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Court Related FAQs

This page contains all FAQs related to the Court of Common Pleas. If your question is not listed, please feel free to reach out to us.

 

  • Administrative
    • How do I file a summary appeal?

      ​Contact counsel of your choice. If you cannot afford counsel, you may also complete and file the required pleadings yourself. Contact:

      Clerk of Courts Mifflin County Courthouse
      20 North Wayne Street
      Lewistown, PA 17044
      Telephone: 717-248-8146

    • How do I obtain a transcript

      ​You must put the request in writing to the Court Reporter and state court date, case caption and what part of the proceeding you wish to
      have transcribed. If you desire a transcript of the complete proceeding, state so. Also, be sure to include your name, address and telephone number. The Court Reporter will notify you of the amount
      of deposit required prior to typing the transcript. Contact:

      Court Reporter
      Judges’ Chambers Mifflin County Courthouse
      20 North Wayne Street
      Lewistown, PA 17044

      You may may make your request Online.

    • Where can I obtain a list of local attorneys?

      ​The local telephone directory or contact:
      Prothonotary’s Office Mifflin County Courthouse
      20 North Wayne Street
      Lewistown, PA 17044
      Telephone: 717-248-8146

  • Civil Matters
    • Who do I contact if I cannot afford an attorney in civil matters?

      ​The following office may be able to provide legal assistance to you.

      MidPenn Legal Services
      3500 East
      College Avenue, Suite 1295
      State College, PA 16801
      Telephone:800-326-9177 (toll free within PA)
      814-238-4958 (outside PA)

      For additional information, you may wish to refer to PALawHelp.org,
      an online guide to legal information and legal services in Pennsylvania.

  • Criminal Matters
    • In criminal matters how do I apply for a public defender?

      ​An application may be obtained through the office of the Public Defender. Contact:

      Robert R. Ferguson, Esquire
      15 North Dorcas Street
      Lewistown, PA 17044
      Telephone: 717-242-2591

  • Custody
    • How do I file a petition for contempt in a custody action?

      ​Contact counsel of your choice. If you cannot afford counsel, the following office may be able to provide legal assistance to you.


      MidPenn Legal Services
      3500 East College Avenue, Suite 1295
      State College, PA 16801
      Telephone: 800-326-9177 (toll free within PA)
      814-238-4958 (outside PA)


      You may also complete and file the required pleadings yourself. Please note you are required to comply with the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure. Be sure to read and follow all instructions. Contact:
      Prothonotary’s Office Mifflin County Courthouse
      20 North Wayne Street
      Lewistown, PA 17044
      Telephone: 717-248-8146


      Forms and instructions are also available online at the Prothonotary Forms page.

    • How do I file for custody modification?

      ​You may also complete and file the required pleadings yourself. Please note you are required to comply with the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure. Be sure to read and follow all instructions. Contact:
      Prothonotary’s Office Mifflin County Courthouse
      20 North Wayne Street
      Lewistown, PA 17044
      Telephone: 717-248-8146

      Forms and instructions are also available online at the Prothonotary Forms page.

  • Custody; Divorce
    • How do I file for divorce or begin a new custody proceeding?

      ​Contact counsel of your choice. If you cannot afford counsel, the following office may be able to provide legal assistance to you.

      MidPenn Legal Services
      3500 East College Avenue, Suite 1295
      State College, PA 16801
      Telephone: 800-326-9177 (toll free within PA)
      814-238-4958 (outside PA)


      You may also complete and file the required pleadings yourself. Please note you are required to comply with the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure. Be sure to read and follow all instructions. Contact:
      Prothonotary’s Office

      Mifflin County Courthouse
      20 North Wayne Street
      Lewistown, PA 17044
      Telephone: 717-248-8146

      Forms and instructions are also available online at the
      Prothonotary Forms page.

  • Jury Services
    • Are accommodations available if I have a disability?

