Protection from Abuse Orders

Ordinarily, couples or family members that live together get along well.  Sometimes, unfortunately, a situation can turn violent. If someone fears for their safety, Delaware law allows for a restraining order to be issued by a judge after complaints of physical abuse are made or evidence of physical abuse is provided.  In Delaware, a restraining order is called a Protection from Abuse Order.

An order for Protection from Abuse is issued by the Family Court in the county in which you reside. A Family court judge can order someone to stop abusing another person, and may include other relief, such as ordering the abuser to stay away from the person being abused. Abuse is defined as any threatening or harmful conduct including serious emotional harm.

Who can file for Protection from Abuse?

A member of a protected class which includes;

  1. Family as that term is defined in 10 Del. C. §9109, regardless, however, of the state of residence of the parties;  
  2. Former spouses, a man and a woman cohabitating together with or without a child of either or both, or a man and a woman living separate or apart with a child in common, and persons who are or were involved in a substantive dating relationship. 
  3. Current or former same-sex partner.

Defending a PFA

If you have been named as the respondent in a Protection from Abuse Petition, you will be summoned to Family Court to speak to a judge or commissioner on the matter.   Sometimes, respondents have been falsely accused of abuse because of other issues in the home like a separation or divorce.  Other times, both parties may need protection from each other. Whatever the case may be, it is important for you to have representation at the court appearance.

Please contact the experienced attorneys at Mooney and Andrew, P.A. for representation in Protection from Abuse hearings.