Recently updated on December 25th, 2023 at 02:02 am

Create and File for your court forms for Protection From Abuse (PFA) Online

This is a free website for victims of domestic violence and their loved ones, to prepare and file for the Protection From Abuse Order (PFAO).

Victims of domestic violence can get a protection order formally called a PFAO against their abuser.

The website breaks down the process into a series of friendly questionnaires, with helpful explanations from lawyers and court officials. Once you complete the questionnaires, you can either file electronically OR download forms and instructions for filing at your local court.

Start Your Paperwork

  • See if you're eligible!

OVERVIEW

A domestic violence restraining order (DVRO) is a court order given to protection a person from abuse from a romantic partner, a family member or a household member.  The order restricts the abuser e.g. asking them to stay a minimum distance away from the victim's residence. 

A DVRO is given in situations where the abuser is someone the victim has dated or had an intimate relationship with, including a spouse or domestic partner. It can also be against a relative such as a child, parent, sibling, grandparent or in-laws.

Abuse can be emotional or physical. It can happen anywhere, including online. Abuse can happen in different ways, including someone stopping you from accessing money or basic needs, or isolating you from friends or family.

Play Video

How it Works - Video Overview

A short video that outlines how you can prepare your official DVRO courts forms (also known as packet). Then file it at the local Superior Court.

HOW THIS WEBSITE WORKS

This website provides a guided experience to people who are working themselves on preparing the court forms for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order.

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1. Take Screening

Start with the Online Screening which will step you through a few questions to then suggest whether your situation is suitable for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order.

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2. Prepare Documents

Prepare the main set of your court documents by covering one topic at a time. Each topic offers questions in simple and non-legal language. Just do your best and in case you need help you can get reach out for help just with a few clicks.

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3. Consult Advocate (Optional)

In case you are filing against someone you had an intimate relationship with, you can consult with an advocate. The advocate can assist you with certain aspects of the case. They can review your case documents, and talk to you directly to discuss your case.

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4. Submit to Court

Submit the paperwork to begin the legal process. You can do that by either printing and visiting the court or directly E-filing from this website.

How do restraining orders help?

Here's the top three findings from a study on domestic violence and restraining orders from the University of New Hampshire

Reduce Violence

1. Reduce Violence

Civil protective orders (such as a PFAO) are effective in reducing partner violence for many women. For half the women in the sample, a protective order stopped the violence. For the other half, the orders significantly reduced violence and abuse.

Cost Effective

2. Cost Effective

They are a relatively low-cost solution, particularly when compared with the social and personal costs of partner violence.

Countryside

3. Urban vs. Rural

The impact of civil protective orders on reducing violence and abuse did not differ for rural and urban women. In rural areas where resources and services for partner violence may be more limited, it is critical to reduce barriers to obtaining protective orders as research indicates they may be an effective resource. Community-level barriers to enforce civil protective orders exist for women in rural areas.

Court Forms Created

When you pass the screening and complete the questionnaires, you can then download the following standard court forms filled correctly with your information. These court forms are provided by the Pennsylvania Courts and used across courts in Pennsylvania for PFAO.

PFA_PA
  • 223233 Petition for Protection from Abuse
  • 223220 Temporary Protection from Abuse Order
  • 223247 Final Protection from Abuse Order
  • 223258 Notice of Hearing and Order
  • 223207 Petition for Emergency Relief from Abuse