Q: After an argument my boyfriend, he had me arrested and then filed a PFA that included my son. My son was in no way involved in the argument until I was told to leave the house and wanted to take him with me. (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: I am not sure of all the facts here, like is this child both of yours, is the house your boyfriend’s or yours, etc.? Regardless, if the PFA has been filed but no hearing has been held yet, you should defend it at the time of the hearing. There is not much you can do while the Emergency PFA Order is in effect. At the final hearing, a judge can grant the petition, deny the petition or find it does not apply to your son if granted. Additionally, most PFA’s are settled by agreement. Perhaps you can settle it in a way that the PFA does not apply to your son. If you want to see your son pending the emergency PFA order, talk to an attorney about filing an emergency motion for custody pending PFA hearing.
Q: He refuses to leave. He says he’s a permanent resident in this home. He has not paid my dad rent. He is verbally abusive and has got in to it with the neighbors across the street. I feel very hopeless. My dad has had 3 strokes. I told my boyfriend that I can’t take it no more he runs and runs his mouth for hours and just won’t drop it. He calls my dad foul names and makes gestures like he is going to hit my dad. My brother is working in Alaska and says he take care of him when he comes to town in July. Before my brother kills him I just want him out of the house. (West Deer Twp., PA)
A: You can file for an eviction. Ask your local District Justice Office for advice on how to do it. You will need to post a Notice to Vacate in the premises, then file for an eviction. You may also have rights under the Protection from Abuse Statute. This would involve an act of violence or a threat of violence coupled with a prior physical act. You should start by talking to the local police to see how they can help. They may guide you through the PFA process or even file criminal charges if they think that is appropriate. If you want to pursue a Protection from Abuse Act petition yourself, you can go to the Family Division and file one or hire an attorney to file. I would start with the police.
Q: My ex left my residence on May 11, 2016. I filed a PFA against him. It went into effect then and it is a three-year order. I still have his clothes. I spoke to him after he vacated my apartment and told him I was going to get rid of his stuff. He said to me ” do what you have to do” and I haven’t heard from him since. It will be a year in July. Can I throw it out or donate his clothes?
A: If it is just clothes with no real value, one would think who cares? However, with an active PFA, he really cannot talk to you. If you want to be super cautious, I would pack it up and make it available for pick up for a certain time period. Have a 3rd party write him, call, email, whatever way of contact you have, to convey the pick-up dates and place. Save the letters and emails as evidence. If he wants to exhibit controlling behavior like suing you at a magistrate you will have evidence.