2010 Pennsylvania Code
Title 23 - DOMESTIC RELATIONS
Chapter 61 - Protection from Abuse
6102 - Definitions.

     § 6102.  Definitions.
        (a)  General rule.--The following words and phrases when used
     in this chapter shall have the meanings given to them in this
     section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
        "Abuse."  The occurrence of one or more of the following acts
     between family or household members, sexual or intimate partners
     or persons who share biological parenthood:
            (1)  Attempting to cause or intentionally, knowingly or
        recklessly causing bodily injury, serious bodily injury,
        rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault,
        statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault,
        indecent assault or incest with or without a deadly weapon.
            (2)  Placing another in reasonable fear of imminent
        serious bodily injury.
            (3)  The infliction of false imprisonment pursuant to 18
        Pa.C.S. § 2903 (relating to false imprisonment).
            (4)  Physically or sexually abusing minor children,
        including such terms as defined in Chapter 63 (relating to
        child protective services).
            (5)  Knowingly engaging in a course of conduct or
        repeatedly committing acts toward another person, including
        following the person, without proper authority, under
        circumstances which place the person in reasonable fear of
        bodily injury. The definition of this paragraph applies only
        to proceedings commenced under this title and is inapplicable
        to any criminal prosecutions commenced under Title 18
        (relating to crimes and offenses).
        "Adult."  An individual who is 18 years of age or older.
        "Certified copy."  A paper copy of the original order of the
     issuing court endorsed by the appropriate clerk of that court or
     an electronic copy of the original order of the issuing court
     endorsed with a digital signature of the judge or appropriate
     clerk of that court. A raised seal on the copy of the order of
     the issuing court shall not be required.
        "Comparable court."  A foreign court that:
            (1)  has subject matter jurisdiction and is authorized to
        issue ex parte, emergency, temporary or final protection
        orders in that jurisdiction; and
            (2)  possessed jurisdiction over the parties when the
        protection order was issued in that jurisdiction.
        "Confidential communications."  All information, whether
     written or spoken, transmitted between a victim and a domestic
     violence counselor or advocate in the course of the
     relationship. The term includes information received or given by
     the domestic violence counselor or advocate in the course of the
     relationship, as well as advice, reports, statistical data,
     memoranda or working papers, records or the like, given or made
     in the course of the relationship. The term also includes
     communications made by or to a linguistic interpreter assisting
     the victim, counselor or advocate in the course of the
     relationship.
        "Domestic violence counselor/advocate."  An individual who is
     engaged in a domestic violence program, the primary purpose of
     which is the rendering of counseling or assistance to victims of
     domestic violence, who has undergone 40 hours of training.
        "Domestic violence program."  A nonprofit organization or
     program whose primary purpose is to provide services to domestic
     violence victims which include, but are not limited to, crisis
     hotline; safe homes or shelters; community education; counseling
     systems intervention and interface; transportation, information
     and referral; and victim assistance.
        "Family or household members."  Spouses or persons who have
     been spouses, persons living as spouses or who lived as spouses,
     parents and children, other persons related by consanguinity or
     affinity, current or former sexual or intimate partners or
     persons who share biological parenthood.
        "Firearm."  Any weapon which is designed to or may readily be
     converted to expel any projectile by the action of an explosive
     or the frame or receiver of any such weapon as defined by 18
     Pa.C.S. § 6105(i) (relating to persons not to possess, use,
     manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms).
        "Foreign protection order."  A protection order as defined by
     18 U.S.C. § 2266 (relating to definitions) issued by a
     comparable court of another state, the District of Columbia,
     Indian tribe or territory, possession or commonwealth of the
     United States.
        "Hearing officer."  A magisterial district judge, judge of
     the Philadelphia Municipal Court, arraignment court magistrate
     appointed under 42 Pa.C.S. § 1123 (relating to jurisdiction and
     venue), master appointed under 42 Pa.C.S. § 1126 (relating to
     masters) and master for emergency relief.
        "Master for emergency relief."  A member of the bar of the
     Commonwealth appointed under section 6110(e) (relating to
     emergency relief by minor judiciary).
        "Minor."  An individual who is not an adult.
        "Other weapon."  Anything readily capable of lethal use and
     possessed under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for
     lawful uses which it may have. The term does not include a
     firearm.
        "Safekeeping permit."  A permit issued by a sheriff allowing
     a person to take possession of any firearm, other weapon or
     ammunition that a judge ordered a defendant to relinquish in a
     protection from abuse proceeding.
        "Secure visitation facility."  A court-approved visitation
     program offered in a facility with trained professional staff
     operated in a manner that safeguards children and parents from
     abuse and abduction.
        "Sheriff."
            (1)  Except as provided in paragraph (2), the sheriff of
        the county.
            (2)  In a city of the first class, the chief or head of
        the police department.
        "Victim."  A person who is physically or sexually abused by a
     family or household member. For purposes of section 6116
     (relating to confidentiality), a victim is a person against whom
     abuse is committed who consults a domestic violence counselor or
     advocate for the purpose of securing advice, counseling or
     assistance. The term shall also include persons who have a
     significant relationship with the victim and who seek advice,
     counseling or assistance from a domestic violence counselor or
     advocate regarding abuse of the victim.
        "Weapon."  Anything readily capable of lethal use and
     possessed under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for
     lawful uses which it may have. The term includes a firearm which
     is not loaded or lacks a magazine, clip or other components to
     render it immediately operable and components which can readily
     be assembled into a weapon as defined by 18 Pa.C.S. § 907
     (relating to possessing instruments of crime).
        (b)  Other terms.--Terms not otherwise defined in this
     chapter shall have the meaning given to them in 18 Pa.C.S.
     (relating to crimes and offenses).
     (Oct. 6, 1994, P.L.574, No.85, eff. 60 days; Mar. 31, 1995, 1st
     Sp.Sess., P.L.985, No.10, eff. 60 days; June 22, 2001, P.L.576,
     No.39, eff. 60 days; Nov. 30, 2004, P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60
     days; Nov. 10, 2005, P.L.335, No.66, eff. 180 days; Oct. 9,
     2008, P.L.1352, No.98, eff. 60 days)

        2008 Amendment.  Act 98 amended the def. of "hearing officer"
     in subsec. (a). Section 10 of Act 98 provided that nothing in
     Act 98 shall be construed or deemed to provide arraignment court
     magistrates with retirement benefits or rights different from
     those availiable to bail commissioners immediately prior to the
     effective date of Act 98.
        2005 Amendment.  Act 66 amended the defs. of "confidential
     communications" and "hearing officer" and added the defs. of
     "firearm," "master for emergency relief," "other weapon,"
     "safekeeping permit," "sheriff" and "weapon" in subsec. (a).
        2004 Amendment.  See sections 28 and 29 of Act 207 in the
     appendix to this title for special provisions relating to
     applicability and construction of law.
        2001 Amendment.  Act 39 added the defs. of "certified copy,"
     "comparable court" and "foreign protection order" in subsec.
     (a).
        1995 Amendment.  Act 10, 1st Sp.Sess., amended the def. of
     "abuse" in subsec. (a).
        Cross References.  Section 6102 is referred to in sections
     3701, 6702, 6711 of this title; sections 2711, 6102 of Title 18
     (Crimes and Offenses); sections 1726.2, 8127 of Title 42
     (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).

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