant to subsection (a) shall obtain an affidavit from the dealer on a form prescribed by the Pennsylvania State Police which shall include, at a minimum, the following:

(1)  The caption of the case in which the protection from abuse order was issued.

(2)  The name, address, date of birth and Social Security number of the defendant.

(3)  A list of the firearms, other weapons or ammunition, including, if applicable, the manufacturer, model and serial number.

(4)  The name and license number of the dealer licensed pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. § 6113 and the address of the licensed premises.

(5)  An acknowledgment that the firearms, other weapons or ammunition will not be returned to the defendant or sold or transferred to a person the dealer knows is a member of the defendant's household, while the defendant is the subject of an active protection from abuse order pursuant to section 6108, which order provides for the relinquishment of the firearm, other weapon or ammunition being returned, sold or transferred.

(6)  An acknowledgment that the firearms, other weapons or ammunition, if sold or transferred, will be sold or lawfully transferred in compliance with 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 61 (relating to firearms and other dangerous articles).

(c)  Failure to provide affidavit.--A defendant relinquishing firearms, other weapons or ammunition to a dealer pursuant to subsection (a) shall, within the time frame specified in the order for relinquishing firearms, other weapons or ammunition, provide to the sheriff the affidavit obtained pursuant to subsection (b) and relinquish to the sheriff any firearms, other weapons or ammunition ordered to be relinquished which are not specified in the affidavit, in an affidavit provided in accordance with section 6108(a)(7)(i)(B) (relating to relief) or in an acknowledgment of receipt from a third party provided to the sheriff pursuant to section 6108.3 (relating to relinquishment to third party for safekeeping). If the defendant fails to comply with this subsection, the sheriff shall, at a minimum, provide immediate notice to the court, the plaintiff and appropriate law enforcement agencies.

(d)  Form.--The Pennsylvania State Police shall develop and make available a form to be used by dealers to accept possession of firearms, other weapons and ammunition for consignment sale, lawful transfer or safekeeping pursuant to this section.

(e)  Transfer upon entry of final order.--Upon entry of a final protection from abuse order issued pursuant to section 6108, which order provides for the relinquishment of firearms, other weapons or ammunition during the period of time the order is in effect, a defendant who had relinquished firearms, other weapons or ammunition to the sheriff pursuant to a temporary order may request that the firearms, other weapons or ammunition be relinquished to a dealer for consignment sale, lawful transfer or safekeeping pursuant to this section. If the defendant can identify a licensed dealer willing to accept the firearms, other weapons or ammunition in compliance with this section, the court shall order the sheriff to transport the firearms, other weapons or ammunition to the licensed dealer at no cost to the defendant or the licensed dealer.

(f)  Nondisclosure.--The affidavit obtained under subsection (c) shall not be subject to access under the act of June 21, 1957 (P.L.390, No.212), referred to as the Right-to-Know Law.

(g)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Safekeeping."  The secure custody of firearms, other weapons or ammunition ordered relinquished by an active protection from abuse order.

"Sale or lawful transfer."  Any sale or transfer to a person other than the defendant or a member of the defendant's household which is conducted in accordance with 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 61 (relating to firearms and other dangerous articles).

23c6108.2v

(Nov. 10, 2005, P.L.335, No.66, eff. 180 days)

 

2005 Amendment.  Act 66 added section 6108.2.

References in Text.  The act of June 21, 1957 (P.L.390, No.212), referred to as the Right-to-Know Law, referred to in subsec. (f), was repealed by the act of February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the Right-to-Know Law.

Cross References.  Section 6108.2 is referred to in sections 6108, 6108.3 of this title; sections 6105, 6106 of Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses).

23c6108.3s

§ 6108.3.  Relinquishment to third party for safekeeping.

(a)  General rule.--A defendant who is the subject of a protection from abuse order, which order provides for the relinquishment of firearms, other weapons or ammunition during the period of time the order is in effect, may, within the time frame specified in the order and in lieu of relinquishment to the sheriff, relinquish any firearms, other weapons or ammunition to a third party for safekeeping.

(b)  Transfer to third party.--

(1)  A defendant wishing to relinquish firearms, other weapons or ammunition to a third party pursuant to subsection (a) shall, within the time frame specified in the order for relinquishing firearms, other weapons and ammunition, report to the sheriff's office in the county where the order was entered along with the third party.

