In Allegheny County, you can either file a petition for a temporary protection from abuse (PFA) order yourself, along with the assistance of a domestic violence advocate (available at the court house), or by hiring a private attorney to assist you with filing the petition for a temporary PFA. Knowing what information you will have to provide beforehand can help to relieve the stress associated with going to court. Here is a list of 9 things that you may be asked to include in your petition for a temporary PFA in Allegheny County. At the end of this article, please find a blank petition for a PFA that is used in Allegheny County.
1. Information About You
This includes your name, address, phone number, and date of birth. You do not need to list your address or phone number if they are confidential. This may apply if you have moved to an undisclosed location or have changed your phone number. _
2. Information About The Defendant
    You will be asked to list the defendant's name, address, and date of birth. You do not have to list an address for the defendant, if you do not know the defendant's whereabouts. This, however, will make service of the petition and temporary PFA order difficult. If you do not know the defendant's date of birth, you do not need to provide this information either.    You will also be asked what is the defendant's relationship to you. Some common examples of relationships are:
  • Spouse or former spouse;
  • Current or former sexual or intimate partner;
  • Current or former cohabitant;
  • Family member related by blood, such as a sister, brother, etc.;
  • Family member related by marriage or affinity;
  • Parent of a child with the defendant;
  • Child of plaintiff; or
  • Child of the defendant.
Multiple categories of relationship could be checked in a petition. For example, a spouse could also fall into the category of cohabitant or sexual partner.

    You will be asked to provide the defendant's Social Security Number (if you know it). If you do not know it, you can leave this part of the petition blank.
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3. Who You Are Filing the Petition for
    You will be asked to list on behalf of whom you are filing the Petition for Protection From Abuse. This can either be on behalf of yourself, or on behalf of someone else (such as a minor child or an incompetent adult). If you are filing the petition for someone else, you will need to list your relationship to the other person. This relationship could be that of a parent, guardian, adult household member, or court appointed guardian._
4. Information About Your Minor Children or Other Minors Residing in Your Residence (If Applicable)
    You will need to provide the names and dates of birth of the minor children. If you and the defendant are the parents of any minor children, you will be asked whether there is a current custody order, where the order was entered, and whether you are asking to change the terms of the current custody order.
5. Information About Your Residence
    You will be asked whether you have ever lived with the defendant. You will also be asked information about the residence from which you are seeking to evict the defendant, such as the ownership of the residence or who rents the residence.
6. Information About Any Abuse by the Defendant
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    You will be asked to provide facts about the most recent incident of abuse. You will also be asked to provide facts about any prior incidents of abuse. This includes details of physical or sexual abuse, threats, injury, stalking, and use or threatened use of weapons. This also includes any medical treatment sought or any calls made to the police.
7. Weapons Information (If Applicable)
    If the defendant has any weapons or firearms, you will be asked whether you are requesting that the defendant relinquish them. You will also be asked to provide information about the defendant's weapons. This will be detailed in a weapons supplement to the petition. You will also be asked about any specific weapons or firearms that the defendant has and their locations (if known). If the defendant has a weapon that you wish to have relinquished, you will also be asked to provide information about whether the defendant is required to carry a firearm for employment purposes.
8. Danger of Future Abuse by the Defendant_
    You will be asked whether there is an immediate and present danger of future abuse by the defendant. This is a statutory requirement of having a Petition for a PFA granted.
9. Economic Losses from the Abuse
    Lastly, you will be asked whether you have suffered any economic losses as a result of the abuse. This could include medical bills, property damage, etc.
    Knowing what to expect can alleviate the stress associated with filing a petition for protection from abuse. This list provides a general idea of what is asked in a PFA Petition in Allegheny County, but is not intended to provide legal advice or to establish an attorney-client relationship. Please read our disclaimer for more information. To speak with a Pittsburgh PFA Attorney, please call us at (412) 540-2400 or contact us online.
Blank Petition For a PFA and Temporary Order
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