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Indiana County Court of Common Pleas

Forms & Documents

FAQs

Additional Links

Transcript Request Form

PA Courts: Custody Proceedings

PA Courts: Divorce Proceedings

Contact Court

The Judges of the Court

President Judge
The Honorable William J. Martin
Phone: (724)465-3961

Judge
The Honorable Thomas M. Bianco
Phone: (724)465-3958

Judge
The Honorable Michael T.  Clark
Phone: (724) 465-1017

Court Administrator
Christy K. Donofrio
Assistant Court Administrator
Patricia L. Bracken
Fax:  (724)463-2532

FAQs

Where do I go to obtain a marriage license?

Marriage Licenses are obtained in the Register & Recorders Office located on the first floor of the Indiana County Courthouse. For additional information, call 724-465-3860.

Who is available to perform a marriage ceremony?

In addition to clergy, a Magisterial District Judge may perform a marriage ceremony. There are four MDJ offices in Indiana County: Judge Haberl - PHONE: 724-463-8781; Judge Welch - PHONE: 724-254-4348; Judge Steffee - PHONE: 724-479-8082; Judge Rega - PHONE: 724-459-7203

How do I establish a child custody case?

Information on the custody procedure is located at the following website: www.pacourts.us

How do I establish child support?

Child support may be established through the Domestic Relations Office located in the Atrium Building at 665 Philadelphia Street in Indiana Borough. The office phone number is 724-465-3940

How do I establish a divorce case?

Information on the divorce procedure is located at the following website: www.pacourts.us

How can I receive free legal advice?

Legal advice should be obtained from a Pennsylvania Licensed Attorney. The Court does not provide legal counsel for civil cases, which includes child custody and divorce cases. The Court Administrator's Office may provide you with a list of attorneys currently working in Indiana County, please call 724-465-3955. Criminal case defendants may apply for an attorney through the Public Defender's Office.

What should I do if I am unable to attend a scheduled court date?

If you are unable to attend a scheduled court date concerning a civil case, you must file a 'Motion for Continuance' in the Prothonotary's Office located on the first floor of the Indiana County Courthouse.  The Judge will decide if a continuance is appropriate by either granting or denying the continuance.

*Please note if you are unable to attend a scheduled court date involving yourself as a defendant in a criminal case you must file a 'Motion for Continuance' prior to the scheduled court date. If you do not appear for a scheduled court date an arrest warrant may be issued.

Do I need to be in formal business clothes to attend a court hearing?

Formal clothing is not required; however, shorts are not permitted inside the courtrooms.

May I speak in private with the judge handling my case?

Under the Code of Judicial Conduct, judges are not allowed to permit or consider ex parte communication. Ex parte communication occurs when a party to a case, or someone on the party's behalf talks to or writes to the judge concerning the issues of the case. This rule eliminating one-sided conversations ensures the judge will make a judgment based on information obtained during scheduled hearings when all parties exchange information.

What type of cases can be resolved by a Magisterial District Judge?

A variety of cases may be handled by a Magisterial District Judge; they may include: Landlord-Tenant Eviction, Small Claims for $8,000 or less, Summary Offense Trials (examples include: underage drinking, speeding, or a local ordinance violation).

If I am convicted by a Magisterial District Judge for a summary offense can I file an appeal?

You may file an appeal to the Court of Common Pleas within thirty (30) days from the conviction date.

Is there any financial assistance if I am unable to pay filing fees established by the Clerk of Courts?

The Prothonotary / Clerk of Courts can provide you with an IFP (In Forma Pauperis) Application which requests information concerning your income/assets and your expenses. This IFP Form is also located on the website. If the judge grants the IFP status you will not be responsible to pay any filing fees.

What type of construction or building improvements require a building permit?

Building Permit questions should be addressed to the Planning Office for Indiana County PHONE: 724-465-3870. You may also check with the township or borough office for further restrictions and guidelines

Jury Duty FAQs

Could a trial be cancelled prior to the jury selection date?

Yes, there are situations that require a trial to be canceled. Every attempt is made to contact potential jurors who have received a summons requiring their attendance.

However, if a person's phone number has been changed or disconnected since the Juror Questionnaire was completed in the previous year we may not have your current phone number. You may contact the Court Administrator's Office (724-465-3955) up to the last business day prior to your appearance date to confirm trial status.

Who qualifies for jury service?

To serve as a juror, an individual must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age or older
  • Be a U.S. citizen and a permanent resident of Indiana County
  • Be able to read, write and understand English
  • Be mentally and physically capable of jury service
  • Not have been convicted of a crime

How was my name selected for jury duty?

