Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

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Stalking and PFAs in Pennsylvania

DV Pic9A Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order is an important tool for any stalking victim because it allows the police to arrest the stalker, even if the police did not see the stalking behavior. You will need to prove the following two things in order to get a PFA:

  • You are either related to the stalker, married or previously married to the stalker, you have a child with the stalker, or you have an intimate relationship with the stalker (either sexual or dating); and
  • You were followed or contacted by the stalker for no lawful reason and you fear that the stalker will cause you serious bodily injury.

Once you get a PFA, you can ask the court to order that the stalker have no contact with you at home, work or school, as well as many other protections.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation for plaintiffs and defendants at PFA hearings in Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Fayette County, Indiana County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.

To speak with an experienced PFA attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA Violations And Child Custody

PFA Pic3Violating a Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order by contacting the victim can land you in jail for up to six months. But what about violating the custody provision contained in a PFA? You can be arrested for that, too.

For instance, let’s say your PFA Order grants you supervised custody only. If you are seen alone with the child, you may be arrested and charged with Indirect Criminal Contempt (ICC).

Or, for example, if you withhold the child by not showing up at a custody exchange per the PFA Order, you may face criminal charges.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation for plaintiffs and defendants in all PFA and child custody cases. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Where Do I Go To Get A PFA?

Family Pic8A person seeking the protection of a PFA restraining order can file in one of the following places:

–The county where the plaintiff resides;

–The county where the plaintiff works;

–The county where the defendant may be served; or

–The county where the abuse occurred

If you are going to ask the Judge to remove the abuser from the home you share, you must file the petition in the county where the home is located.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation for plaintiffs and defendants at PFA hearings in Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Fayette County, Indiana County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.

To speak with an experienced PFA attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Will Police Enforce A Child Custody Order?

Family Pic5If your ex violates a child custody order, the police generally will not get involved. Instead, you can file a motion for contempt requesting a hearing, have a mini-trial on whether the other parent really was in contempt, and then, if you win, receive make-up time with your child and maybe some money for your attorney’s fees.

In other words, the relief is limited and may take a long time to achieve.

But that changes if the child custody arrangement is part of a Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order. In such cases, the defendant may be arrested for simply not showing up at a scheduled custody exchange.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation for plaintiffs and defendants in all PFA and child custody matters.

If you are a PFA defendant, we help assert your child custody rights while also working to ensure that you’re not arrested for violating the restraining order.

If you are a PFA plaintiff, we can help to maximize your child custody time while also working to ensure that you and your child receive the protection you require.

Call Spivak Law Firm today for a free consultation at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

What Is Stalking?

PFA Pic2Stalking involves following someone in a way that causes the victim to feel fearful or emotionally distressed. Stalking frequently occurs when someone tries to leave an abusive relationship.

Here are some examples of stalking behavior:

  • Following someone on foot or by car
  • Watching someone at work or at home
  • Sending unwanted letters or emails
  • Making unwanted telephone calls
  • Leaving unwanted cards, flowers, or gifts

If you are the victim of stalking, you may be entitled to the protections of a Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order. Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation for plaintiffs and defendants at PFA hearings and all criminal hearings in Pittsburgh and nearby counties, including: Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.

Call Spivak Law Firm today at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Ask For A PFA And You’ll Likely Get One

702075.TIFIf you ask for a Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order, chances are you will get one. In Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties, judges grant more than 90 percent of all Emergency and Temporary PFA Orders.

Why?

Because no judge wants to flip on the news the next day to find out that the person who was denied a restraining order was killed.

If you are the victim of abuse seeking strong, compassionate representation by an experienced PFA attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Don’t Let A PFA Stop You From Being A Parent

dandelion wishing blowing seedsUnder Pennsylvania law, you can file for custody even if there is a Protection From Abuse (PFA) restraining order against you. If the PFA does not allege abuse against a child, you may even be entitled to primary or shared custody.

If the PFA does include allegations of abuse against a child, you still may get time with your child depending on the circumstances. In such cases, there may be a period of time where your custody visits are supervised. But supervised custody tends to be temporary, so hang in there and you’ll eventually see your custody time increase.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all PFA and child custody matters. We represent clients in Pittsburgh and all nearby counties including: Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

In Her Own Words: PFA Contained Plea For Help

116926544On December 30, 2014, Pittsburgh resident James Karr tied up his estranged wife Maureen, doused her with vodka, and set her ablaze. “He was threatening to set the house on fire,” Maureen Karr wrote just two weeks earlier in a Temporary  Protection From Abuse (PFA) petition filed in Allegheny County.

Charged with homicide and arson, James Karr currently sits in Allegheny County Jail awaiting his preliminary hearing set for January 9th.

Below is a transcript of the Temporary PFA petition that Maureen Karr wrote out herself with a pen just two weeks before she burned to death:

Approximate Date and Time: 12-12-14 @ 7:00 a.m.

Place: 132 Friendship St., Duquesne, PA 15110

James [Karr] threw bottles out onto the street causing glass to go on sidewalk & street. He was threatening to set the house on fire. After I fleed [sic] the house to a neighbors. We witnessed him going outside & stabbing my tires flattening all 4. James then pulled car window down & threw sewing machine & ceiling fan on the street. He called police stating I threw the bottles. While talking with 911 police came & handcuffed James & took him from the premises as he was still outside. He was later 302’d to the hospital. Have received numerous harassing & name calling phone calls[….]

Describe Any Prior Incidents Of AbuseJames becomes irrate [sic] & flips out breaking items in the home. About 3 years ago had a PFA against him because he pulled me down the steps causing me to fall down last two steps injuring my ribs & hip.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation for plaintiffs and defendants in all domestic violence matters, including PFA, child custody, criminal, and CYF. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Pittsburgh Lawyer Gets PFA Against Businessman

SO000183Domestic violence knows no boundaries. It happens to young and old, rich and poor, black and white. It affects high-school dropouts and highly educated professionals.

Every day in Allegheny County, dozens of people arrive in family court for a Protection From Abuse (PFA) hearing. Last month, a well-respected Pittsburgh attorney sought protection against a successful entrepreneur.

Allegheny County Assistant District Attorney Lisa Pellegrini obtained a Temporary PFA against her former boyfriend, local restaurateur Ray Burg, for allegedly slamming her head against a car dashboard. Criminal charges are pending against Burg, owner of Burg’s In The Burgh, located on Forbes Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation for plaintiffs and defendants in PFA hearings. To speak with an experienced PFA lawyer, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Despite PFA, Pittsburgh Wife Brutally Murdered

111787230A Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order is a powerful tool that restricts an abuser from having any contact with his or her victim under threat of arrest.

But, tragically, a PFA in some cases is still just a piece of paper.

On New Year’s Day, a man from Duquesne was charged with homicide and arson for setting a fire that killed his wife. According to news reports, the man tied her up, poured vodka on her, and lit the alcohol.

Two weeks earlier, she had obtained a Temporary PFA against him. But the PFA did not save her life.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation for plaintiffs and defendants at PFA hearings in Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Clarion County, Fayette County, Indiana County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.

To speak with an experienced PFA lawyer, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.