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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: September 27, 2018 09:18 AM
From: Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf
To: All Senate members
Subject: Emergency Protection from Abuse Orders
During a public hearing, the Judiciary Committee learned of a weakness in the Protection from Abuse Act. Currently, 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. In order to maintain the emergency relief granted after hours by a Magisterial District Judge, the domestic violence victim must return every day to the Magisterial District Judge until a hearing occurs in the Court of Common Pleas.

I will soon introduce a bill to extend the time period for the expiration of emergency PFA relief. Instead of expiring at the end of the next business day, the emergency relief will expire upon the holding of a hearing in the Court of Common Pleas or within 7 business days, whichever occurs sooner.

Please join me in sponsoring this bill to facilitate protection orders for domestic violence victims.

Introduced as SB1274