(2)  Upon determination by the sheriff that the third party is not prohibited from possessing firearms, other weapons or ammunition pursuant to any Federal or State law and after the defendant and third party have executed the affidavits required under paragraph (3), the sheriff shall issue a safekeeping permit to the third party, which shall include, at a minimum, a list of the firearms, other weapons and ammunition which will be relinquished to the third party. The permit shall be issued at no cost to the third party or defendant. The permit shall require the third party to possess the defendant's firearms, other weapons and ammunition until the time that:

(i)  the sheriff revokes the safekeeping permit pursuant to subsection (c)(1); or

(ii)  the sheriff accepts return of the safekeeping permit pursuant to subsection (d).

(3)  (i)  A defendant wishing to relinquish firearms, other weapons or ammunition to a third party pursuant to subsection (a) shall, in the presence of the sheriff or the sheriff's designee, execute an affidavit on a form prescribed by the Pennsylvania State Police which shall include, at a minimum, the following:

(A)  The caption of the case in which the protection from abuse order was issued.

(B)  The name, address, date of birth and the Social Security number of the defendant.

(C)  The name, address and date of birth of the third party.

(D)  A list of the firearms, other weapons and ammunition which will be relinquished to the third party, including, if applicable, the manufacturer, model and serial number.

(E)  An acknowledgment that the defendant will not take possession of any firearm, other weapon or ammunition relinquished to the third party until the sheriff accepts return of the safekeeping permit pursuant to subsection (d).

(F)  A plain-language summary of 18 Pa.C.S. § 6105(a.1)(2) and (c)(6) (relating to persons not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms).

(G)  A plain-language summary of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8) (relating to unlawful acts).

(ii)  A third party who will be accepting possession of firearms, other weapons and ammunition pursuant to subsection (a) shall, in the presence of the sheriff or the sheriff's designee, execute an affidavit on a form prescribed by the Pennsylvania State Police which shall include, at a minimum, the following:

(A)  The caption of the case in which the protection from abuse order was issued.

(B)  The name, address and date of birth of the defendant.

(C)  The name, address, date of birth and the Social Security number of the third party.

(D)  A list of the firearms, other weapons and ammunition which will be relinquished to the third party, including, if applicable, the manufacturer, model and serial number.

(E)  An acknowledgment that no firearm, other weapon or ammunition relinquished to the third party will be returned to the defendant until the sheriff accepts return of the safekeeping permit pursuant to subsection (d).

(F)  A plain-language summary of 18 Pa.C.S. §§ 6105(a.1)(5) and (c)(6), 6111(c) (relating to sale or transfer of firearms) and 6115 (relating to loans on, or lending or giving firearms prohibited).

(G)  A plain-language summary of this section.

(H)  An acknowledgment that the third party is not prohibited from possessing firearms, other weapons or ammunition pursuant to any Federal or State law.

(I)  An acknowledgment that the third party is not subject to an active protection from abuse order.

(J)  An acknowledgment that the defendant has never been the subject of a protection from abuse order issued on behalf of the third party.

(K)  An acknowledgment that any firearms, other weapons and ammunition relinquished to the third party will be stored using a locking device as defined in paragraph (1) of the definition of "locking device" in 18 Pa.C.S. § 6142(f) (relating to locking device for firearms) or in a secure location to which the defendant does not have access.

(L)  A detailed description of the third party liability pursuant to this section relating to civil liability.

(M)  An acknowledgment that the third party shall inform the sheriff of any change of address for the third party within seven days of the change of address.

(4)  The defendant shall, within the time frame specified in the order and in lieu of relinquishment to the sheriff, relinquish the firearms, other weapons and ammunition specified in the affidavits provided to the sheriff pursuant to paragraph (3) to the third party who has been issued a safekeeping permit pursuant to paragraph (2). Upon relinquishment of the firearms to the third party, the third party shall sign an acknowledgment of receipt on a form prescribed by the Pennsylvania State Police, which shall include, at a minimum, an acknowledgment that the firearms were relinquished to the third party within the time frame specified in the order.

(5)  Within 24 hours of the issuance of the safekeeping permit issued to the third party pursuant to paragraph (2) or by close of the next business day as necessary due to the closure of the sheriff's office, the defendant shall return the signed acknowledgment of receipt required under paragraph (4) to the sheriff in the county where the order was entered.

(6)  If the defendant fails to provide the acknowledgment of receipt to the sheriff as required under paragraph (5), an affidavit prepared in accordance with section 6108(a)(7)(i)(B) (relating to relief), an affidavit under section 6108.2 (relating to relinquishment for consignment sale, lawful transfer or safekeeping) or fails to relinquish any firearms, other weapons or ammunition, the sheriff shall, at a minimum, provide immediate notice to the court, the plaintiff and appropriate law enforcement agencies.

