When the petition is filed it will include a Notice of Hearing and Order. This serves a notice to both the plaintiff and the defendant that the court will hold a hearing on the just-filed petition. The PFA statute requires that the Court hold a hearing within ten business days of the filing of the petition.
On the date of the PFA hearing, the plaintiff/victim and defendant/abuser will come before a judge. Both are allowed to have attorneys to represent them at this hearing. A domestic violence advocate may also come with the victim. If both the plaintiff and defendant agree on the terms of an order, the judge will make it official. If either does not agree, the judge will give the victim and abuser the chance to talk on the record about the abuse described in the petition.
After listening to the testimony, the judge may grant the plaintiff a final PFA order. Final orders can be in place for any period of time up to and including 3 years.