I get questions daily about protection from abuse orders. Here are some of the questions asked this week regarding protection from abuse orders and my answers.
1. I have a PFA against “Tony”. “Tony” will pay me to drop it. Is this legal?
You cannot pay someone to drop a protection from abuse order they have against you. That person got the PFA because they feared for their life and safety or that of their children. Therefore, paying them to drop it could be considered blackmail or extortion.
2. I need help dismissing a protection from abuse order I filed against my boyfriend/girlfriend. The person did not show up at Court thinking it would automatically be dismissed. The person did not protection from abuse order to turn into a final order valid for at least one year or more.
If you are filing a protection from abuse petition because you truly fear for your life with your boyfriend/girlfriend, then you generally do not need to dimiss it. As it was filed after an event of abuse or harm to protect you. A PFA gives law enforcement the ability to protect you and take the other person in custody for violating it (which results in a criminal charge).
If, however, you filed it and did not need a Protection from Abuse Order; or you filed it because you were upset and decided to get the other person back or make false allegations, then you should be charged. As a PFA is for those who really need it.
The Judge did not dismiss the PFA because you didn’t show up probably because they want to give you another chance to come to court and explain what occurred; make sure you are safe, etc. If you fail to show up again, it may be dismissed. However, if you are abusing the system, be aware as charges may be pressed against you.
In addition, to dismiss the PFA, you need to contact the District Attorney’s Office in your county since they represent you in this matter. Also, an attorney can file a motion to have it dismissed.
3. How will I know if a Protection From Abuse Order has been dropped?
Generally, if no one shows up to the final hearing, the Order has been put in place to dismiss the PFA Order; or, if there was already a final order with a deadline for the PFA and that time has expired, then the PFA is no longer in effect.