(c)  Revocation of safekeeping permit.--

(1)  The sheriff shall revoke a third party's safekeeping permit and require the third party to relinquish to the sheriff any firearms, other weapons or ammunition which were relinquished to the third party by a defendant pursuant to subsection (a) upon determining or being notified that any of the following apply:

(i)  A protection from abuse order has been entered against the third party.

(ii)  The third party is prohibited from possessing firearms, other weapons or ammunition pursuant to any Federal or State law.

(iii)  The defendant has been convicted of a violation of 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 61 (relating to firearms and other dangerous articles) or any other offense involving the use of a firearm.

(iv)  The defendant has been held in indirect criminal contempt for violating a provision of the protection from abuse order consistent with section 6108(a)(1), (2), (6), (7) or (9) (relating to relief).

(2)  Upon revocation of a safekeeping permit, the sheriff shall seize the safekeeping permit and all of the defendant's firearms, other weapons and ammunition which were relinquished to the third party. If revocation of the safekeeping permit was:

(i)  Required pursuant to paragraph (1)(i) or (ii), the sheriff shall notify the defendant that the firearms, other weapons and ammunition which were relinquished to the third party are in the sheriff's possession and that the defendant may report to the sheriff's office in order to relinquish the firearms, other weapons and ammunition to a subsequent third party pursuant to this section or to a licensed dealer pursuant to section 6108.2.

(ii)  Required pursuant to paragraph (1)(iii) or (iv), the sheriff shall maintain possession of the firearms, other weapons and ammunition until the defendant is no longer prohibited from possessing firearms, other weapons and ammunition pursuant to any Federal or State law unless:

(A)  the defendant has the firearms, other weapons and ammunition relinquished to a licensed dealer pursuant to section 6108.2; or

(B)  the sheriff is directed to relinquish the firearms, other weapons and ammunition pursuant to a court order.

(d)  Return of safekeeping permit.--

(1)  Following expiration of a protection from abuse order, which order provided for the relinquishment of firearms, other weapons or ammunition, the defendant and the third party shall report to the sheriff's office to return the safekeeping permit. Upon a determination by the sheriff that the defendant is:

(i)  Not prohibited from possessing firearms, other weapons and ammunition, the sheriff shall accept the return of the safekeeping permit, and the third party shall relinquish to the defendant all of the defendant's firearms, other weapons and ammunition which were relinquished to the third party pursuant to this section.

(ii)  Prohibited from possessing a firearm, other weapon or ammunition pursuant to any Federal or State law, the sheriff shall accept return of the permit and seize from the third party all of the defendant's firearms, other weapons and ammunition which were relinquished to the third party pursuant to this section. The sheriff shall return to the defendant any firearm, other weapon or ammunition which the defendant is lawfully entitled to possess.

(2)  Upon issuance of a court order pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. §§ 6105(f)(2) or 6108.1(b) (relating to return of relinquished firearms, other weapons and ammunition and additional relief) which modifies a valid protection from abuse order by allowing the defendant to take possession of a firearm, other weapon or ammunition that had previously been ordered relinquished, the defendant and the third party shall report to the sheriff's office to return the safekeeping permit. The sheriff shall proceed as directed by the court order.

(3)  If a third party wishes to relinquish the defendant's firearms, other weapons and ammunition prior to return of the safekeeping permit pursuant to paragraph (1), the sheriff shall accept return of the safekeeping permit and shall seize all of the defendant's firearms, other weapons and ammunition from the third party. The sheriff shall notify the defendant that the firearms, other weapons and ammunition which were relinquished to the third party are in the sheriff's possession and that the defendant may relinquish the firearms, other weapons and ammunition to a subsequent third party pursuant to this section or to a licensed dealer pursuant to section 6108.2.

(e)  Civil liability.--A third party who intentionally or knowingly violates any of the provisions of this section shall, in addition to any other penalty prescribed in this chapter or 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 61, be civilly liable to any person for any damages caused thereby and, in addition, shall be liable to any person for punitive damages in an amount not to exceed $5,000, and the court shall award a prevailing plaintiff a reasonable attorney fee as part of the costs.

(f)  Forms.--The Pennsylvania State Police shall develop and make available:

(1)  Forms to be used by sheriffs to issue safekeeping permits pursuant to subsection (b)(2).

