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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are encouraging individuals to appear remotely via Zoom videoconferencing rather than coming to the Courthouse and appearing in person for court proceedings. To appear remotely, please follow the instructions provided with your court notice. In addition to remote court proceedings, many court services are available on-line without having to come to the courthouse.

More information is available on the Coronavirus Information Page.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Important Court Information

The Lehigh County Courthouse and Magisterial District Courts are CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC through June 7, 2020 with a few exceptions.

  • Entrance into the courthouse will ONLY be permitted for those individuals:
    • Posting Bail
    • Attending a Final PFA Hearing
    • Filing an Emergency Petition for Guardianship
  • To file a Protection Form Abuse Petition, go to Protection From Abuse Office Section located on this webpage (see below)
    • If you do not have access to a computer, you may fill out the forms on a kiosk in the Family Court Office Waiting Room located on the 4th Floor
  • To File an Emergency Petition for Child Custody go to Selfhelp Child Custody
  • To File Emergency Civil Matters or Motions, please contact the Court Administration office at (610) 782-3014 for instructions.

Please continue to check this page for any updates.

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CANCELLED COURT INFORMATION
CARES Act

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, P.L. 116-136 ("CARES Act") was enacted on March 27, 2020. Among other things, the CARES Act provides a temporary moratorium related to certain eviction actions. During the 120-day period following enactment, i.e., through July 25, 2020, a landlord may not "make, or cause to be made, any filing with the court of jurisdiction to initiate a legal action to recover possession of the covered dwelling from the tenant for nonpayment of rent or other fees or charges." CARES Act, §  4024(b)(1). The moratorium also applies to the charging of "fees, penalties, or other charges to the tenant related to such nonpayment of rent." CARES Act, §  4024(b)(2). On May 29, 2020, Lehigh County's Judicial Emergency Order requires that every action by a landlord against a tenant for the recovery of possession of real property for failure to pay rent filed in a Lehigh County magisterial district court shall be accompanied by an Affidavit of Compliance with the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, P.L. 116-136.

DOMESTIC RELATIONS SECTION

The Domestic Relations Section is operating with a reduced staff at this time. In order to maintain a safe environment for the public and our staff; please do not appear in person without an appointment.  Office access is limited to clients and attorneys only.  Scheduled conferences will be conducted by telephone, and scheduled hearings will be conducted through zoom video. Please visit www.childsupport.state.pa.usto learn more about the child support program, to check information about your case, or to electronically file a complaint for support or petition to modify.  When filing a complaint or petition, please submit the filing only once.  You will be notified of the scheduled conference date and time.  We appreciate your continued patience and understanding.  Thank you.

FAMILY COURT OFFICE

Until further notice, all conferences and hearings for child custody and divorce have been cancelled.

Protection from Abuse Litigants-If you or any of your family members are experiencing any flu-like symptoms, including coughing, sneezing, congestion, and fever, we are asking that you notify a staff member. We are doing our best to limit everyone from unnecessary exposure to the virus including our litigants and staff.

JURY SERVICE

All jurors scheduled for jury service during the month of April, May, June and July, 2020 are not required to report or call, your jury service is complete. If you completed your questionnaire on line you should have received an email or USPS letter indicating that your date has been cancelled.  If you have not completed your questionnaire, it is not necessary to do so since all dates in April, May, June and July of 2020 have been cancelled.

JUVENILE PROBATION

We are asking our families to remain in contact with their probation officer via phone. If you or any of your family members have any flu-like symptoms (including coughing, sneezing, congestion, and fever), we would ask that you notify our office and reschedule any appointments. We are doing our best to limit everyone from unnecessary exposure to the virus including our clients and families. There will be no penalties if appointments need to be rescheduled due to illness. Your health and safety are our primary concern.

LAW LIBRARY

Please read the PDF statement concerning expanding Law Library operations after July 1, 2020. Please use this email link to determine if we can help you remotely by pointing you at a website or emailing or mailing a document. Our regular service fees may apply.

