FAMILY COURT UPDATE
· CUSTODY CONCILIATIONS
o Custody conciliations in June 2021 will continue to be held by telephone.
o Effective July 1, 2021 –
§ CUSTODY CONCILIATIONS will be held IN PERSON on the 7th Floor of the Services Center.
· Expect to be there for up to three (3) hours.
· DO NOT bring anyone else with you. Only the parties to the case and their attorney should attend.
· DO NOT arrive more than 30 minutes in advance.
· Please send in your completed Demographic form attached to the Custody Scheduling Order at least seven days before your conciliation.
· If a party or attorney requests to participate remotely after July 1st, please contact the Family Court in advance by e-mail at email@example.com or by telephone at 610-478-6208 ext. 5770 with the reason for your request. Such requests will be decided on a case-by-case basis.
· DIVORCE MASTER PROCEEDINGS
The Divorce Masters are scheduling Preliminary Conferences, Settlement Conferences, and Hearings. You will be advised by the Divorce Master whether the proceeding will be held by telephone or in person. For in person proceedings, they will advise you when and where to report.
· DOMESTIC RELATIONS – SUPPORT
· FAMILY COURT FILINGS
o The Family Court Judges and Family Court Administration schedule matters as soon as possible based on the type of case.
o The Prothonotary's Office is open to accept electronic filings from Attorneys as well as filings by mail.
If exigent circumstances require a family law matter to be heard immediately:
o ATTORNEYS: Attorneys should e-file their documents. They may send a courtesy e-mail to the assigned Judge or wait to receive the scheduling order.
o SELF-REPRESENTED LITIGANTS: Parties representing themselves may create the appropriate document(s). They may go to the Prothonotary's Office to file the document(s) during regular business hours or may mail the document(s) to the Prothonotary along with any filing fees.
§ After your document(s) are filed, contact Family Court Administrator, Lisa Siciliano, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 610-478-6208 ext. 5771. Family Court will communicate the nature of the emergency to the assigned Judge along with your contact information. The documents will be reviewed, and someone will contact you with the date and time for the matter to be heard.
· PROTECTION FROM ABUSE (PFA):
Emergency PFAs: The Magisterial District Courts are open for emergency protection orders when the Court of Common Pleas is not available. This includes nights, weekends, and holidays. Emergency PFA Orders are valid until 4:00 PM the next business day the Court of Common Pleas is available.
Temporary & Final PFAs:
· ONLY THE PERSON FILING FOR THE PFA may come to the PFA Office on the 1st Floor Services Center to file for protection orders.
· The PFA Office is open Monday-Friday between 8:00 AM- 4:00 PM.
· The deadline to send PFA filers to the Courtroom is 11:30 AM in the morning and 2:30 PM in the afternoon, so please arrive as early as possible. Filling out the intake paperwork, having it typed by staff, reviewed with you, signed, and sending you to the Courtroom to see the Judge takes time.
· Final PFA hearings are limited to the parties and their attorneys unless the Court approves witnesses to attend. Requests for witnesses to attend a Final PFA hearing should be made in advance by contacting the PFA Office at 610-478-6208 ext. 5701 or ext. 5702.
· FEELING ILL?:
If you are feeling ill, DO NOT come to the Courthouse/Services Center to file documents or to attend proceedings. Contact Family Court Administration at email@example.com or by telephone at 610-478-6208 ext. 5770 for instructions instead.