Jimmy Stewart

Hometown of Jimmy Stewart

The Christmas Tree Capital of the World

Jimmy Stewart

Hometown of Jimmy Stewart

The Christmas Tree Capital of the World

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FAQs

Auditors FAQs

What is the job of the Auditor?

The Auditors examine, settle, and adjust the accounts of all departments of the county and make an annual report to the financial officers of the county government and state agencies.

What funds do the auditors investigate?

  • County auditors are only concerned with the taxpayer money that is collected for COUNTY expenditures. Auditors verify expenditure records and report their findings to the Commissioners or State Offices.
  • Visit the Commissioners page for a listing of county departments reviewed by the Auditors.
  • Townships and Borough have their OWN auditors that review those expenditures. However, funds received by the county from individual tax collectors are audited here.
  • State and Federal related accounts also provide audits for funds they manage such as: state roads, social security, employment or welfare fraud.

How many departments are audited in this county?

  • In the navigation of the website, select “departments”. A listing of over 25 departments gives a broad listing of accounts auditors are responsible for examining.  
  • Additionally, they produce reports for the Court of Common Pleas, the State Attorney General and the Office of the Pennsylvania Courts. Many of the departments audited at the county level are also subject to state and federal audits.

How are the Auditors chosen?

The County Code, Act of August 9, 1955 (P.L. 323, No. 130), as amended states that each Pennsylvania county must elect either three auditors or one controller.

How often are auditors elected?

  • Every four years from a bipartisan field.
  • Current terms expire December 31, 2019.
  • Voters will choose three auditors in November 2019 to serve the 2020-2024 term.

Where can you find verification of the audits?

  • Auditors submit an annual report of the financial condition of the county to the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).

  • A briefer form is published in local newspapers

  • It is always available to the public within the Office of the County Auditor, or click here.

  • Through the Freedom of Information Act by contacting Robin Maryai, Chief Clerk of Indiana County (rmaryai@IndianaCountyPA.gov)

What training do the auditors maintain?

The Indiana County Auditors are members of the Pennsylvania State Association of County Auditors (PSACA), an organization formed to provide guidance and education supporting the duties of the county auditor. Regional meetings provide workshops followed by an annual convention in the fall. The PSACA is licensed to offer accredited continuing education programs at the annual convention.

2018 Continuing Education courses included:

  • Tax Collectors
  • Hotel Tax
  • Row Offices
  • Magisterial District Courts
  • PA Auditor General Requirements

Reporting Child Abuse FAQs

Mandated Reporters

Am I Mandated To Report If The Child Disclosed He Was Hit And There Are No Injuries?

​Regardless Of Injuries, You Are Required To Report When You Suspect A Child Has Been Abused. ChildLine Will Assess The Report And Make The Appropriate Type Of Referral To The Appropriate County Agency Or Law Enforcement Agency.

Are Calls To ChildLine Taped And Do You Have Caller ID?

​ChildLine Does Not Tape-Record Calls And Does Not Have Caller ID. All Calls To ChildLine Are Confidential Under The CPSL.

How Can I Find Out What Actions Were Taken On The Report I Made?

As The Mandated Reporter Who Made The Report Of Suspected Abuse, You Are Entitled To The Following Information:

  • The Final Status Of The Child Abuse Report Following The Investigation, Whether It Be Indicated, Founded Or Unfounded; And
  • The Type Of Services Provided, Arranged Or Planned By The County Agency To Protect The Child.

You Will Need To Contact The County Agency Responsible For The Investigation To Obtain The Information.

I Am A Mandated Reporter; Do I Have To Give My Name?

​As A Mandated Reporter, You Are Required To Give Your Name And Where You Can Be Reached. This Enables The County Agency To Reach You If They Have Any Further Questions Or To Verify Any Of The Information.

Other

How Old Must A Child Be To Be Left Home Alone?

​There Is No Set Age At Which A Child Can Be Left Alone. There Are Guidelines Which Suggest The Following Conditions Be Considered In Making A Decision: The Child’s Maturity Level, How Many Children Are In The Child’s Care, The Length Of Time The Child Is Alone And The Availability Of Nearby Adults To Assist The Child If There Were A Problem. Each Situation Must Be Carefully Evaluated.

What Does ChildLine Do With My Report?

ChildLine Contacts The Appropriate County Agency So They May Begin An Investigation. In Cases Where The Perpetrator Does Not Meet The Definition Under The CPSL, A Referral May Be Made To The Appropriate District Attorney’s Office. In Addition, If A Referral Suggests A Need For Other Services Or Investigation, ChildLine Notifies The Appropriate Agency.

