What is it?
A Protection from Intimidation (PFI) is a court order that prohibits adult offenders from intimidating (harassing and stalking) minor victims who are not in a relationship with the offender. The offender cannot be a:
- Spouse or ex-spouse
- Parent or child
- Biological relative
- Relative by marriage
- Current or former intimate or sexual partner
- Person who shares a biological parent
PFIs can protect victims by restricting the adult offender from entering the minor victim’s residence, place of employment and/or school as well as prohibiting indirect contact through third parties. A PFI is NOT the same as seeking criminal prosecution; you are not required to press charges. A PFI is meant to stop intimidation, and the adult offender cannot be punished unless he/she violates the PFI.
There are three types of PFIs:
Who can file?
PFIs are intended to protect minor victims from adult offenders. This means that minor victims must have an adult (parent, guardian, or other adult) file for a PFI on their behalf. The minor victim cannot have a relationship (intimate, sexual, or biological/household) with the offender. Minor victims over nine years of age MUST accompany the adult filing on their behalf.
Where do you file?
You can file for a PFI in the county where the minor victim temporarily/permanently lives or is employed, the county where the offender may be served, or the county where the intimidation occurred.
To file a temporary PFI in Butler County, you need to go to the Domestic Relations Office (Level L) in the Butler County Courthouse between 8:30 am and 10:30 am Monday through Friday. A VOICe advocate will be available to provide support and information during the filing process. The process can be lengthy, so plan to be there into early afternoon. If the minor victim is over the age of nine, you MUST bring the child with you to the courthouse.
What does it cost to file?
There are no costs for the filing party. Additionally, you are not required to have legal representation to file a temporary PFI, but VOICe Attorneys can represent you for free during the final PFI hearing. Please call 1-800-400-8551 for more information about representation.
What information will the person I’m filing against be served?
The person you’re filing against will be served with the same paperwork you receive. If you have fled to a different county for your safety, it is important to remember that the person you are filing against will know where you filed the PFI. Please call 1-800-400-8551 if you need to discuss options or safety plan.
Is this the right protection order for me?