(2)  Affidavit forms and receipt forms to be used by defendants and third parties as required under subsection (b)(3) and (4).

(g)  Transfer upon final entry.--A defendant who has previously relinquished firearms, other weapons or ammunition to the sheriff pursuant to a temporary order shall be permitted to have the firearms, other weapons and ammunition relinquished to a third party pursuant to this section following entry of a final protection from abuse order, which order provides for the relinquishment of firearms, other weapons or ammunition during the period of time the order is in effect.

(h)  Nondisclosure.--All copies of the safekeeping permit issued under subsection (b)(2) retained by the sheriff and the affidavits and forms obtained under subsection (b)(3) and (4) shall not be subject to access under the act of June 21, 1957 (P.L.390, No.212), referred to as the Right-to-Know Law.

(i)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Safekeeping."  The secure custody of firearms, other weapons or ammunition which were ordered relinquished by an active protection from abuse order.

"Third party."  A person, other than the defendant, who:

(1)  Is not a member of the defendant's household.

(2)  Is not prohibited from possessing firearms pursuant to any Federal or State law.

23c6108.3v

(Nov. 10, 2005, P.L.335, No.66, eff. 180 days)

 

2005 Amendment.  Act 66 added section 6108.3.

References in Text.  The act of June 21, 1957 (P.L.390, No.212), referred to as the Right-to-Know Law, referred to in subsec. (h), was repealed by the act of February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the Right-to-Know Law.

Cross References.  Section 6108.3 is referred to in sections 6107, 6108, 6108.2 of this title; sections 6105, 6106, 6115 of Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses).

23c6108.4s

§ 6108.4.  Registry or database of firearm ownership.

(a)  Confidentiality.--Information retained to ensure compliance with this chapter and to document the return of firearms shall not be subject to access under the act of June 21, 1957 (P.L.390, No.212), referred to as the Right-to-Know Law.

(b)  Construction.--Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to allow a government agency or law enforcement agency, or an agent or employee of either, or any other person or entity to create, maintain or operate a database or registry of firearm ownership within this Commonwealth. However, information may be retained to ensure compliance with this chapter and to document the return of firearms.

23c6108.4v

(Nov. 10, 2005, P.L.335, No.66, eff. 180 days)

 

2005 Amendment.  Act 66 added section 6108.4.

References in Text.  The act of June 21, 1957 (P.L.390, No.212), referred to as the Right-to-Know Law, referred to in subsec. (a), was repealed by the act of February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the Right-to-Know Law.

23c6108.5s

§ 6108.5.  Penalties for release of information.

Any person who violates section 6108(a)(7)(v) (relating to relief) by releasing information with the intent and purpose of committing such violation commits a misdemeanor of the third degree.

23c6108.5v

(Nov. 10, 2005, P.L.335, No.66, eff. 180 days)

 

2005 Amendment.  Act 66 added section 6108.5.

23c6109s

§ 6109.  Service of orders.

(a)  Issuance.--A copy of an order under this chapter shall be issued to the plaintiff, the defendant and the police department with appropriate jurisdiction to enforce the order or agreement in accordance with the provisions of this chapter or as ordered by the court or hearing officer.

(b)  Placement in registry.--Upon receipt of an order, the police department shall immediately place the order in a county registry of protection orders. The police department shall assure that the registry is current at all times and that orders are removed upon expiration thereof. County registries shall not be required when the Pennsylvania State Police registry provided for in section 6105(e) (relating to responsibilities of law enforcement agencies) is established and is fully operational.

23c6109v

(Oct. 6, 1994, P.L.574, No.85, eff. 60 days)

 

1994 Amendment.  Act 85 amended subsec. (b).

Cross References.  Section 6109 is referred to in section 6108 of this title.

23c6110s

§ 6110.  Emergency relief by minor judiciary.

(a)  General rule.--When:

(1)  in counties with less than four judges, the court is unavailable:

(i)  from the close of business at the end of each day to the resumption of business the next morning;

(ii)  from the end of the business week to the beginning of the business week; and

(iii)  during the business day by reason of duties outside the county, illness or vacation;

(2)  in counties with at least four judges, the court is unavailable:

(i)  from the close of business at the end of each day to the resumption of business the next morning; and

(ii)  from the end of the business week to the beginning of the business week;

a petition may be filed before a hearing officer who may grant relief in accordance with section 6108(a)(1), (2) and (6) or (1) and (6) (relating to relief) if the hearing officer deems it necessary to protect the plaintiff or minor children from abuse upon good cause shown in an ex parte proceeding. Immediate and present danger of abuse to the plaintiff or minor children shall constitute good cause for the purposes of this subsection.

