If you, your client, or someone you know is seeking a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order in Philadelphia for their safety, the courts have set up a filing process during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Several legal aid organizations (Women’s Law Project, Women Against Abuse Legal Center, Philadelphia Legal Assistance, and SeniorLAW Center) have also provided a brochure [Updated brochure as of 5/18/20] with additional details about how to obtain and serve Emergency or Temporary PFAs as well as Sexual Violence or Intimidation Orders (SVPIs). This brochure also lists various Philadelphia resources for help in staying safe during this time, including the 24/7 Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-866-SAFE-014 (1-866-723-3014) and the WOAR - Philadelphia Center Against Sexual Violence 24/7 Hotline at 215-985-3333.
For the court order that authorized these PFA filing procedures during the pandemic, you can read Order 16 of 2020, issued on March 20, 2020 by the Honorable Idee C. Fox, President Judge and Chair of the Administrative Governing Board of the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania.
For other civil legal aid resources during the pandemic, see the Philadelphia Bar Foundation’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources for Civil Legal Aid page. For more information relating to court operations during this time, see additional Administrative Orders on the Philadelphia Court’s Orders and Regulations page.