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT COURT
Is there Electronic Payment Options for Magisterial District Court?
Yes. Rather than in person, payments may be made using the following electronic options:
  • Pennsylvania State Website: https://ujsportal.pacourts.us/ Available 7 days per week and 24 hours per day.
  • Lehigh County website: lehighcountytix.com Available 7 days per week and 24 hours per day.
  • NCourt by phone: 877-793-7955 Available 7 days per week from 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Please call the relevant District Court for assistance with identifying case number/case balance.

MARRIAGE LICENSE
I. APPLICATION PRODEDURE:
  1. POLICY:
    • Effective immediately and until further notice, neither walk-in applications nor virtual interviews are available.
    • Effective immediately and until further notice, Lehigh County residents may submit marriage license applications and all supporting documentation by email to schedule an appointment for in-person interviews at Marriage License Office beginning June 8, 2020, during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. M-F
    • Residents of other counties should contact the Orphans' Court of their home counties for their marriage license application policies and procedures.
  2. PROCEDURE:
    1. Complete the Marriage License Application Form. If completed by hand please print legibly. The date of your planned wedding and the name title and phone number of the authorized officiant who has agreed to perform the wedding on that date should be included at the bottom of the application.
    2. Complete the Application for in Person Interview Appointment
    3. At least 10 days before your scheduled wedding date, submit ALL OF THE FOLLOWING by email to marriagelicense@lehighcounty.org:
      1. Completed Marriage License Application
      2. Completed Application For In-Person Interview Appointment
      3. Legible copy of current photo ID for both applicants NOTE: if the address on the photo ID is different from the address on the ML application, also include other proof of residence, (e.g. recently postmarked envelope; utility bill etc.)
      4. Legible copies of divorce decree or death certificate regarding most recent former spouse of either applicant
    4. In-person interviews will be scheduled according to availability at the time of receipt and review of sufficiently documented applications, with preference given to applicants with confirmed wedding dates.
    5. Eligible applicants will be notified by email of the date and time of their in-person interview and be provided further instructions regarding requisite social distancing protocols.
    6. Ineligible applicants will be so notified by explanatory email.
    7. A Marriage License remains valid for 60 days from the date it is issued. Applications should not be submitted more than 60 days in advance of scheduled wedding dates.
II. RETURN OF DUPLICATE CERTIFICATES

Effective immediately and until further notice, the Duplicate Certificate completed by the officiant (bottom portion of marriage license) must be returned by mail to: Marriage License Office, Lehigh County Courthouse 455 West Hamilton Street, Allentown, PA 18101. Certified copies pre-ordered at the time of application will be mailed upon receipt and recording of completed Duplicate Certificates.

III. CERTIFIED COPIES

Effective immediately and until further notice, walk-in requests for certified copies of marriage licenses are not accepted. Certified copies can be ordered by completion and submission of an Order Form as follows:

  1. By Email to marriagelicense@lehighcounty.org that includes PAYMENT by:
    • Providing a telephone number at which the requesting party can be contacted to supply a credit card number (VISA, MasterCard, Discover). The cost is $10/certified copy and, for return by priority mail, an additional charge of $7.75.
  2. Regular mail to Marriage License Office, Clerk of Orphans' Court, Lehigh County Courthouse, 455 West Hamilton Street - Room 123, Allentown PA 18101 that INCLUDES PAYMENT by:
    • money order payable to the Marriage License Office in the amount of $10/certified copy, plus 7.75 for priority mail;
    • OR

    • money order payable to the Marriage License Office in the amount of $10/certified copy AND a stamped self-addressed envelope.
  3. Delivery to drop box located adjacent to Marriage License Office at the Courthouse that includes PAYMENT by:
    • Providing a telephone number at which the requesting party can be contacted to supply a credit card number (VISA, MasterCard, Discover). The cost is $10/certified copy and, for return by priority mail, an additional charge of $7.75; OR
    • money order payable to the Marriage License Office in the amount of $10/certified copy, plus 7.75 for priority mail; OR
    • money order payable to the Marriage License Office in the amount of $10/certified copy AND a stamped self-addressed envelope.
ORPHANS' COURT

              In accordance with the May 27, 2020 5th Amended Emergency Order issued by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the 5th Amended Emergency Order issued by the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, the Orphans’ Court Division will resume normal operations on June 8, 2020.