(b)  Expiration of order.--An order issued under subsection (a) shall expire at the end of the next business day the court deems itself available. The court shall schedule hearings on protection orders entered by hearing officers under subsection (a) and shall review and continue in effect protection orders that are necessary to protect the plaintiff or minor children from abuse until the hearing, at which time the plaintiff may seek a temporary order from the court.

(c)  Certification of order to court.--An emergency order issued under this section and any documentation in support thereof shall be immediately certified to the court. The certification to the court shall have the effect of commencing proceedings under section 6106 (relating to commencement of proceedings) and invoking the other provisions of this chapter. If it is not already alleged in a petition for an emergency order, the plaintiff shall file a verified statement setting forth the abuse of defendant at least five days prior to the hearing. Service of the verified statement shall be made subject to section 6106.

(d)  Instructions regarding the commencement of proceedings.--Upon issuance of an emergency order, the hearing officer shall provide the plaintiff instructions regarding the commencement of proceedings in the court of common pleas at the beginning of the next business day and regarding the procedures for initiating a contempt charge should the defendant violate the emergency order. The hearing officer shall also advise the plaintiff of the existence of programs for victims of domestic violence in the county or in nearby counties and inform the plaintiff of the availability of legal assistance without cost if the plaintiff is unable to pay for them.

(e)  Master for emergency relief.--The president judge of a court of common pleas of a judicial district may, with the approval of the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, provide for the selection and appointment of a master for emergency relief on a full-time or part-time basis. The number of masters for emergency relief shall be fixed by the president judge with the approval of the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts. The compensation of a master for emergency relief shall be fixed and paid by the county.

23c6110v

(July 9, 1992, P.L.400, No.87, eff. 60 days; Oct. 6, 1994, P.L.574, No.85, eff. 60 days; Nov. 10, 2005, P.L.335, No.66, eff. 180 days)

 

2005 Amendment.  Act 66 added subsec. (e).

1994 Amendment.  Act 85 amended subsecs. (a) and (b).

Cross References.  Section 6110 is referred to in sections 6102, 6105 of this title; section 4137 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).

23c6111s

§ 6111.  Domestic violence counselor/advocate.

A domestic violence counselor/advocate may accompany a party to any legal proceeding or hearing under this chapter.

23c6111v

(Oct. 6, 1994, P.L.574, No.85, eff. 60 days)

23c6112s

§ 6112.  Disclosure of addresses.

During the course of a proceeding under this chapter, the court or hearing officer may consider whether the plaintiff or plaintiff's family is endangered by disclosure of the permanent or temporary address of the plaintiff or minor children. Neither in the pleadings nor during proceedings or hearings under this chapter shall the court or hearing officer require disclosure of the address of a domestic violence program. Where the court concludes that the defendant poses a threat of continued danger to the plaintiff and where the plaintiff requests that his or her address, telephone number and information about whereabouts not be disclosed, the court shall enter an order directing that law enforcement agencies, human service agencies and school districts (both in which a plaintiff's child in custody of the plaintiff is or has been enrolled) shall not disclose the presence of the plaintiff or the child in the jurisdiction or district or furnish any address, telephone number or any other demographic information about the plaintiff and child except by further order of the court.

23c6112v

(Oct. 6, 1994, P.L.574, No.85, eff. 60 days)

23c6113s

§ 6113.  Arrest for violation of order.

(a)  General rule.--An arrest for violation of an order issued pursuant to this chapter or a foreign protection order may be without warrant upon probable cause whether or not the violation is committed in the presence of the police officer or sheriff in circumstances where the defendant has violated a provision of an order consistent with section 6108(a)(1), (2), (3), (4), (6), (7) or (9) (relating to relief). The police officer or sheriff may verify the existence of a protection order by telephone, radio or other electronic communication with the appropriate police department, Pennsylvania State Police registry, protection order file or issuing authority. A police officer or sheriff shall arrest a defendant for violating an order issued under this chapter by a court within the judicial district, issued by a court in another judicial district within this Commonwealth or a foreign protection order issued by a comparable court.

(b)  Seizure of firearms, other weapons and ammunition.--Subsequent to an arrest, the police officer or sheriff shall seize all firearms, other weapons and ammunition used or threatened to be used during the violation of the protection order or during prior incidents of abuse and any other firearms in the defendant's possession. As soon as it is reasonably possible, the arresting officer shall deliver the confiscated firearms, other weapons and ammunition to the office of the sheriff. The sheriff shall maintain possession of the firearms, other weapons and ammunition until the court issues an order specifying the firearms, other weapons and ammunition to be relinquished and the persons to whom the firearms, other weapons and ammunition shall be relinquished.