      ​The Court of Common Pleas of Mifflin County is required by law to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.  For information about accessible facilities and reasonable accommodations available to disabled individuals having business before the court, please contact the court office (717-248-4613).  All arrangements must be made at least 72 hours prior to any hearing or business before the court.

    • How long will I serve?

      ​Criminal trials do not usually last longer than one or two days.  Generally, civil trials do not last longer than three to four days.  However, some trials last longer.

    • How often do I have to serve as a juror?

      ​There is no limit on the number of times your name may be drawn for service.  In Pennsylvania, however, anyone who has served on a trial as a juror fewer than three days does not need to serve again for one year.  Anyone who has served three days or more does not have to serve again for three years.  If drawn and you wish to serve again before the expiration of those time periods, you may.  In Mifflin County, anyone who has served as a juror for one day does not have to serve again for three years.  They need only report their prior service date and their desire to be excused to the court office if called upon a second time within the three-year period.

    • Is it possible to appear for jury service and not sit on a jury?

      Yes.  More people are called than actually serve because it is not always possible to estimate accurately the number of jurors who will be needed to serve each day.

    • Is my employer required to pay me while I serve as a juror?

      ​If you work for the government, your employer must pay you.  If you work in the private sector, your employer does not have to pay you.  However, many employers recognize the importance of jury service and compensate their employees accordingly.

    • May I communicate with the court and schedule a more convenient time to serve?

      ​In many cases, the court will do what it can to accommodate you.  Call the court office (717-248-4613) and ask.  Don’t simply ignore the summons.

    • May I go home at the end of the day?

      ​Jurors almost always go home at the end of the day.  Sequestration is a term used to describe jurors staying at a local hotel at the county’s expense during the trial.  Sequestration rarely occurs.

    • What happens if I am late and cannot get to court before the time the trial starts?

      ​Telephone the court office (717-248-4613) as soon as possible.

    • What happens if I ignore my summons for jury service?

      ​A jury summons is a court order.  If you ignore it, you are subject to arrest and prosecution.

    • What if my employer doesn’t allow me to serve?

      ​The law prohibits any employer from preventing an employee to serve as a juror.  The law also prohibits an employer from depriving a juror of benefits because of jury service, such as requiring you to use vacation time to serve.

    • Who is eligible to serve?

      ​Anyone 18 years of age or older who is a United States citizen and resident of the county and who has not been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year and has not been granted a pardon or amnesty therefor.

    • Will I be paid for serving as a juror?

      ​Yes, $9.00 per day for the first three days and $25.00 per day thereafter.  These fees are set by the State legislature.  The County of Mifflin pays mileage to jurors for transportation to and from the courthouse.

  • Marriage
    • Who can perform marriages?

      ​Members of the clergy, Magisterial District Judges, Mayors, Judges of
      the Court of Common Pleas.

  • Other Services
    • What is the Education Program for Separated Parents?

      ​The Education Program for Separated Parents began with new custody and divorce cases filed as of May 1, 2000. This four-hour education seminar was initiated/coordinated by Judge Searer and Jennifer Mastrofski, Ph.D., retired Associate Professor at Penn State Univ
      ersity. Classes are held monthly at the Mifflin County Annex Building. The primary goals of the program are to educate parties as to the
      effects of divorce and separation upon children and to provide guidance to parties in helping their children adjust to the consequences of separated parents. It also benefits persons related to or working with children of divorce including grandparents, stepparents, foster parents, extended families, remarried individual
      s, adult children of divorced parents, educators, mental health
      professionals and family service providers. There are over 500 comparable programs throughout the United States. A fee of $55.00 will be assessed each individual attending the seminar.

  • Protection From Abuse
    • How do I dismiss my Petition for Protection from Abuse?

      ​Contact your counsel or The Abuse Network.

    • Who can answer my questions and help me file a Petition for Protection from abuse?

      ​Contact counsel of your choice. If you cannot afford counsel, contact:


      The Abuse Network
      31 South Dorcas Street
      Lewistown, PA 17044
      24-Hour Hotline: 717-242-2444

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