Three types of court orders:
When the courts are open
Ex parte Temporary Order
A judge will enter an ex parte temporary order if s/he finds the victim(s) to be in danger of further abuse and in need of immediate protection. "Ex parte" means the judge will make this decision based only on the information provided by the victim(s), without the abuser being in court. A temporary order will last until a court hearing for a final order and is usually scheduled within 10 business days. Victims are encouraged to contact one of the domestic violence hotlines for assistance with this process.
After a final hearing where both parties have an opportunity to tell their side of the story through testimony, evidence, and witnesses, a judge can grant a final protection order. A final order can last up to 3 years, can be extended under certain circumstances, and is enforceable in other counties and states. Victims are encouraged to contact one of the domestic violence hotlines for assistance with this process.
When the courts are closed
If a victim needs immediate protection when the courts are closed (such as on a weekend, late night or holiday), call one of the domestic violence hotlines for assistance with obtaining an emergency form and contacting the magisterial district judge on-call. If the judge thinks the victim is in immediate danger, s/he may grant an emergency order. An emergency order will only last until the next business day. If the victim does not go to court on the next business day to apply for an ex parte temporary order, the emergency order will expire.