Emergency Orders: If plaintiff is in fear of immediate harm or abuse he or she does not have to wait for normal business hours, when Family Court opens, to commence their petition for protection from abuse. Plaintiff may call the police and they will be given directions on what to do.
Emergency Orders may be filed at The Criminal Justice Center, 1301 Filbert Street, Room B-03 on weekends and holidays when the courts are closed, and on weekdays between the hours of 5:00 PM to 9:00 AM. The phone number for Room B-03 is (215) 683-7280. A Hearing Officer or Master is assigned to act on emergency petitions during non-business hours and will issue an Emergency Order if appropriate. Plaintiff will be assisted in filling out the necessary forms by a designated domestic violence counselor/advocate. There is no filing fee.
Emergency Protection Orders expire at 5:00 PM on the next day that Family Court is open, at which time the Family Court may issue a temporary order. Anyone who is granted an emergency PFA order when the Family Court is closed should call Family Court on the next business day at (215) 686-3512 to receive instructions for obtaining a copy of temporary order if one has been issued.
Emergency Petitions are not always granted. The Court may determine that an emergency petition is not necessary because there is not immediate danger of abuse. THIS DOES NOT MEAN PLAINTIFF WILL NOT BE GRANTED A PROTECTION ORDER. If plaintiff is denied an emergency PFA order at the Criminal Justice Center then they may file their petition with the Family Court on the next business day.
Commencement of PFA Action in Family Court: A non-emergency action may be commenced Monday through Friday, between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, at the Philadelphia Family Court, Domestic Violence Unit, 34 S 11th Street., Room 242, Philadelphia, PA 19107. There is no initial filing fee and plaintiff will be assisted in preparing and filing the necessary papers if he or she does not have an attorney.
The documents required to commence a PFA action in Philadelphia County are provided below. Please be advised that the prerequisite forms are not a substitute for legal counsel. Heaven Sent Legal Services provides these forms for the education and convenience of our clients and to those visiting our website who after careful consideration have decided they must represent themselves in a PFA action. Anyone filing a PFA action should seek the advice of an attorney if possible. ALL INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS WEBSITE IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION AND IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE.
REQUIRED FORMS.To view or download click on FORMS link.
1. Notice To Defend
2. Order for Hearing
4. Final Protection Order
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