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06/13/2024 04:34 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: August 7, 2023 12:31 PM
From: Representative Carol Kazeem and Rep. Joe Hogan, Rep. Tarik Khan
To: All House members
Subject: Emergency Protection from Abuse Orders
In the near future, we intend to introduce legislation allowing local courts to extend the period for the expiration of emergency PFA relief.

Under current law, victims of domestic abuse may seek emergency relief from a Magisterial District Judge after regular business hours. The emergency relief, however, 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.

Our legislation would allow the Court of Common Pleas to adopt a rule to extend the time period for emergency orders. Under the bill, instead of expiring at the end of the next business day, emergency relief would expire upon the commencement of a hearing in the Court of Common Pleas within 10 business days. A petitioner may still request a temporary order from the Common Pleas Court at any time prior to the final hearing.

We believe strongly that this bill would help better facilitate protection orders from abuse for domestic violence victims in communities all throughout the Commonwealth and further build upon the successful efforts we have had in protecting these victims. Please join us in protecting victims of domestic violence from further harm, and join us in cosponsoring this critical legislation.

Introduced as HB1647