Judges and Court Personnel
Technical Assistance 1-888-235-3425 or 717-671-4767
Judges and court personnel are invited to call with questions regarding:
the PFA Act, procedure, forms, enforcement, state and federal firearms law, child custody and domestic violence, domestic violence information and statistics, domestic violence fatalities, court interpreters, compliance with the Federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and other domestic violence statutes and case law.
Recent questions include
- Custody modification in PFA orders
- Violation of no-contact PFAs through social network web sites
- VAWA prohibitions against posting PFA records on government web sites
- ICC when defendant does not relinquish firearms as ordered
- Filing of out-of-state protection orders
Contact us about customized training for your county, region or professional conference. Recent training topics:
- Protection From Abuse (PFA) Act and Case Law
- Stalking and Technology
- State and Federal Firearms Prohibitions
- Responding to Teen Dating Violence, Sexual Abuse and Stalking in Schools and Through the Justice System
- Strangulation Prosecution and Evidence
- Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL)
- Working with Victims, Vicarious Trauma and Burnout
Tools from PCADV
Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Benchbook
Written under the direction of a group of judicial leaders from across Pennsylvania, the Benchbook addresses evidence, pro se litigants, emerging practices in addressing domestic violence, criminal court concerns, teen dating violence and a variety of civil court issues including PFA and custody cases. The Benchbook is intended to provide substantive legal information and tools for trial court judges, and to be a concise and thorough compilation of statutory and case law related to domestic violence. Revisions as well as new chapters are written to keep the Benchbook current with Pennsylvania and federal laws. The Benchbook is not available electronically, but is provided to Pennsylvania trial and appellate court judges upon request. Contact email@example.com.
The Pennsylvania Protection From Abuse Act Annotated
The PFA Act Annotated contains the full text of the Act, 23 Pa.C.S. sections 6101 - 6123, and appellate case law annotations within the applicable sections. The PFA Annotated also describes cases relevant to the PFA Act's relationship with other proceedings: custody, divorce, dependency. Cases are also indexed by relevant section.
The Pennsylvania Protection From Abuse Act
The full text of the Act, 23 Pa.C.S. sections 6101 - 6123
Domestic Violence Newsletter for Court Personnel
Court personnel may be the "first responders" to domestic violence victims in the court system. Court Access keeps key workers in PFA offices, court administration, judicial support, and domestic relations offices informed about working effectively with domestic violence victims and PFA litigants. Court Access is distributed to email subscribers twice yearly at no charge. See previous issues
- July 2014
Children's Resilience & Domestic Violence - Sexual Abuse & PFA Orders: Boykai v. Young - Sexual Violence Protection Orders Effective 7/1/2015402.46 K | 7/17/2014
About Domestic Violence for Judges
The Jurist - Quarterly e-news for Pennsylvania judges
- May 2014
Force not required to establish sexual abuse under PFA Act: Boykai v. Young - PFA Extensions Clarified - Withdrawal, Modification, Discontinuance of PFA Orders3.3 Meg | 7/17/2014
- September 2013
New Rules of Civil Procedure for Family Courts - Sample Pro Se Entry of Appearance Form - Sample Petition to Modify - Unrecorded PFA Orders Endanger Lives - Attachment A3.87 Meg | 6/3/2014
- April 2013
In Camera Review of Temp PFA Ruled Unconstitutional - Ferko-Fox v. Fox, 2013 PA Super 88 (April 17, 2013). - Map of TPFA procedures by county2.7 Meg | 4/26/2013
Services. Training. Officers. Prosecutors. Subscribe
The STOP Program encourages the development and improvement of effective law enforcement and prosecution strategies to address violent crimes against women and children. PCADV is awarded grants to provide training and technical assistance to STOP team members, including law enforcement, prosecutors, courts and victim services providers. The STOP Newsletter contains articles about the Protection From Abuse (PFA) Act, technology and safety advocacy, stalking, firearms, primary aggressor and related issues. It is distributed free to email subscribers on a quarterly basis. See previous issues
STOP Technical Assistance Bulletins
- Complying with VAWA Requirements for Funding STOP Programs
Pennsylvania receives more than 4.5 million dollars yearly in federal funding under the STOP Formula Grant. STOP funds are used to develop and strengthen collaborative efforts by courts, law enforcement, prosecutors, and service providers to combat domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking in their communities. To be eligible to receive this funding, Pennsylvania and all its jurisdictions must certify compliance with four statutory requirements. PCADV, 2014261.65 K | 7/18/2014
- Effective STOP Team Management
This technical assistance bulletin is intended to assist teams in achieving the goals and fulfilling the purpose of the STOP project by offering best practice information for forming effective teams, identifying projects and priorities, conducting effective meetings, and evaluating progress. This bulletin provides essential guidance for effective grant management to help programs ensure the continuation of funding for the project in the future. PCADV, 2014444.08 K | 7/18/2014
- Immigration Relief for Immigrant Survivors of Domestic Violence
Immigrant victims, regardless of their immigration status, are entitled to protection, services, and legal relief. Understanding the unique dynamics of domestic violence in immigrant communities, as well as protections, services, and relief available, can help STOP Teams craft policies and procedures to better reach underserved populations. Economic dependence, limited work skills or authorization, limited English proficiency (LEP), fear of deportation, and cultural or religious factors often intensify an immigrant victim’s dependence on the abuser and deter the victim from seeking help from the justice system. PCADV, 2014594.29 K | 7/18/2014
- Teen Dating Abuse
Without an adequate response, dating abuse may start early and carry through into adult relationships. In addition, the severity of abuse between intimate partners has been shown to increase if the pattern was established in adolescence. Court-based intervention for juvenile abuse perpetrators was especially effective for first-time offenders whose behavior had not yet become entrenched. PCADV, 2011183.06 K | 7/18/2014
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If you fear for your immediate safety, call 9-1-1 or your local police.
