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Legal Information: Pennsylvania

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
March 4, 2019

What types of protection from sexual violence or intimidation orders are available? How long do they last?

There are three types of sexual violence or intimidation protection orders available in Pennsylvania:

  • emergency orders;
  • ex parte temporary orders; and
  • extended orders.

A hearing officer can grant you an emergency order if the judge is unavailable, and the hearing officer believes that the emergency order is necessary to protect you because you are in immediate and present danger by the abuser or there is good cause to grant the order. The emergency order expires at the end of the next business day that the judge is available.3

You can get an ex parte temporary order if you are the victim of sexual violence or intimidation, and the order is necessary to protect you from immediate and present danger by the abuser. This order will remain in effect until it is modified or terminated after there has been notice to the abuser and the opportunity for a hearing.1 A hearing must be held within ten days after you file for your ex parte temporary order.2

A judge can grant an extended order after the abuser receives notice and has the opportunity to attend a hearing. At the hearing, the judge must find that you are a victim of sexual violence or intimidation and that you are still at risk of harm by the abuser. The judge can grant an extended order for a set period of time not longer than three years. A judge can also grant an unlimited number of extensions.4

1 42 Pa.C.S. § 62A06(b)
2 42 Pa.C.S. § 62A06(a)
3 42 Pa.C.S. § 62A09(a),(b)
4 42 Pa.C.S. § 62A07(d)