Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Questions & Answers

Q: I was a victim of abuse for ten years back in bout 2008 the judge allowed him to

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jan 1, 2019
Kathryn Hilbush's answer
Hi. Two things. First, you should never provide identifying information about yourself on an online forum like this. Frankly, if possible, I'd suggest that you take this post down and, if you still want someone to respond to your issues more specifically than I will, repost it without your name. As far as whether you can go forward with any restitution, I would doubt it but the best idea might be to talk to someone in the District Attorney's Office since that the office in which the department...

Q: Can you get in trouble for threatening to call the cops for past abuse if the abuser doesnt do something you ask?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Dec 26, 2018
Kathryn Hilbush's answer
I suggest that you urge your friend to go to a domestic violence organization in her area to discuss this situation. It's not good for her to continue in this relationship.

Q: i have a domestic charge against me on my fiance can she hold my daughter against me?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Domestic Violence for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Dec 20, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
Maybe. If your fiance gets a Protection from Abuse (PFA) Order against you, a judge could award him sole temporary custody of your daughter (presuming your daughter is also your fiance's daughter). Your fiance could also file a custody case against you and obtain custody that way -- although that usually takes a long time if there are no emergency motions filed.

In addition, there often is a bail condition in domestic assault cases that the abuser may not have any contact with the...

Q: Can I press charges against my daughter stepmother for threatening my her that she going to punch her teeth out.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Domestic Violence for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Dec 9, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
Potentially yes. It also sounds like you have pretty strong grounds to ask the court to grant YOU primary physical custody as well. You could also contact DHS and file a report.

Best of luck to you.

Q: My childs father lives in Philadelphia, I Live in NYC....He got a custody order while I was in a DV Shelter hiding

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Domestic Violence for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Nov 28, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
Perhaps contact Community Legal Services in Philadelphia (215-981-3700, https://clsphila.org) for assistance - although you might have to be a Philadelphia residence to qualify for free legal assistance. Otherwise, contact your local legal aid organization and/or domestic relations section. You should be able to file for child support where you live by now.

Best of luck to you.

Q: Is there a time limit on when a PFA must be served to somebody?

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Oct 23, 2018
Kathryn Hilbush's answer
Not that I'm aware of. The sooner the better obviously.

Q: I went to police station in pa to press charges against my boyfriend for domestic abuse in a different county then where

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Oct 17, 2018
Kathryn Hilbush's answer
I suggest that you contact them to tell them you've decided not to proceed any further with the complaint.

Q: Will you get in trouble if you are the plaintiff on a PFA order and don't show up for court

2 Answers | Asked in Domestic Violence for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Oct 15, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
No. But her Petition will be dismissed if she does not show up.

Q: I'm the plaintiff in a PFA hearing and now want it to go away. If I don't show up will I be in any trouble?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Domestic Violence for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Sep 25, 2018
Kathryn Hilbush's answer
It's never advisable to fail to show up for a court hearing. The better approach is to show up and, if you want to drop the case, tell the judge then. It might be helpful to you to consult with an experienced family law attorney before court to discuss this and the divorce.

Q: After no contact order what will happen with domestic violence? In PA.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Sep 23, 2018
Kathryn Hilbush's answer
I'm assuming that criminal charges were filed. Is that's the case,then it's up to the District Attorney's Office to pursue or drop the charges. Get word to your husband that he needs to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who may be able to work something out with the prosecutor. Remember, your husband may not communicate with you. Your saying you won't cooperate is usually not the best way to resolve these cases even though it may sound like it would be to you.

Q: Can my 7 year old refuse court order visitation? She crys that she doesn't want to go because her mom beats her.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Domestic Violence for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Sep 18, 2018
Kathryn Hilbush's answer
It's good that the children are in counseling. I suggest that you continue to work with their therapist. She/he may have some suggestions. It's always hard to know with younger children how much they're saying is 100% accurate and how much is somewhat exaggerated. The therapist can help you with this. Then, if it seems that what they're saying is happening, consult in person with an experienced family law attorney to discuss filing to modify your custody order.

Q: Is slapping a 4 year old boy in the head considered abuse? If so does the mother have the rights to full custody ?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Divorce, Family Law and Domestic Violence for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Sep 3, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
In Pennsylvania, there is no hard-and-fast "list" of what constitutes abuse, and what doesn't. It's a case-by-case determination to be made by a court in each instance. In your case, I'm sure it'll come down to whether it was a hard and proper slap versus, say, a very soft tap to get the kid's attention and express displeasure.

In any case, no - an instance of abuse does NOT automatically give the other parent full custody. A petition to modify custody would need to be filed to...

Q: I am a victim of domestic violence that happened in Georgia.. now in pa can I press charges against him?

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Aug 29, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
You can press charges against him . . . in Georgia, where the violence occurred. If he demands a trial on the criminal charges against him, you'll have to go down to Georgia to testify against him as well. But charges would not be filed against him in Pennsylvania since there's no jurisdiction of the abuser here.

Best of luck to you.

Q: I have a preliminary hearing as a plantiff to sexual abuse charges against someone. What happens after the prelim, will

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Aug 28, 2018
Kathryn Hilbush's answer
This question really should have gone to the criminal attorneys, not the family law attorneys. After the preliminary hearing, if the case is not dismissed, then it will proceed to trial, which may end up as a plea deal if the Commonwealth and the defense are so inclined.

Q: Can I press charges against my dad for past physical and emotional abuse?He was a veteran

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence and Personal Injury for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Aug 23, 2018
Kathryn Hilbush's answer
You should direct this question to a personal injury attorney through an in person consultation. Unfortunately the Justia computer sent it out to the family lawyers. I would ask you, though, what benefit you believe will be derived from suing your father?

Q: .my husband caused me to be permanently disabled and collects 100% VA and SSDisability which is 5000 a

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Divorce, Arbitration / Mediation Law and Domestic Violence for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jul 31, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
If he caused you injuries, then yes - he can be criminally charged, and also sued in civil court for money damages. You may also be entitled to alimony in a divorce case as well -- it depends on all sorts of factors, most of which are monetary. It's probably worth a shot.

Best of luck to you.

Q: Legal way to visit elderly mother

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Domestic Violence for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jul 18, 2018
Kathryn Hilbush's answer
I'm sorry, but this is a question for which quite a few more facts are needed before any sort of response can be offered. I suggest that your husband meet with an attorney experienced in elder law to discuss the circumstances. Good luck to him. It sounds like he is in a very difficult situation.

Q: Defense against being accused of slander if it is the truth

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Domestic Violence and Libel & Slander for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Jun 4, 2018
Cary B. Hall's answer
Truth is an absolute defense for slander/libel charges. But can he still sue you and drag your through the court system? Surely, but you would have a defense to his civil lawsuit against you.

Best of luck to you.

Q: Can a male victim of domestic violence sue his abuser for Physical and Emotional attacks?

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Pennsylvania on
Answered on May 25, 2018
Kathryn Hilbush's answer
Your question went out to the family law attorneys when it should have gone to the personal injury attorneys. Try posting it again without emphasizing the domestic violence issue, more along the lines of "Can I sue someone for physically attacking me and inflicting emotional trauma, causing....." I imagine you can find an attorney to file suit but I'm not sure that you can prove your damages. That's why I suggest that this go to the personal injury attorneys. Or you could just consult with one...

Q: Had altercation with BF, told cops I DID NOT want to press charges. BF arrested on warrants for missing PO appointments

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Pennsylvania on
Answered on May 17, 2018
Kathryn Hilbush's answer
Your boyfriend needs to consult with a criminal defense attorney.

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