Bucks County is home to over 600,000 residents. The Bucks County Court of Common Pleas serves this population for all legal matters. Matters of Family Law are resolved in the court's division of Domestic Relations. This includes the filing and enforcement of Protection From Abuse orders. The court attempts to retain a relatively simple process for filing and eventually, finalizing Protection From Abuse orders. Bucks County utilizes a process involving a few steps to reach the final point.
Filing For A PFA Order In Bucks County
The process for filing for a Protection From Abuse Order in Bucks County follows a few specific steps. The initial filing can be done Pro Se, meaning without a lawyer. The only thing the filing requires is that a person goes to the court during the court's regular business hours, and fill out a request to petition the court for a Protection From Abuse order. When filing, the victim of the abuse will be known as the plaintiff, while the alleged abused will be known as the defendant. Once this petition is filed, a judge can approve the filing. After the approval, the defendant will be served with the order. Violations of the order will be prosecuted by the court. Judges will likely order a "temporary order," which will stand in the meantime while the plaintiff and defendant await the time for a hearing. If a victim of abuse needs a PFA order while the court is not in session or not during normal business hours, Bucks County allows for the filing of an emergency PFA order. An emergency PFA order will usually stand until the next available business day, at which point the plaintiff should return to court to obtain a temporary PFA and a date for a hearing to make it a permanent PFA. Hearings for the finalization of a PFA order will take place at the court in front of a judge. Temporary orders exist to ensure nothing can happen in the meantime while the parties await the date of the hearing.
When it comes time to have a hearing for a permanent PFA order, it is best to enlist the services of an attorney whether one is the plaintiff or defendant in the PFA action. While initial PFA orders can be filed with relative ease, the steps following often require legal counsel, and a party in a PFA will be best served when represented by an experienced Bucks County PFA attorney. Hearings in front of a judge will rely on evidence, testimony, and proper argument, and a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of Family Court can strongly influence a person's case, especially in a PFA order hearing.
If you or a loved one is seeking a PFA order or engaged in other matters of Family Law in Bucks County, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.