Register of Wills FAQs

The bank told me to get a Short Certificate?

A short certificate is issued when an estate has been opened naming an Executor or Administrator. If no estate has been filed, we cannot issue one.

Do I need an attorney to probate an estate?

We recommend that you seek the advice of an attorney. There are guidelines set up for probate along with advertising and deadlines for filing reports.

If I am named Executor in the will, do I have to probate the estate?

Yes. In order to transfer any property or bank accounts, you need to be sworn in as the Executor to sign for the estate.

Court of Common Pleas FAQs

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

Register/Recorder Office FAQs

Can I change the names on my deed here in the office?

No, your deed is a legal document and we cannot change anything on a deed.

Can I add or delete a name from my Deed?

No, you will need to talk with an attorney to have a new Deed drawn up.

Where can I get a copy of my Deed?

All of our records online from 1948 to present a free on our website (click here) or you can come into our office to get a copy at $0.50 per page.

How much does it cost to record a Deed?

The cost to record a Deed is $78.75 for four pages and four names. Each page after four is $2.00 per page and $0.50 per name.

Is my Mortgage paid off, why did I not receive anything says that it is?

Check and see if there is a Satisfaction piece on file, we can make you a copy of the satisfaction piece.

Can I come into your office and check if a loan/mortgage has been satisfied?

Yes, you can. You can either come into our office to check, you can call into the office and we can tell you over the phone or you can look it up on our website.

Why do I need a tax parcel/township/borough on my document I am recording?

This is a requirement to record the document, parcel number and township/borough ties together with the address of the property.

Why do I need to see an Atty. To have a new deed made up?

You don’t, but we recommend you do because it is a legal document you are recording.

Why do we have to have our names notarized?

Because anyone could sign the document and record it, the notary makes it legal.

Orphans Court FAQs

Do I need an attorney to file for an adoption/guardianship/terminating parental rights?

We strongly recommend that you have an attorney.

How do I get a certified copy of my marriage license?

You can either call or send in the women’s maiden name and man’s name along with the approximate year of marriage. The cost is $5.00.

What do I need for a marriage license?

You need to know your birthplace and your parent’s birthplace. We need your social security number along with photo ID. If you were married before, we need the final decree of the divorce or the date of death.

Am I able to get a certified copy of my marriage license in your office?

Yes, if you applied in Indiana County for your marriage license you can pick up a certified copy for $5.00 in our office. If you aren’t local you can call the office and get directions on how to order one through the mail.

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 sentence?

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.

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 sentence?

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.

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.

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.

Tax Claim FAQs

May I pay my taxes with a credit card?

No. Acceptable forms of payments are cash, check, money orders, or certified funds.

May I pay my taxes online or by phone?

No. You may pay in the office during the normal business hours 8:30 am – 4:00 pm Monday-Friday or by mailing your payment to:
Indiana County Tax Claim Bureau
825 Philadelphia St.
Indiana, PA 15701
Enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope if you wish to have a receipt returned.

May I make payments on my taxes?

Yes. Payments may be made at any time in any amount until the time the claim is due in full. Formal payment contracts are offered only when a property is at least two years delinquent and approaching a tax sale deadline.

How much is the fee for lien certificates?

Lien certificates are issued the same day as the request for a fee of $5.00 per parcel.

Where can I pay my delinquent Per Capita tax?

Delinquent per capita tax cannot be accepted at the Tax Claim bureau office. They can be accepted at Berkheimer, Statewide Recovery, and the Treasurer’s Office.

What is a Per Capita Tax?

It is a “Head Tax” that everyone 18 years of age and older are required to pay.

What is an Occupation Tax?

This tax is based on employment, but not all of Indiana County Municipalities and School Districts levy occupation taxes.

I have moved, retired or become unemployed, who should I contact? I moved during the year, how do I know which municipality to pay?

Contact your Tax Collector in your municipality. You are responsible for contacting your Tax Collector of any changes to your name, address, or occupation status. Where you live on January 1st of the year determines where you pay taxes at for the entire year.

What is “Statewide Recovery” and "Berkheimer” and why are they sending me a past due bill?

Statewide Recovery is a Debt Collection service out of Sunbury, PA 17801. They are contracted by a taxing body to collect unpaid Per Capita/Occupation Taxes. Berkheimer is another Debt Collection service which is out of Lehigh Valley, PA 18002. They also collect unpaid Per Capita/Occupation Taxes.

*If you receive a notice from either one of these companies, you should contact them regarding any questions or payment.