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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: January 24, 2023 03:07 PM
From: Representative Carol Kazeem
To: All House members
Subject: Emergency Protection From Abuse (PFA) Orders
Under current law, victims of domestic abuse may seek emergency relief from a Magisterial District Judge after regular business hours.  However, the emergency relief expires at the close of the next business day when the Court of Common Pleas is available. Although the Courts of Common Pleas are open during weekdays, they often schedule PFA hearings for specific days of the week.  Presently, in order to maintain emergency relief, the domestic violence victim must return to court multiple times until a final hearing occurs in the Court of Common Pleas.
My legislation would allow the Court of Common Pleas to adopt a rule to extend the time period for emergency orders.  Under this legislation, in courts that have opted to adopt the rule, emergency relief would expire upon the commencement of a hearing in the Court of Common Pleas or within 10 business days, rather than the very next business day.  A petitioner would still be able to request a temporary order from the Court of Common Pleas at any time prior to the final hearing.
This bill will more effectively facilitate protection from abuse orders for domestic violence victims in communities all throughout the Commonwealth. Please join me in protecting victims of domestic violence from further harm.

Introduced as HB703