The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Legislature , and the Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts have established the rules that must be followed in this office:
Each complaint, petition, and motion being filed in the office is required by the Civil and Criminal Rules of Pennsylvania to go through many steps before it is placed in the proper file;
Each praecipe is an order to follow certain procedures for the issuance of writs , service, copying, attesting, docketing, filing, and then, processing the return of service from the county sheriff;
The office has the responsibility of appointing three members of the BAR association to a Board of Arbitrators upon the receipt of a praecipe. After the hearing, the office submits the bill to the county commissioners for payment, enters the award as prescribed by law, and determines and assesses costs upon appeal;
Upon the filing of notice of appeal, the office notifies the Commonwealth or Superior Court that the appeal has been taken, The office is then ordered to prepare, index , number each page, compile, certify, and assemble in required order the entire original record. It is then properly bound and mailed.
Each criminal case starts with docketing of the transcript from the District Justice. It requires the office to distribute copies. The Clerk of Court files pleading, collects bail (if any), reports disposition, collects costs and fines, pursues contempt charges if the defendant doesn’t comply, appears in court for jury trials, complies with and dockets verdicts and then sentences; and, certifies drivers licenses to the DMV.
For civil cases, the office prepares judgments, enters the judgment on the civil docket, sends notice of the entry of judgment, collects costs, and satisfies the judgment when the account is paid in full; and also keeps the records for all lawsuits & divorces;
For civil and criminal jury trials, the Prothonotary / Clerk of Courts calls the jury members for selection, administers oaths, keeps jury attendance records, takes the verdict, files the verdict as judgment of record, distributes. Copies, and submits jurors’ names for payment for service;
The office also administers oaths and affirmations, attests, certifies, and notarizes documents. It takes bonds and bail and issues warrants, subpoenas, writs, and rules.
This office is also the only U.S. passport agent in the county.