There is a old saying "Every mother is a working mother!" Recently a mother visited our office with a shocking problem she wanted to resolve.
This mother works forty (40) hours a week as a nurse in a hospital in Bucks County and is a phlebotomist and also works as a home health care aid on her days off.
She has been spuriously accused by her daughter of posting her location and pictures on Facebook, appearing at independent locations on her route to school. The daughter attends Temple University.
These fake accusations were twice dismissed at prior PFA hearings. Now a third one has been filed.
Note of caution. "A lack of knowledge can and will be used against you!."
This mother decided to come to Legal-Eagles after learning from the daughters Grandmother that a new PFA has been filed in Philadelphia Family Court.
We had this sweet woman swear out an affidavit denying the accusations. we printed out documents from her facebook page and a text message from the Grandmother telling her about the new court date. We had her itemize her lost wages from the prior PFA hearings.
Rule: The defendant must be properly served with the PFA. In this case, the mother was never properly served with the PFA by the court or the police.
Rule: Every Philadelphia Family courtroom has a different judge and clerk with different rules for submitting evidence. In courtroom six (6), documents cannot be filed ahead of the hearing. And three (3) sets of copies must be made of documents.
Rule: The Plaintiff who files the PFA fills out the allegation on a standard form. But at the hearing the Plaintiff can bring forth past allegations not described in the form. For example, "My mom never gave me lunch money when I was in the sixth grade."
Rule: As a defendant you have the right to testify and call witnesses on your behalf at a final hearing. You also have the right to cross-examine your accuser.
Rule: If the plaintiff does not show up to the hearing the case will likely be dismissed. If their was a temporary restraining order in place it will be dissolved.
Rule: Protection from abuse cases are open to the public. There may be other people in the courtroom.
Rule: The plaintiff has the burden of proof. He or she must prove and support the accusations with sufficient evidence. The legal standard is Preponderance of Evidence. (Basically the accusations are more likely than not to have occured.)
Rule: If either party disagrees with the final order of the hearing they may appeal to the higher court.
Rule: In Pennsylvania a final order can last up to three (3) years against a defendant. Motions for extension can be made as well as motion to modify the order.
Rule: A PFA order is available to a current or former spouse, parent, child, current or former sexual partner, others related by blood or marriage.
Rule: A neighbor or unrelated person is not eligible for a PFA
Rule: If a PFA order is violated a Petition for Contempt may be filed and or you should call the police.
Rule: A PFA order is maintained by the State Police and could potentially show up on a background check affecting employment.
Family Court address:
1501 Arch st, 8th floor, Philadelphia Pa
Tele: (215) 686-3512
Hours: 8 a.m to 5 p.m
this blog was meant to provide general information and not legal advice.