Cases will proceed as directed by the assigned judge. Advanced communication technology will be used as much as possible due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). See separate directions under Marriage Licenses.

Thank you for your cooperation. Stay safe.

PROTECTION FROM ABUSE OFFICE

FILING HOURS

All PFAs are processed between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. If you are seeking a Protection from Abuse Order outside of those hours, you may contact your local Magisterial District Justice or the police.

Protection from Abuse
Protection from Abuse Petition

A Protection from Abuse Petition is filed when a person is requesting a court order which protects victims of domestic violence from abuse, specifically physical injury or threats of physical threats.

You may file for protection in Lehigh County if you live or work here, the defendant lives, works, or can be served here, or the abuse occurred here.

A person may file a Protection From Abuse Petition against an intimate partner or family member. Here are some examples:

  1. Spouses or former spouses
  2. Current or former sexual or intimate partners
  3. Household members related by blood or marriage
  4. Persons related by blood or marriage
  5. Same sex couples
  6. Parents and children

*If the abused person is a minor, then a parent, guardian ad litem, or adult household member can file on behalf of the child.

*The PFA act does not apply to disputes between strangers, neighbors, roommates, co-workers, or classmates.

  • You must complete the following forms packet and save it to a location on your computer. You will need to then EMAIL or FAX all the forms in the packet to the Family Court Office. Failure to complete and EMAIL or FAX ALL the forms in the packet may result in your petition not being processed.
  • Send Completed Packet
    • Attach the completed forms packet and EMAIL them to FamilyCourtOffice@Lehighcounty.org

    • OR

    • Fax to (610) 782-3866

Once the Family Court Office has received the documents, a Family Court staff member will contact Plaintiff to complete the intake process.

After the intake process is complete, you will be directed to go to the courthouse to have a hearing before the motions Judge. Hearings are generally conducted at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.

The Protection Order will be emailed to Plaintiff at the email address they provide to the Court

Indirect Criminal Complaint

An Indirect Criminal Complaint is filed when a Plaintiff in a Protection from Abuse case is alleging the Defendant has violated one or more of conditions placed on the Defendant in a Temporary or Final Protection From Abuse Order.

  • You must complete ALL of the following forms in order and save each form to a location on your computer. You will need to then EMAIL or FAX your documents to the Family Court Office. Failure to complete and EMAIL or FAX ALL the forms may result in your petition not being processed.
  • Send Completed Forms
    • Attach each completed form and EMAIL them to FamilyCourtOffice@Lehighcounty.org

    • OR

    • Fax each completed form to (610) 782-3866

Once the Family Court Office has received the documents, a Rule to Show Cause will be prepared and taken to the Motions Judge during a PFA session at either 10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.

Once the Indirect Criminal Contempt petition is ruled on, it will be filed with the Clerk of Judicial Records Office and the Plaintiff will be notified.

If the Rule to Show Cause is signed by the Judge, both parties will be ordered to appear in court at later date determined by the Court.

PFA Petition to Modify Dismissal

A Petition to Modify-Dismissal is filed when a Plaintiff in a Protection from Abuse case is requesting to withdraw their Protection from Abuse Petition and close the case.

Once the Family Court Office has received the documents, a Family Court staff member will contact you with further instructions.

PFA Petition to Modify Amendment

A Petition to Modify- Amendment is filed when a Plaintiff in a Protection from Abuse case is requesting to make changes to the provisions of their current PFA Order.

