Selected State Statutes: Pennsylvania

Statutes: Pennsylvania

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62A09. Emergency relief by minor juidicary

(a) General rule.--When:

(1) in counties with fewer than four judges, the court is unavailable:

(i) from the close of business at the end of each day to the resumption of business the next morning;

(ii) from the end of the business week to the beginning of the business week; and

(iii) during the business day by reason of duties outside the county, illness or vacation; or

(2) in counties with at least four judges, the court is unavailable:

(i) from the close of business at the end of each day to the resumption of business the next morning; and

(ii) from the end of the business week to the beginning of the business week;

 

a petition may be filed before a hearing officer who may grant relief in accordance with section 62A07 (relating to relief) if the hearing officer deems it necessary to protect the victim upon good cause shown in an ex parte proceeding. Immediate and present danger posed by the defendant to the victim shall constitute good cause for the purposes of this subsection.

(b) Expiration of order.--An order issued under subsection (a) shall expire at the end of the next business day the court deems itself available. The court shall schedule hearings on orders entered by hearing officers under subsection (a) and shall review and continue in effect orders that are necessary to protect the plaintiff or another individual, as appropriate, until the hearing, at which time the plaintiff may seek a temporary order from the court.

(c) Certification of order to court.--An emergency order issued under this section and any documentation in support thereof shall be immediately certified to the court. The certification to the court shall have the effect of commencing proceedings under section 62A05 (relating to commencement of proceedings) and invoking the other provisions of this chapter. If it is not already alleged in a petition for an emergency order, the plaintiff shall file a verified statement setting forth the reasons for the need for protection at least five days prior to the hearing. Service of the verified statement shall be made subject to section 62A05(d).

(d) Instructions regarding the commencement of proceedings.--Upon issuance of an emergency order, the hearing officer shall provide the plaintiff instructions regarding the commencement of proceedings in the court at the beginning of the next business day and regarding the procedures for initiating a contempt charge should the defendant violate the emergency order. The hearing officer shall also advise the plaintiff of the existence of rape crisis centers in the county or in nearby counties in the case of sexual violence and inform the plaintiff of the availability of legal assistance without cost if the plaintiff is unable to pay for them in the case of sexual violence or intimidation.

(e) Master of emergency relief.--The president judge of a court of common pleas of a judicial district may, with the approval of the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, provide for the selection and appointment of a master for emergency relief on a full-time or part-time basis. The number of masters for emergency relief shall be fixed by the president judge with the approval of the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts. The compensation of a master for emergency relief shall be fixed and paid by the county.