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Thank you for question, My name isXXXXX am an Attorney licensed to practice in New York and Pennsylvania and do most of my work in Philadelphia and Delaware Counties.
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As you know, a Protection from Abuse Order is signed by a Judge. A Custody Conciliator makes determinations in the form of recommendations which a Judge later signs and is entered as an Order of the Court. At best, XXXXX XXXXX is an attorney, and certainly does not have the authority or the power to enter any kind of Order contradicting or overriding an Order signed by the Judge. Although the Conciliator saw the PFA, they apparently either did not read it, or did not understand its import.
PFAs are not easily modified or terminated by the Court. They are usually left in tact and in effect until they expire according to the dates which the Judge has entered on the PFA. More importantly, you will not be able to modify the PFA signed by a Judge, so that it can be read together with the recommendations of the Conciliator.
Your recourse here is to file a Petition to Modify the Custody proposed by the Conciliator so that it does not appear to supersede the Judge's PFA. You would allege facts in your Petition to Modify how this result came about. Just recite the facts chronologically -
On the ____ day of ____, 2010 (or whatever year), the Honorable Judge _______ entered a Protection from Abuse Order;
On the _____ day of _____, the parties attended a Custody Conciliation Conference, during which the Conciliator _________
The Custody recommendations of the Conciliator conflict with the Protection from Abuse Order entered by the Honorable Judge __________
Wherefore, Petitioner ________________ prays this Honorable Court Modify the Custody recommendations of the Conciliator so that the two may be read together without any conflicting provisions.
Of course, if the Conciliator's recommendations have been signed by a Judge and they are now an Order of the Court, you would change the above language to reflect the correct documentaiton.
As for holding you in Contempt of Court, I think they are using scare tactics. If the PFA was entered against your son's mother and she is the one to stay away from your son and refrain from any physical or mental abuse, and the PFA had nothing to do with you, how could you possibly be held in contempt?
You have nothing to worry about, there is no way that you could even remotely be held in Contempt of any Court Order, let alone a PFA that has nothing to do with you.
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ANDREA, JD, LLM
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