(c)  Procedure following arrest.--Subsequent to an arrest, the defendant shall be taken by the police officer or sheriff without unnecessary delay before the court in the judicial district where the contempt is alleged to have occurred. When that court is unavailable, the police officer or sheriff shall convey the defendant to a magisterial district judge designated as appropriate by local rules of court or, in the city of Pittsburgh, to a magistrate of the Pittsburgh Magistrates Court or, in counties of the first class, to the appropriate hearing officer. For purposes of procedure relating to arraignments for arrest for violation of an order issued under this chapter, the judges of Pittsburgh Magistrates Court shall be deemed to be magisterial district judges.

(d)  Preliminary arraignment.--The defendant shall be afforded a preliminary arraignment without unnecessary delay.

(e)  Other emergency powers unaffected.--This section shall not be construed to in any way limit any of the other powers for emergency relief provided in this chapter.

(f)  Hearing.--A hearing shall be scheduled within ten days of the filing of the charge or complaint of indirect criminal contempt. The hearing and any adjudication shall not preclude a hearing on other criminal charges underlying the contempt, nor shall a hearing or adjudication on other criminal charges preclude a hearing on a charge of indirect criminal contempt.

23c6113v

(Oct. 6, 1994, P.L.574, No.85, eff. 60 days; June 22, 2001, P.L.576, No.39, eff. 60 days; Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days; Nov. 10, 2005, P.L.335, No.66, eff. 180 days)

 

2004 Amendment.  See sections 28 and 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability and construction of law.

Cross References.  Section 6113 is referred to in sections 6105, 6108, 6121 of this title.

23c6113.1s

§ 6113.1.  Private criminal complaints for violation of order or agreement.

(a)  General rule.--A plaintiff may file a private criminal complaint against a defendant, alleging indirect criminal contempt for a noneconomic violation of any provision of an order or court-approved consent agreement issued under this chapter or a foreign protection order, with the court, the office of the district attorney or the magisterial district judge in the jurisdiction or county where the violation occurred, except that, in a city of the first class, a complaint may only be filed with the family division of the court of common pleas or the office of the district attorney.

(b)  Procedure service.--Procedure for filing and service of a private criminal complaint shall be provided as set forth by local rule. No fees or costs associated with the prosecution of the private criminal complaint shall be assigned to the plaintiff at any stage of the proceeding, including, but not limited to, filing, service, failure to prosecute, withdrawal or dismissal. Nothing in this subsection is intended to expand or diminish the court's authority to enter an order pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1023.1 (relating to Scope. Signing of Documents. Representations to the Court. Violation).

(c)  Fees and costs.--After a finding of indirect criminal contempt, fees and costs may be assessed against the defendant. The court shall waive fees and costs imposed pursuant to this chapter upon a showing of good cause or when the court makes a finding that the defendant is not able to pay the costs associated with the indirect criminal contempt action. Nothing in this subsection is intended to expand or diminish the court's authority to enter an order pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1023.1.

23c6113.1v

(Oct. 6, 1994, P.L.574, No.85, eff. 60 days; June 22, 2001, P.L.576, No.39, eff. 60 days; Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days; Nov. 10, 2005, P.L.335, No.66, eff. 180 days)

 

2004 Amendment. See sections 28 and 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability and construction of law.

23c6114s

§ 6114.  Contempt for violation of order or agreement.

(a)  General rule.--Where the police, sheriff or the plaintiff have filed charges of indirect criminal contempt against a defendant for violation of a protection order issued under this chapter, a foreign protection order or a court-approved consent agreement, the court may hold the defendant in indirect criminal contempt and punish the defendant in accordance with law.

(a.1)  Jurisdiction.--A court shall have jurisdiction over indirect criminal contempt charges for violation of a protection order issued pursuant to this chapter in the county where the violation occurred and in the county where the protection order was granted. A court shall have jurisdiction over indirect criminal contempt charges for violation of a foreign protection order in the county where the violation occurred.

(a.2)  Minor defendant.--Any defendant who is a minor and who is charged with indirect criminal contempt for allegedly violating a protection from abuse order shall be considered to have committed an alleged delinquent act as that term is defined in 42 Pa.C.S. § 6302 (relating to definitions) and shall be treated as provided in 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to juvenile matters).