  • You must complete ALL of the following forms in order and save each form to a location on your computer. You will need to then EMAIL or FAX your documents to the Family Court Office. Failure to complete and EMAIL or FAX ALL the forms may result in your petition not being processed.
  • Send Completed Forms
    • Attach each completed form and EMAIL them to FamilyCourtOffice@Lehighcounty.org

    • OR

    • Fax each completed form to (610) 782-3866

Once the Family Court Office has received the documents, a Rule to Show Cause will be prepared and taken to the Motions Judge during a PFA session at either 10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.

Once the Rule to Show Cause is ruled on, it will be filed with the Clerk of Judicial Records Office and the Plaintiff will be notified.

If the Rule to Show Cause is signed by the Judge, both parties will be ordered to appear in court at later date determined by the Court.

The Rule to Show Cause will be emailed to Plaintiff at the email address they provide to the Court.

PFA Petition to Modify Extension

A Petition to Modify- Extension is filed when a Plaintiff in a Protection from Abuse case is requesting to extend the expiration date of their Final PFA Order.

  • You must complete ALL of the following forms in order and save each form to a location on your computer. You will need to then EMAIL or FAX your documents to the Family Court Office. Failure to complete and EMAIL or FAX ALL the forms may result in your petition not being processed.
  • Send Completed Forms
    • Attach each completed form and EMAIL them to FamilyCourtOffice@Lehighcounty.org

    • OR

    • Fax each completed form to (610) 782-3866

Once the Family Court Office has received the documents, a Rule to Show Cause will be prepared and taken to the Motions Judge during a PFA session at either 10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.

Once the Rule to Show Cause is ruled on, it will be filed with the Clerk of Judicial Records Office and the Plaintiff will be notified.

If the Rule to Show Cause is signed by the Judge, both parties will be ordered to appear in court at later date determined by the Court.

The Rule to Show Cause will be emailed to Plaintiff at the email address they provide to the Court.

Intimidation Protection Order
Intimidation Protection Petition

An Intimidation Protection Petition is filed by an adult on behalf of a minor against an offender whose age is 18 or older.

  • You must complete ALL of the following forms in order and save each form to a location on your computer. You will need to then EMAIL or FAX your documents to the Family Court Office. Failure to complete and EMAIL or FAX ALL the forms may result in your petition not being processed.
  • Send Completed Forms
    • Attach each completed form and EMAIL them to FamilyCourtOffice@Lehighcounty.org

    • OR

    • Fax each completed form to (610) 782-3866

Once the Family Court Office has received the documents, a Family Court staff member will contact Plaintiff to complete the intake process.

After the intake process is complete, you will be directed to go to the courthouse to have a hearing before the motions Judge. Hearings are generally conducted at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.

The Protection Order will be emailed to Plaintiff at the email address they provide to the Court

Indirect Criminal Complaint

An Indirect Criminal Complaint is filed when a Plaintiff in a Protection from Abuse case is alleging the Defendant has violated one or more of conditions placed on the Defendant in a Temporary or Final Protection From Abuse Order.

  • You must complete ALL of the following forms in order and save each form to a location on your computer. You will need to then EMAIL or FAX your documents to the Family Court Office. Failure to complete and EMAIL or FAX ALL the forms may result in your petition not being processed.
  • Send Completed Forms
    • Attach each completed form and EMAIL them to FamilyCourtOffice@Lehighcounty.org

    • OR

    • Fax each completed form to (610) 782-3866

Once the Family Court Office has received the documents, a Rule to Show Cause will be prepared and taken to the Motions Judge during a PFA session at either 10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.

Once the Indirect Criminal Contempt petition is ruled on, it will be filed with the Clerk of Judicial Records Office and the Plaintiff will be notified.

If the Rule to Show Cause is signed by the Judge, both parties will be ordered to appear in court at later date determined by the Court.

PFA Petition to Modify Dismissal

A Petition to Modify- Dismissal is filed when a Plaintiff in a Protection from Abuse case is requesting to withdraw their Protection from Abuse Petition and close the case.

