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PFA (Protection from Abuse) and PSVI (Protection of Victims of Sexual Violence or Intimidation) Orders

A Protection from Abuse (PFA) is an order signed by a judge instructing the abuser to stop the abuse or face serious legal consequences  It offers civil legal protection form domestic violence to both female and male victims. In order to petition the Court for a PFA, you must be, or have been, in a relationship with or a family member of the person against whom you want to file. Under the Protection From Abuse Act, abuse is defined as physical abuse, a threat which places you in immediate fear of physical injury, or a pattern of conduct which places you in immediate fear of physical injury. The Protection Order can do the following:

  • Prohibit abusive conduct
  • Remove the abuser from your residence
  • Other provisions which the Judge deems appropriate

The PSVI Act allows an adult individual or emancipated minor, who has been subject to sexual violence, to petition the court for protective order. A parent, adult household member or guardian may petition on behalf of a minor who has been subjected to sexual violence and/or intimidation.  Unlike the PFA Act, the PSVI Act gives protection to those who have been victimized by a non-family member or even a complete stranger.

Emergency and Temporary PFA or PSVI Orders 
An Emergency Order can be issued by a District Judge after 3:00 p.m. on a business day or when the Court of Common Pleas is closed. An Emergency order is in effect until the end of the next business day of the Court of Common Pleas.

  1. You must report to the Court of Common Pleas to have a temporary order issued.
  2. A Temporary Order stays in effect until the hearing for the permanent PFA/PSVI is held. You can report directly to the Court of Common Pleas during business hours to file for a temporary order.

To file for an order you must:

  • Complete a petition for a Temporary PFA/PSVI at the PFA Office.
  • Present the petition to the PFA judge,
  • The PFA/PSVI petition and Temporary Order must be filed in the Prothonotary's Office,
  • Take copies of the PFA/PSVI order to your local Police department and to the County Sheriff department (located in the basement of the Courthouse) for service.  A copy of the PSVI order will automatically be sent to the Department of Human Services and the Westmoreland County Children's Bureau when the victim is a minor.

You will be scheduled for a permanent PFA/PSVI hearing within two weeks following the issuance of the temporary order.

In order to file for a temporary PFA/PSVI, call the PFA Office of the Court Administrator's Office.  See office hours, location and contact info to the right. The Process for completing the paperwork to file a PFA/PSVI petition requires that the petitioner meet with the Judge. The process may take several hours to complete.

A representative can answer questions, address criteria that must be met to get a PFA/PSVI, and assist in the completion of the necessary paperwork to file for a PFA/PSVI. In any emergency, call 911. The police will assist and provide information on how to get an emergency PFA/PSVI and will file a report. For assistance in petitioning for a PFA and counseling assistance, see links for the Blackburn Center and Hope Center to the right. 

Contact Us
Court Administration
PFA Office
2 North Main Street
Greensburg, PA 15601

Ph: (724) 853-2207

Location:  4th floor, county
annex of Westmoreland
County Courthouse

Hours:  Monday - Friday
            8:30 am-11:30 am
            1:00 pm-3:00 pm

For assistance petitioning
for a PFA and counseling: 

Blackburn Center:
24 hr hotline 724-836-1122,
or 1-888-832-2272
Business Office

The Hope Center
24 hr hotline 724-339-4673,
or 1-888-299-4673 toll free
Filing Office:

Westmoreland County
Prothonotary's Office

5th floor, Courthouse Annex

Hours: Monday - Friday,
8:30 am - 4:00 pm 
2 North Main Street
Greensburg, PA 15601
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