RESOLUTION OPPOSING PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO PROTECTION FROM ABUSE ACT

WHEREAS, Section 6108(a)(8) of the Protection from Abuse Act, 23 Pa.C.S. §6l0l et seq. provides, In addition to out-of-pocket losses, the court may direct the defendant to pay reasonable attorneys fees, 23 Pa.C.S. §6108(a)(8);

WHEREAS, House Bill 2075, Printer's Number 2721, proposes an amendment to Section 6101(a)(8) which would make the award of counsel fees to the plaintiff mandatory and not discretionary;

WHEREAS, it is anticipated that the mandatory award of counsel fees based on the proposed amendment to Section 6108(a)(8) of the Protection From Abuse Act could create additional difficulties for the parties involved in domestic violence matters including the following:

a. A mandatory award of counsel fees would encourage litigation for a finding of abuse and would not promote the amicable resolution of abuse matters by agreement;

b. A mandatory award of counsel fees would be entered against a defendant even in the event of an agreement, which is likely to cause defendants to be unwilling to enter into agreements;

c. A judge might feel obligated to award counsel fees to the detriment of plaintiffs' claim for out-of-pocket losses; and

d. Parties may file cross-petitions solely for the purpose of gaining the right to a mandatory award of counsel fees.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association opposes the passage of House Bill 2075 or other comparable legislation.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: MARCH 26, 1998