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Pennsylvania Protective Orders Laws

Pennsylvania has a protective order law that is triggered in domestic violence cases. Such court orders often state, for instance, that an abusive spouse may not come within a stated distance of another person for a period of time. In Pennsylvania, protective orders (also called "restraining orders") may also be used in stalking cases.

The basic provisions of Pennsylvania's protective order laws are listed in the table below. See Domestic Violence: Orders of Protection and Restraining Orders for more information.


Code Section Domestic Relations 23 §6102, et seq.
Activity Addressed by Order Enjoin contact; exclude from dwelling, school, employment, or defendant provide suitable alternate housing; regarding minors: temporary custody, visitations, support; relinquish weapons; pay reasonable losses suffered as a result of abuse
Duration of Order emergency: expires at end of next business day; General: maximum 18 mos., may be extended indefinitely
Penalty for a Violation of Order Indirect criminal contempt: jail maximum 6 months and/or fine minimum $100 and maximum $1,000
Who May Apply for Order Adult or emancipated minor or any parent, adult household member, or guardian ad litem on behalf of minor or incompetent
Can Fees Be Waived? Yes, if petitioner prevails; if not, court decides whether petitioner able to pay
Order Transmission to Law Enforcement Petitioner may register order without cost or fee in any county or a copy may be sent to the Pennsylvania State Police registry. Copy to police department with proper jurisdiction and copy to county registry of protection order
Civil Liability for Violation of Order Yes, civil contempt

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- please contact a Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Pennsylvania Criminal Laws Related Resources:

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