In Crisis?

Our Blog

Domestic Violence Services (DVS) Legal Clinic Updates – COVID-19

Domestic Violence Services (DVS) Legal Clinic Updates – COVID-19

Updated: March 21, 2020

Although the courthouse is closed to the public, victims of domestic violence can still file for a protection order. The Domestic Violence Legal Clinic is available to assist individuals and provide resources M-F from 8:30am – 5:00pm over the telephone at (717) 291-5826. On weekends, contact the DVS 24-Hour hotline for assistance. 

Legal Services for Victims of Domestic Violence: Court and DVLC Availability

Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas

  • Effective March 18, 2020, through April 15, 2020, the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas will be closed to the public except for certain emergency proceedings.
  • Protection From Abuse (PFA) orders constitute an emergency proceeding so individuals will still be able to file for a PFA.
  • Individuals can file for a temporary PFA during normal business hours through the Office of Bail Administration.
  • There will two ex parté PFA hearings per day- one at 11:30am, which means petitions need to be filed by 10:30am, and another hearing scheduled for 3:00pm.
  • Individuals can file for an emergency PFA when the courthouse is closed through a local magisterial district justice.

Domestic Violence Legal Center (DVLC)

  • The DVLC offices at 35 E. Orange Street are closed; however,
  • DVLC is available to assist individuals with information, options, and resources via the telephone.
  • Individuals may contact the legal center during normal business hours at (717) 291-5826. The phone will ring multiple times as it patches through to a separate location. Hang in there.
  • If individuals are unable to reach a staff person directly, they may leave a message and their call will be returned as soon as possible.
  • During the weekends, call the DVS 24-Hour Hotline to be connected to the on-call Legal Advocate.

About Domestic Violence Services (DVS) of Lancaster County 

Domestic Violence Services of Lancaster County, a program of the Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County, is a catalyst to eliminate domestic violence through direct service, advocacy, and social change.  Over the past forty-three years, 75,593 survivors of abuse have received 379,513 nights of shelter and 572,050 hours of counseling, among other supportive services. DVS hosts regular community education and prevention sessions for many agencies, schools and faith-based organizations. For more information, visit