(b)  Trial and punishment.--

(1)  A sentence for contempt under this chapter may include:

(i)  (A)  a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $1,000 and imprisonment up to six months; or

(B)  a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $1,000 and supervised probation not to exceed six months; and

(ii)  an order for other relief set forth in this chapter.

(2)  All money received under this section shall be distributed in the following order of priority:

(i)  $100 shall be forwarded to the Commonwealth and shall be appropriated to the Pennsylvania State Police to establish and maintain the Statewide registry of protection orders provided for in section 6105 (relating to responsibilities of law enforcement agencies).

(ii)  $100 shall be retained by the county and shall be used to carry out the provisions of this chapter as follows:

(A)  $50 shall be used by the sheriff.

(B)  $50 shall be used by the court.

(iii)  $100 shall be forwarded to the Department of Public Welfare for use for victims of domestic violence in accordance with the provisions of section 2333 of the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177, No.175), known as The Administrative Code of 1929.

(iv)  Any additional money shall be forwarded to the Commonwealth and shall be used by the Pennsylvania State Police to establish and maintain the Statewide registry of protection orders provided for in section 6105.

(3)  The defendant shall not have a right to a jury trial on a charge of indirect criminal contempt. However, the defendant shall be entitled to counsel.

(4)  Upon conviction for indirect criminal contempt and at the request of the plaintiff, the court shall also grant an extension of the protection order for an additional term.

(5)  Upon conviction for indirect criminal contempt, the court shall notify the sheriff of the jurisdiction which issued the protection order of the conviction.

(6)  The minimum fine required by subsection (b)(1) allocated pursuant to subsection (b)(2)(i) and (iii) shall be used to supplement and not to supplant any other source of funds received for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this chapter.

(c)  Notification upon release.--The appropriate releasing authority or other official as designated by local rule shall use all reasonable means to notify the victim sufficiently in advance of the release of the offender from any incarceration imposed under subsection (b). Notification shall be required for work release, furlough, medical leave, community service, discharge, escape and recapture. Notification shall include the terms and conditions imposed on any temporary release from custody. The plaintiff must keep the appropriate releasing authority or other official as designated by local rule advised of contact information; failure to do so will constitute waiver of any right to notification under this section.

(d)  Multiple remedies.--Disposition of a charge of indirect criminal contempt shall not preclude the prosecution of other criminal charges associated with the incident giving rise to the contempt, nor shall disposition of other criminal charges preclude prosecution of indirect criminal contempt associated with the criminal conduct giving rise to the charges.

23c6114v

(Oct. 6, 1994, P.L.574, No.85, eff. 60 days; Mar. 24, 1998, P.L.204, No.36, eff. 60 days; June 22, 2001, P.L.576, No.39, eff. 60 days; Nov. 10, 2005, P.L.335, No.66, eff. 180 days)

 

Cross References.  Section 6114 is referred to in sections 5329, 6108 of this title; sections 4136, 4137 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).

23c6114.1s

§ 6114.1.  Civil contempt or modification for violation of an order or agreement.

(a)  General rule.--A plaintiff may file a petition for civil contempt with the issuing court alleging that the defendant has violated any provision of an order or court-approved agreement issued under this chapter or a foreign protection order.

(b)  Civil contempt order.--Upon finding of a violation of a protection order or court-approved consent agreement issued under this chapter or a foreign protection order, the court, either pursuant to petition for civil contempt or on its own accord, may hold the defendant in civil contempt and constrain him in accordance with law.

(c)  Sentencing.--A sentence for civil contempt under this chapter may include imprisonment until the defendant complies with provisions in the order or consent agreement or demonstrates the intent to do so, but in no case shall a term of imprisonment under this section exceed a period of six months.

(d)  Jury trial and counsel.--The defendant shall not have a right to a jury trial; however, the defendant shall be entitled to counsel.

23c6114.1v

(Oct. 6, 1994, P.L.574, No.85, eff. 60 days; June 22, 2001, P.L.576, No.39, eff. 60 days)

 

2001 Amendment.  Act 39 amended subsecs. (a) and (b).

1994 Amendment.  Act 85 added section 6114.1.

23c6115s

§ 6115.  Reporting abuse and immunity.

(a)  Reporting.--A person having reasonable cause to believe that a person is being abused may report the information to the local police department.

(b)  Contents of report.--The report should contain the name and address of the abused person, information regarding the nature and extent of the abuse and information which the reporter believes may be helpful to prevent further abuse.

