Protection From Abuse

Who May File

In order for the court to have the authority to consider and grant a protection from abuse order, the acts of abuse must occur between either adults or minors who have the following types of relationships:

  • Child of defendant
  • Child of plaintiff
  • Current or former cohabitant of defendant
  • Current or former intimate partner with defendant
  • Family member related by blood (consanguinity) to defendant
  • Family member related by marriage or affinity to defendant
  • Parent of child with defendant
  • Sibling of defendant
  • Spouse or former spouse of defendant

Where to File

You can file a protection from abuse petition with an attorney, with advocate assistance from the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic (DVLC), or through the Lancaster County Bail Administration Office. You may wish to see an attorney or other persons knowledgeable about abuse to discuss whether a protection order is what you need or want.

You may contact a private attorney or one of the following offices:


Fees are due to the Prothonotary Office after a final order is issued. Fees are assessed by the Sheriff’s Office and the Prothonotary Office. Two separate payments are required.

Failure to pay fines/costs/restitution and any additional fees resulting from non-payment (including collection costs) will be charged to the defendant in PFA or ICC cases and turned over to an authorized Collection Agency for the Prothonotary and Sheriff Offices.

Withdrawing Your PFA

If you are wishing to withdrawal/drop your PFA after a final order has been entered, you must check with our office to be sure the fees have been paid in full (usually by the defendant). Once the fees have been paid, you will take a receipt to the Court Administration Office where they will set up a hearing date for you to request the PFA be withdrawn/dropped. You may also seek an attorney for assistance.