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Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Important Court Information

While the judicial emergency remains in effect, access to the Lehigh County Courthouse or any court facility shall be limited to employees of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania or the County of Lehigh; persons having business with the courts, departments or offices contained within such facilities; and person observing court proceedings open to the general public consistent with the U.S. Center of Disease Control and Pennsylvania Department of Health recommendations, including the wearing of face masks and maintaining social distancing.

  • To file a Protection From 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

Please continue to check this page for any updates.

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CANCELLED COURT INFORMATION
JURY SERVICE

All Jurors:  Please log in to https://jury.lehighcounty.org to confirm your contact information and complete your questionnaire to indicate you have responded to your jury summons as required by law.  If you do not have access to a computer please contact Court Administration at 610-782-3014 and ask for Jury Assistance Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.  Please note:  All jurors scheduled for May 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25 and 26, 2021 are not required to report.  Your service is now complete upon entry of your questionnaire.  Thank you for your cooperation and willingness to serve.

JURY SERVICE SAFETY MEASURES

You have been summoned for jury service during a most extraordinary time. Jury duty is important because it safeguards one of the most crucial rights of the American legal system. Your potential role as a juror could not be more critical. Your ability to serve may be impacted by the pandemic. Please complete the online questionnaire as directed in your summons.

Please know the court implemented many precautions to ensure your safety and security while you serve, including the following:

  • pre-screen jurors through questionnaires;
  • at the time of this notice temperature checks are being conducted upon entry into the Courthouse (100.4 F. or higher);
  • face masks required to be worn upon entry into the Courthouse and at all times while in the building;
  • stagger jury reporting times;
  • limit the number of jurors and other persons in the Juror Assembly Room, Courtroom and during jury selection;
  • provide additional staff to assist with concerns and directives;
  • disinfect all areas where the jury will have access;
  • provide gloves if requested/needed;
  • require appropriate physical distancing;
  • provide widely-available hand sanitizer;
  • facilitate frequent use of the restrooms for hand washing if requested; jurors should be able to sanitize or wash their hands as often as they feel necessary;
  • disinfect and wipe down high touch areas;
  • establish courtroom rules for counsel and staff

Also, please know that during your service, the court will be making every effort to comply with CDC guidelines and recommendations. The overall number of people inside the courthouse and courtroom will be restricted. Nobody who has tested positive for coronavirus or exhibits any symptoms will be permitted in the courthouse or onto the jury. Remember that we take the health and safety of our jurors very seriously. If you are ill or experiencing symptoms such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath, have been exposed to someone who is ill or have been exposed to anyone who is experiencing similar symptoms or if you have any questions, please call Court Administration at 610-782-3014.

Thank you for your service and cooperation!

MARRIAGE LICENSE
I. APPLICATION PRODEDURE:
  1. POLICY:
    • Neither walk-in applications nor virtual interviews are available.  
    • Couples who have a confirmed wedding date and an authorized officiant who has agreed to perform their marriage on that date, may submit marriage license applications and all supporting documentation by email to schedule an appointment for in-person interviews at Marriage License Office, during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. M-F
  2. PROCEDURE:
    1. Complete the Marriage License Application Form..  If completed by hand please print legibly and include a phone number and/or email address where one of the applicants can be contacted.  The confirmed date of wedding and the name title and phone number of the authorized officiant who has agreed to perform the wedding on that date must  be included at the bottom of the application. 
    2. Complete the Application for in Person Interview Appointment
    3. At least 20 business 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 from couples with confirmed wedding dates and officiants.
    5. 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

Certified copies of marriage licenses issued by the Lehigh County Marriage License Office must be ordered by completion and submission of an Order Form (paper copies available outside the Marriage License Office at the Courthouse) with payment:

  1. Complete and Submit the Order Form by:
    1. Email to marriagelicense@lehighcounty.org
    OR
    2. Regular mail to:
    Marriage License Office
    Clerk of Orphans' Court
    Lehigh County Courthouse
    455 West Hamilton Street
    Room 123.5
    Allentown, PA 18101-1614
    OR
    3. Delivery to mail slot in Marriage License Office door (Room 123.5 of the Courthouse)
  2. The cost is $10.00/certified copy, plus $7.75 charge if the certified copy is sent to requesting party by priority mail.
ORPHANS' COURT

             In accordance with the November 19, 2020 8th Amended Emergency Order issued by the court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County, all adoptions, parental terminations, audits, non-emergency guardianships, and all other Orphans' Court matters will be conducted by Advanced Communication Technology, or, with approval of the assigned judge, in person.

Emergency incapacity petitions pursuant to 20 Pa.C.S.A. §5513 are to be filed with the Clerk of the Orphans' Court and contemporaneously emailed to Orphans' Court Counsel at janetthwaites@lehighcounty.org, for scheduling.

Filing by mail to the Clerk of the Orphans' Court,  rather than in person at the Courthouse, is encouraged whenever possible.

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.

Supplemental Response of the President Judge of the 31st Judicial District (Lehigh County) to the Supreme Court's Order of April 3, 2020

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 14, 2020)

4th Amended Judicial Emergency Order (April 21, 2020)

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

6th Amended Judicial Emergency Order (June 17, 2020)

7th Amended Judicial Emergency Order (August 31, 2020)

8th Amended Judicial Emergency Order (November 19, 2020)

Supplemental Order to 8th Amended Judicial Emergency Order (December 8, 2020)

9th Amended Judicial Emergency Order (February 5, 2021)

Amended 9th Amended Judicial Emergency Order (February 11, 2021)

10th Amended Judicial Emergency Order (March 5, 2021)

11th Amended Judicial Emergency Order (April 15, 2021)

12th Amended Judicial Emergency Order (May 19, 2021)

13th Amended Judicial Emergency Order (June 28, 2021)

Judicial Emergency Order - Evictions (September 11, 2020)

Judicial Emergency Amended Order - Evictions (December 30, 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)

31st Judicial District Declaration of Judicial Emergency (August 31, 2020)

31st Judicial District Declaration of Judicial Emergency (November 19, 2020)

31st Judicial District Declaration of Judicial Emergency (February 5, 2021)

31st Judicial District Declaration of Judicial Emergency (March 5, 2021)

31st Judicial District Declaration of Judicial Emergency (April 15, 2021)

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