The Jury Commission may create a list of potential jurors by reviewing telephone directories, tax rolls or other sources in order to create a jury pool representing a cross-section of the eligible population of Indiana County. All qualified citizens are to have the opportunity to be considered for jury service and those who are qualified have an obligation to serve as jurors when summoned.

How long will I have to serve?

If you are not selected as a juror, your length of service will be one (1) day which would culminate with the jury selection process removing you as a juror.

If you are selected to serve as a juror, your jury service will be for the length of that trial. Most trials take between one to two days to complete. Because of this, please do not make any appointments or commitments that would interfere with you serving on a trial that may take up to five (5) days to complete.

How is jury selected?

Once all prospective jurors have checked in, you will be escorted to the courtroom by courthouse staff.  After some preliminary questions from the judge, the attorneys will work towards eliminating potential jurors until there are 12 primary jurors and two alternate jurors remaining.

How much will I be paid for attending jury duty?

According to Pennsylvania law, jurors are paid $9.00 per day for the first three days of jury service and $25.00 per day for every day thereafter. Pennsylvania law also sets the mileage rate of 20 cents per mile, round trip from your home.

Where do I park when I report for jury service?

Jurors must park in the Indiana Borough Parking Garage located at 650 Water Street, Indiana, PA. The parking garage is located approximately 1 ½ blocks from the courthouse. Upon your arrival to Floor 4M in the courthouse, you will be given a parking ID stub. Upon completion of Jury Duty, you are to return the parking stub to the parking cashier located on level one next to the elevator of the garage prior to returning to your vehicle. Your parking stub will be validated by the parking garage staff and you will need to insert the stub at the exit box upon exiting the garage with your vehicle. You will not have to pay for parking if you follow this procedure.

What do I need to bring with me when reporting for jury service?

You will be asked how many miles you drove one way to arrive at the parking garage. This will be needed in order to compensate you for your mileage expense. There may be a waiting period during the first day of service, please feel free to bring reading material, cross word puzzle books, word search puzzle books, needlepoint, etc… Please refrain from bringing electronic equipment (laptop; cell phones, etc.) Prior to jury staff escorting you from Floor 4M to the courtroom if you have a cell phone with you, you will need to leave your cell phone with courthouse staff.

Will lunch be provided for all jurors?

Lunch will be provided if the judge directs jurors to remain at the courthouse during the lunch hour. Otherwise, the judge may permit jurors to leave for lunch but return at a set time. Please return five minutes prior to the time the judge has asked you to return, this will enable courthouse staff to confirm all jurors are present. This will eliminate delays in the trial process resuming.

Does my employer have to pay me for time missed from work due to jury service?

Pennsylvania law does not require an employer to pay an employee for jury service.  Check with your employer for their policy.

What happens if a person ignores a summons or fails to report for jury duty?

Pennsylvania law provides that such conduct is contempt of court punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment.

Will the trial be a civil or criminal trial?

This question will be answered by the judge at the beginning of the jury selection process.

What should I do if being a juror would create a hardship for me?

If requesting an excusal, send a letter outlining the reasons for the requested excusal to the Court Administrator's Office, ATIN: Patricia Bracken, Assistant Court Administrator, Indiana County Courthouse, 825 Philadelphia Street, Indiana, PA 15701. This letter should be sent as soon as possible. It is your responsibility to call the Court Administrator's Office (724-465-3955) prior to your scheduled date to appear in order to confirm your letter was received and that you had been excused.

What should I wear when reporting to jury duty?

Casual attire should be worn as long as it is in keeping with the dignity of court proceedings. Ties are not required. Shorts are not permitted.

Are there items that a juror is not permitted to bring to the courtroom?

Cell phones are not permitted in the courtrooms. Courthouse staff will label phones according to juror numbers and return phones to jurors during scheduled breaks during the day and upon jurors leaving the building. Cameras and/or other photographic devices are not permitted in the courtroom. Local newspapers are also not permitted.

Who should I contact if I have an emergency on the day I am to report?

Please call the Court Administrator’s Office at 724-465-3955.

What time should I arrive at the courthouse?

You are asked to arrive for the juror check-in process at 8:30 a.m. We appreciate your promptness and patience. Please do not report to the courthouse prior to 7:45 a.m.

When entering the courthouse where do I report?

Please take the elevator or steps to Floor 4M, upon exiting the elevator there will be courthouse staff to assist you.