  • You must complete ALL of the following forms in order and save each form to a location on your computer. You will need to then EMAIL or FAX your documents to the Family Court Office. Failure to complete and EMAIL or FAX ALL the forms may result in your petition not being processed.
  • Send Completed Forms
    • Attach each completed form and EMAIL them to FamilyCourtOffice@Lehighcounty.org

    • OR

    • Fax each completed form to (610) 782-3866

Once the Family Court Office has received the documents, a Family Court staff member will contact you with further instructions.

PFA Petition to Modify Amendment

A Petition to Modify- Amendment is filed when a Plaintiff in a Protection from Abuse case is requesting to make changes to the provisions of their current PFA Order.

  • You must complete ALL of the following forms in order and save each form to a location on your computer. You will need to then EMAIL or FAX your documents to the Family Court Office. Failure to complete and EMAIL or FAX ALL the forms may result in your petition not being processed.
  • Send Completed Forms
    • Attach each completed form and EMAIL them to FamilyCourtOffice@Lehighcounty.org

    • OR

    • Fax each completed form to (610) 782-3866

Once the Family Court Office has received the documents, a Rule to Show Cause will be prepared and taken to the Motions Judge during a PFA session at either 10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.

Once the Rule to Show Cause is ruled on, it will be filed with the Clerk of Judicial Records Office and the Plaintiff will be notified.

If the Rule to Show Cause is signed by the Judge, both parties will be ordered to appear in court at later date determined by the Court.

The Rule to Show Cause will be emailed to Plaintiff at the email address they provide to the Court.

PFA Petition to Modify Extension

A Petition to Modify- Extension is filed when a Plaintiff in a Protection from Abuse case is requesting to extend the expiration date of their Final PFA Order.

  • You must complete ALL of the following forms in order and save each form to a location on your computer. You will need to then EMAIL or FAX your documents to the Family Court Office. Failure to complete and EMAIL or FAX ALL the forms may result in your petition not being processed.
  • Send Completed Forms
    • Attach each completed form and EMAIL them to FamilyCourtOffice@Lehighcounty.org

    • OR

    • Fax each completed form to (610) 782-3866

Once the Family Court Office has received the documents, a Rule to Show Cause will be prepared and taken to the Motions Judge during a PFA session at either 10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.

Once the Rule to Show Cause is ruled on, it will be filed with the Clerk of Judicial Records Office and the Plaintiff will be notified.

If the Rule to Show Cause is signed by the Judge, both parties will be ordered to appear in court at later date determined by the Court.

The Rule to Show Cause will be emailed to Plaintiff at the email address they provide to the Court.

Sexual Violence Protection
Sexual Violence Protection Petition

A Sexual Violence Protection Petition is filed when a person, who does not have a relationship defined by the PFA Act for a Protection from Abuse Order, is requesting a court order which protects victims of sexual violence.

  • You must complete ALL of the following forms in order and save each form to a location on your computer. You will need to then EMAIL or FAX your documents to the Family Court Office. Failure to complete and EMAIL or FAX ALL the forms may result in your petition not being processed.
  • Send Completed Forms
    • Attach each completed form and EMAIL them to FamilyCourtOffice@Lehighcounty.org

    • OR

    • Fax each completed form to (610) 782-3866

Once the Family Court Office has received the documents, a Family Court staff member will contact Plaintiff to complete the intake process.

After the intake process is complete, you will be directed to go to the courthouse to have a hearing before the motions Judge. Hearings are generally conducted at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.

The Protection Order will be emailed to Plaintiff at the email address they provide to the Court

Indirect Criminal Complaint

An Indirect Criminal Complaint is filed when a Plaintiff in a Protection from Abuse case is alleging the Defendant has violated one or more of conditions placed on the Defendant in a Temporary or Final Protection From Abuse Order.

  • You must complete ALL of the following forms in order and save each form to a location on your computer. You will need to then EMAIL or FAX your documents to the Family Court Office. Failure to complete and EMAIL or FAX ALL the forms may result in your petition not being processed.
  • Send Completed Forms
    • Attach each completed form and EMAIL them to FamilyCourtOffice@Lehighcounty.org

    • OR

    • Fax each completed form to (610) 782-3866

Once the Family Court Office has received the documents, a Rule to Show Cause will be prepared and taken to the Motions Judge during a PFA session at either 10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.

