Under the Protection From Abuse Act, you may file for an order if the person who has or is trying to harm you is/was your spouse; was living with you in a common-law marriage or as your boyfriend/girlfriend; the parent of your child; your child; was a sexual or intimate partner; your parent; or related to you by blood or marriage. The Act does not cover emotional or mental abuse.
To file for a PFA Order in Northampton County, go to the Protection From Abuse Office, located on the lower level (Rm. L113) of the Northampton County Courthouse. The filing hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Motions Judge hears PFA cases at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. every day.
Once at the PFA Office, a staff will take your petition with the allegations of abuse. You will be escorted to the Motions Judge's chambers or courtroom to talk with the Judge, who will decide on granting or denying your petition. If a temporary order is granted, you will return to the PFA Office for a copy of the order with the hearing date on.
This hearing date is within ten (10) business days of the temporary order. The County Sheriff's Department will attempt to serve the defendant with notice of the temporary PFA and the hearing date. It is important that the petitioner provides an address of residency, employment, and etc. to the PFA Office so that the Sheriff can affect service upon the defendant.
The petitioner must appear promptly for the hearing, as scheduled, to avoid having the case dismissed. If the defendant has not been served prior to the hearing, the Court will grant an extension order. This extension order will be issued for a period of up to three (3) years. Upon being served, the defendant may request a hearing in this matter to be scheduled by contacting the PFA Office.
For further information on Protection From Abuse Orders, victims are encouraged to call the Northampton County Protection From Abuse Office at (610)559-3061.