How do I know if my PFA is valid under federal law?
A PFA is valid anywhere in the United States as long as:
- It was issued to prevent violent or threatening acts, harassing behavior, sexual violence, or it was issued to prevent another person from coming near you or contacting you.1
- The court that issued the order had jurisdiction over the people and case. In other words, the court had the authority to hear the case.
- The abuser received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story.
- In the case of ex parte temporary orders and emergency orders, the abuser must have received notice and have had an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story at a hearing that is scheduled before the temporary order expires.2
Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.
1 18 U.S.C. § 2266(5)
2 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a) & (b)