Can I be kicked out of my house if a PFA is entered against me?

As a Divorce and Custody Attorney in Reading, Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph Guillama is often asked about the ramifications of the Court entering a Protection from Abuse (PFA) order in a case involving one of his clients.

It is important to understand that in Pennsylvania, when the Court issues either a Temporary or Final Protection from Abuse Order, the Court also has other powers that the Court can address in the PFA itself. Specifically, 23 Pa.C.S.A. Section 6108(a) states that the Court may grant possession of the residence or household to the Plaintiff, to the exclusion of the Defendant, by evicting the Defendant or restoring possession to the Plaintiff if the residence or household is jointly owned or leased by the entireties or is owned or leased solely by the Plaintiff. This means that the Court has the power to throw an individual out of his or her residence even prior to that individual being afforded an opportunity to respond to the allegations included in the Petition in support of the request for a Protection from Abuse Order.

While this may seem unfair, it is in fact the law in Pennsylvania. Accordingly, it is important to understand that if somebody obtains a Temporary PFA against you, you can be kicked out of your home even prior to having your day in Court.

Furthermore, it is important for a Plaintiff to understand that if you are living with an individual who is abusing you, you can seek immediate help from the Court and have that person removed from your home until a later date at which time the Court will hold a hearing to determine whether the removal from the home on an extended basis will be granted.

Accordingly, should you have any questions relative to the Court's power to remove an individual from his or her home during a proceeding relative to a Petition for a Protection from Abuse Order, feel free to contact Berks County Family Law Attorney Joseph A. Guillama.