Will I get in trouble if I attempt to contact the defendant on my temporary PFA?

Q: I got into a fight with my fiancé 10 days ago and I fell and hit my head when he was trying to take away my phone. I was really scared, called the police and then he was taken to jail. I was convinced to get a temporary PFA and now I’m sitting here just wanting to talk to him about the whole thing to see how we can work it out. He lives 2 hours away now with his mom. Will I get in trouble if I go to his town and try to meet with him to talk? I’m planning on dropping the PFA at the final hearing. (Pine Township, PA)

A: Do him a favor, wait until the hearing. He runs the risk of being arrested for contempt of the PFA order if you initiate communication. You may also want to consult with a domestic abuse counselor.

Can an emergency PFA prevent me from seeing my son?

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.

What if I get slapped with a PFA because ex lies?

Q: She contacted my father stating I’m calling and texting her, threatening her and stalking her. None of this is true. I am working a full-time job have a girlfriend. This is being thrown on me and I’m innocent. I believe she is either upset or a close friend is doing this. What can I do to protect myself? (Munhall, PA)

A: Avoid her like the plague. Do not have contact with her in any form, not even telepathically. Save all communications from her-texts, calls, emails, Instagram’s, postings, snap-chats, etc., and lay low. Try not to go anywhere alone. Change up your routine-eat at different restaurants, drive another route to work. If anything happens, call an attorney. That is all you can do. Batten down the hatch and hope the nor’easter blows over.

How do I get my boyfriend to leave my dad’s house?

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.

If I am served with a PFA, am I protected against her?

Q: The initiator of the PFA has gone on a tangent contacting my friends spreading false rumors. Now yesterday, she went to my current girlfriend’s place of employment. This is continuous, how do I go about protecting myself from her abuse and harassment?

A:  If she filed first, you are prohibited from contacting her, in any way (directly, through others, texts, telepathically, etc.) You are not protected from her. You can try to file your own Petition, but it is likely the police or court will not take a cross PFA petition. If she just filed, make sure to get an attorney for your hearing. Until then, A) record as best you can, with photos, saving texts or emails and in a log book, all incidents of contact by her directly or indirectly, B) do not respond to her at all-either via email, text, telephone, through a common friend, C) Avoid her like the plague. Do not answer her calls, do not drive near her home, work, friend’s house, etc. Keep your blinds down, doors locked and change your routine habits. Instead of going to the gym or grocery store at the same time, go at different hours. Do not take the same method of transportation to work. If you drive, drive a different route each day, or take public transportation. Try never to be alone in public. Have your cell phone ready to record when you are out in public. If necessary, arm yourself. And, follow the advice of counsel.

How to get a person’s name off a house?

Q: My aunt bought a house decades ago and paid cash for it… It had been entirely in her name only as she was a widow at the time with younger children. My aunt put her sons name on her house 15 or 20 years-ago when she was married to a man that ended in divorce. She believed in doing so it would protect the house from the husband. Now the son, who has always lived with her, has turned into bi-polar? and a slob and a hoarder and his stuff is encroaching into the entire house, except her bedroom. He also is very verbally abusive to his mother. She has health issues and he refuses to do anything because he says he owns half the house and he pays half of the expenses. Is there any way to get his name off the deed without her buying him out or having him sign anything; especially when she is the one who paid in full for the house originally?

A: Once someone’s name is on the deed, you must get them to sign a new deed to get their name off, unless they die, assuming the property is held as joint tenants with survivorship. She must get him to agree to sign a deed from both to her. or buy him out. If that is not possible a partition action can be filed. These are expensive and time consuming. If he is verbally abusive, you might want to consider advising her to consult with an attorney regarding the filing of a Protection of Abuse Petition. This would in effect, get him out of the home, but would not affect his property rights.

Will my ex will get his gun license back?

Q: My ex tried killing my daughter and I by running our van over a cliff. I grabbed the steering wheel and instead we hit a parked car and totaled my van. They wanted my daughter to testify and she had a major panic attack and her blood pressure went sky high. So, they made us drop it to two Simple Assault and Reckless Endangerment and other charges. He also has three Protection from Abuse petitions on him in three weeks of each other. Will he get his gun license back in Pittsburgh, PA?

A: Simple Assault and Reckless Endangerment of Another Person to my knowledge are both misdemeanors 2’s. As such, if convicted, either would bar a person from possession a firearm under PA law and Federal law. I do believe an active Protection from Abuse Order will also preclude one from possessing a firearm in PA.

Can we get an order for our brother to stop bullying my mother?

Q: Can we get a restraining order against our brother for bullying my mom for money. She is 85 and has given him over $100,000.00 My brother shows up at her house and won’t leave until he gets money. Mom feels intimidated and says he won’t leave. She says she is being punished if we get on her accounts with her to stop this. Any other ideas how to stop him if we can’t get a restraining order?

A: Mom can do this if she wishes, and you can assist her. She would need to file for a Petition From Abuse Act hearing. If she is mentally incompetent, you will need to seek a guardianship of her so you or another family member can file for her. I think the best thing to do, and I know it is not easy, but is to have a family talk with the brother to let him know what damage he is creating and to lay off, or legal remedies will be pursued. A lawyer could guide you through this stressful and complicated family situation which involves criminal, civil and family laws.