(c)  Immunity.--A person who makes a report shall be immune from a civil or criminal liability on account of the report unless the person acted in bad faith or with malicious purpose.

23c6116s

§ 6116.  Confidentiality.

Unless a victim waives the privilege in a signed writing prior to testimony or disclosure, a domestic violence counselor/advocate or a coparticipant who is present during domestic violence counseling/advocacy shall not be competent nor permitted to testify or to otherwise disclose confidential communications made to or by the counselor/advocate by or to a victim. The privilege shall terminate upon the death of the victim. Neither the domestic violence counselor/advocate nor the victim shall waive the privilege of confidential communications by reporting facts of physical or sexual assault under Chapter 63 (relating to child protective services), a Federal or State mandatory reporting statute or a local mandatory reporting ordinance.

23c6116v

(Oct. 6, 1994, P.L.574, No.85, eff. 60 days)

 

Cross References.  Section 6116 is referred to in section 6102 of this title.

23c6117s

§ 6117.  Procedure and other remedies.

(a)  General rule.--Unless otherwise indicated in this chapter, a proceeding under this chapter shall be in accordance with applicable general rules and shall be in addition to any other available civil or criminal remedies. The plaintiff and the defendant may seek modification of an order issued under section 6108 (relating to relief) at any time during the pendency of an order. Except as otherwise indicated in this chapter, modification may be ordered after the filing of a petition for modification, service of the petition and a hearing on the petition.

(b)  Remedies for bad faith.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, upon finding that an individual commenced a proceeding under this chapter in bad faith, a court shall direct the individual to pay to the defendant actual damages and reasonable attorney fees. Failure to prove an allegation of abuse by a preponderance of the evidence shall not, by itself, result in a finding of bad faith.

23c6117v

(Oct. 6, 1994, P.L.574, No.85, eff. 60 days; Nov. 10, 2005, P.L.335, No.66, eff. 180 days)

23c6118s

§ 6118.  Full faith and credit (Repealed).

23c6118v

 

2001 Repeal Note.  Section 6118 was repealed June 22, 2001, P.L.576, No.39, effective in 60 days.

23c6119s

§ 6119.  Immunity.

(a)  General rule.--Law enforcement agencies and their employees, including police officers and sheriffs, shall, except as provided in subsection (b), be immune from civil liability for actions taken in good faith to carry out their duties relating to the seizure and relinquishment of firearms, other weapons and ammunition as provided for in this chapter, except for gross negligence, intentional misconduct or reckless, willful or wanton misconduct.

(b)  Exception.--Law enforcement agencies and their employees, including police officers and sheriffs, shall be liable to the lawful owner of confiscated, seized or relinquished firearms in accordance with 18 Pa.C.S. § 6105(f) (relating to persons not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms) and shall be liable to the lawful owner of confiscated, seized or relinquished other weapons or ammunition for any loss, damage or substantial decrease in the value of the other weapons or ammunition that is a direct result of a lack of reasonable care by the law enforcement agency or its employees.

23c6119v

(Nov. 10, 2005, P.L.335, No.66, eff. 180 days)

 

2005 Amendment.  Act 66 added section 6119.

23c6120s

§ 6120.  Inability to pay.

(a)  Order for installment payments.--Upon plea and proof that a person is without the financial means to pay a fine, a fee, economic relief ordered under section 6108(a)(8) (relating to relief) or a cost, a court may order payment of money owed in installments appropriate to the circumstances of the person and shall fix the amounts, times and manner of payment.

(b)  Use of credit cards.--The treasurer of each county may allow the use of credit cards and bank cards in the payment of money owed under this chapter.

23c6120v

(Nov. 10, 2005, P.L.335, No.66, eff. 180 days)

 

2005 Amendment.  Act 66 added section 6120.

23c6121s

§ 6121.  Warrantless searches.

Except as provided in section 6113 (relating to arrest for violation of order), nothing in this chapter shall authorize a warrantless search for firearms, other weapons or ammunition.

23c6121v

(Nov. 10, 2005, P.L.335, No.66, eff. 180 days)

 

2005 Amendment.  Act 66 added section 6121.

23c6122s

§ 6122.  Construction.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to preclude an action for wrongful use of civil process pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 83 Subch. E (relating to wrongful use of civil proceedings) or criminal prosecution for a violation of 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 49 (relating to falsification and intimidation).

23c6122v

(Nov. 10, 2005, P.L.335, No.66, eff. 180 days)

 

2005 Amendment.  Act 66 added section 6122.