Do I need to tell the court in Pennsylvania if I move?
Yes, if you won’t be getting mail at your old address. The court that gave you your protection from abuse order (PFA) needs to have an up-to-date address for you at all times. That’s because they will communicate with you only by mail if anything happens to your protective order. For example, if the abuser asks the court to dismiss the order, or if your order is changed in any way, the court will send you a letter letting you know. If you will not be receiving mail at your old address, you must provide the court with a new address where you can receive mail. If you are a participant in PA’s address confidentiality program, you must tell the Office of the Victim Advocate about your change of address within 5 days of the change.1
If you provide your new address to the court, you can request that it be kept confidential. If you do so, it will be kept in a confidential part of your file, and the court will order law enforcement agencies, human service agencies, and school districts not to give out the information.2
However, your new address may be released to court officials in your new state, or to law enforcement officials in either Pennsylvania or your new state. If you feel unsafe giving the court your new address, you can use the address of a friend you trust or a P.O. Box instead.
1 23 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 6705(b)(6); 6706(a)(2)
2 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 6112