Once the Indirect Criminal Contempt petition is ruled on, it will be filed with the Clerk of Judicial Records Office and the Plaintiff will be notified.

If the Rule to Show Cause is signed by the Judge, both parties will be ordered to appear in court at later date determined by the Court.

PFA Petition to Modify Dismissal

A Petition to Modify- Dismissal is filed when a Plaintiff in a Protection from Abuse case is requesting to withdraw their Protection from Abuse Petition and close the case.

  • You must complete ALL of the following forms in order and save each form to a location on your computer. You will need to then EMAIL or FAX your documents to the Family Court Office. Failure to complete and EMAIL or FAX ALL the forms may result in your petition not being processed.
  • Send Completed Forms
    • Attach each completed form and EMAIL them to FamilyCourtOffice@Lehighcounty.org

    • OR

    • Fax each completed form to (610) 782-3866

Once the Family Court Office has received the documents, a Family Court staff member will contact you with further instructions.

PFA Petition to Modify Amendment

A Petition to Modify- Amendment is filed when a Plaintiff in a Protection from Abuse case is requesting to make changes to the provisions of their current PFA Order.

  • You must complete ALL of the following forms in order and save each form to a location on your computer. You will need to then EMAIL or FAX your documents to the Family Court Office. Failure to complete and EMAIL or FAX ALL the forms may result in your petition not being processed.
  • Send Completed Forms
    • Attach each completed form and EMAIL them to FamilyCourtOffice@Lehighcounty.org

    • OR

    • Fax each completed form to (610) 782-3866

Once the Family Court Office has received the documents, a Rule to Show Cause will be prepared and taken to the Motions Judge during a PFA session at either 10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.

Once the Rule to Show Cause is ruled on, it will be filed with the Clerk of Judicial Records Office and the Plaintiff will be notified.

If the Rule to Show Cause is signed by the Judge, both parties will be ordered to appear in court at later date determined by the Court.

The Rule to Show Cause will be emailed to Plaintiff at the email address they provide to the Court.

PFA Petition to Modify Extension

A Petition to Modify- Extension is filed when a Plaintiff in a Protection from Abuse case is requesting to extend the expiration date of their Final PFA Order.

  • You must complete ALL of the following forms in order and save each form to a location on your computer. You will need to then EMAIL or FAX your documents to the Family Court Office. Failure to complete and EMAIL or FAX ALL the forms may result in your petition not being processed.
  • Send Completed Forms
    • Attach each completed form and EMAIL them to FamilyCourtOffice@Lehighcounty.org

    • OR

    • Fax each completed form to (610) 782-3866

Once the Family Court Office has received the documents, a Rule to Show Cause will be prepared and taken to the Motions Judge during a PFA session at either 10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.

Once the Rule to Show Cause is ruled on, it will be filed with the Clerk of Judicial Records Office and the Plaintiff will be notified.

If the Rule to Show Cause is signed by the Judge, both parties will be ordered to appear in court at later date determined by the Court.

The Rule to Show Cause will be emailed to Plaintiff at the email address they provide to the Court.

Judicial Emergency Order (March 17, 2020)

Amended Judicial Emergency Order (March 19, 2020)

2nd Amended Judicial Emergency Order (April 2, 2020)

3rd Amended Judicial Emergency Order (April 2, 2020)

4th Amended Judicial Emergency Order (April 2, 2020)

5th Amended Judicial Emergency Order (May 29, 2020)

31st Judicial District Declaration of Judicial Emergency (March 16, 2020)

31st Judicial District Declaration of Judicial Emergency (April 2, 2020)

31st Judicial District Declaration of Judicial Emergency (April 21, 2020)

31st Judicial District Declaration of Judicial Emergency (May 29, 2020)

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Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas, 455 West Hamilton Street, Allentown, PA 18101-1614 • (610) 782-3000