Contact the domestic violence program in your area for free and confidential help.
Other victim programs are available to help you and your family.
Any attorney helping a domestic violence victim may contact the PCADV legal department at 888-235-3425 for information on law and legal procedures. (This is not a helpline for victims.)
The information provided on this website is intended for informational purposes only. The information provided under this topic is not legal advice, does not create an attorney-client relationship, and is not a substitute for contacting an experienced attorney. Read our full legal disclaimer.
- Internet Records Confidentiality under the 2005 Violence Against Women Act PCADV, 2010.
- Practical Implications of Current Domestic Violence Research: For Law Enforcement, Prosecutors and Judges National Institute of Justice, June 2009. What the research tells us about domestic violence, its perpetrators and victims, the impact of current responses and the implications for day-to-day, real-world responses to domestic violence.
- Parental Alienation Syndrome and Parental Alienation: Research Reviews by Joan S. Meier, VAWnet, 2009. Over-view of PAS and PA, identifies strategic issues for advocates working with abused women and children, and offers guidelines to improve courts' treatment of these issues.
- Responding to Elder Abuse: What Judges and Court Personnel Should Know, (DVD), OVC, August 2010, NCJ 223415
- Video .mov
- Video .wmv
- Categories of Permissible and Impermissible Assistance by Court Personnel/Domestic Violence Advocates in PFA Matters 57.36 K | 3/14/2013
- Judicial Checklist
American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence. Judicial Considerations In Domestic Violence Cases, Perpetrator Tactics of Power & Control, Firearms, Custody and Visitation, Mutual Orders, Language Access, Due Process, Mediation & Therapy, Anger Management vs. Batterers Intervention Services, Danger Assessment204.82 K | 7/17/2014
Administrative Regulations for Court Interpreters in Pennsylvania
Judicial Benchcard for Court Interpretation in Protection Order Hearings informs the court know what to expect from an interpreter and how the court can assist communication in interpreter proceedings
Language Access Guidance Letter from U.S. Justice Department - 2010 guidance for chief justices and administrators of state courts clarifying the obligation of courts that receive federal financial assistance to provide oral interpretation, written translation and other language services to people who are limited English proficient (LEP).
I Speak Card Flashcard from the U.S. Census Bureau that the court can use to determine the language that the litigant speaks. "Mark this box if you read or speak (each different language)."
Bilingual Protection From Abuse documents translated into the eleven most commonly encountered languages in the Pennsylvania court system
Bilingual Criminal Protective Order documents are translated into five languages for Pennsylvania courts
Firearms Law - PA and US Especially for Judges
Safety In and Beyond the Courtroom
For judges, court personnel, sheriffs, hearing officers, guardians ad litem and others working within the court
Understanding & Responding to Stalking in the Court of Common Pleas For judges by experts from the national Stalking Resource Center, informs courts how to identify stalking and respond to it with appropriate sanctions and monitoring.
Working with Victims of Domestic Violence in Later Life Identify ways to enhance access to justice for victims of domestic violence in later life
What Judges Need To Know About Compliance With The Violence Against Women Act
The Honorable Jack Panella, Pennsylvania Superior Court, and the Honorable Mike Denton, Texas Criminal Court, explain the consequences for non-compliance and emphasize how compliance supports the court system. Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ronald Castille introduced this webinar and urged Pennsylvania judges to participate. Recorded 03/10/2011. Viewers will be asked to enter their name and contact information before the session will play.
- Judicial Checklist
- Effective STOP Team Management
- September 2013