Step 3: Go in front of the judge (the ex parte hearing).
The entire file is brought before a judge for your ex parte hearing. At this hearing, the judge will read your petition and may ask you questions about why you need protection through a PFA order. Only you are present at this hearing, not the abuser (this is what is meant by “ex parte”).
If the judge grants you an emergency PFA order, the court clerk should give you a copy of the order. Review the order before you leave the courthouse to make sure that the information is correct. If something is wrong or missing, ask the clerk to correct the order before you leave. Be sure to keep the order with you at all times. You may want to keep copies in your car, workplace, or daycare. The judge will also set a hearing date for your final PFA order hearing.