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Protection from Abuse Filings

Ex parte proceedings; temporary orders

If a plaintiff petitions for a temporary order for protection from abuse and alleges immediate and present danger of abuse to the plaintiff or minor children, the court must conduct an ex parte proceeding. The term "Ex Parte" means literally "without the party." The Court may enter the order for temporary protection without notice to the non-moving party. There is no requirement that a person charged with abuse must receive notice of such an ex partehearing, even if the hearing may result in an order temporarily excluding him or her from property that he or she owns in whole or in part. The court may enter such a temporary order as it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff or minor children when it finds they are in immediate and present danger of abuse. The order remains in effect until modified or terminated by the court after notice and hearing.

The Allegations in the Petition are all a LIE!!

The Protection from Abuse Act does not anticipate that a person filing a petition will be rigorously limited to the specific allegations of abuse found in that petition. The tenor of the Act is to focus on the prevention of abuse in the generic sense; it does not provide in what detail allegations of abuse must be made, or whether a petitioner can bring up at trial incidents or details not written in the petition. Thus, some flexibility must be allowed in the admission of evidence relating to past acts of abuse. Accordingly, in evaluating a person's conduct to determine if it constituted abuse within the meaning of the Act, a court may consider other incidents between the parties that did not constitute abuse due to the mutual fault of both parties. The court may also consider prior acts of abuse other than those immediately preceding the petition, and this fact does not render the Act invalid as an ex post facto law. However, the trial court does not have unlimited authority in determining whether past incidents of abuse should be admitted or excluded. There will be times when the alleged incidents of abuse are too remote or too insignificant to have much relevance to the court's determination. Often times, these types of proceedings occur in concert with a divorce. Many times, a protection from abuse matter may be resolved amicably and issues relating to custody resolved as well.

For a discussion of your case, contact the experienced legal team at Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC, at (717) 268-4287, or log onto our website for additional answers or to communicate with an attorney directly our attorney, Jeffrey B. Engle, has extensive experience with these matters.