Pennsylvania Administrative Office of Courts
Administrative Office of PA Courts
The Pennsylvania court system includes magisterial district, municipal and traffic courts whose cases are small claims and minor crimes. The 60 common pleas courts hold civil and criminal case trials, with a higher jurisdiction by appellate, superior, and commonwealth courts; the state Supreme Court has the highest jurisdiction. The Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC) oversees all judicial matters and is responsible for court records and the online docket sheet Magisterial District Judge Case Management System (MDJS).
Pennsylvania Court Record Availability
The website offers links to a variety of translation, terminology, and code files that can be viewed or downloaded, along with a brief description.
Access to Pennsylvania Court Records
In 2009, the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts introduced the free online MDJS for docket sheets from magisterial district courts, Philadelphia Municipal Court, Court of Common Pleas, and appellate courts. Historical data as old as 1952 was “migrated” but (in most counties) back only to the 1980s/1990s. The docket sheets contain information about the case, defendant, charges, calendar, case accounting, decision/judgment, summons, and affiant, but mask personal information. Certified court record copies must be requested from the specific court Clerk’s office.
Nominal fees are charged by the Clerk’s office for copies of court records. Free searches of docket sheets are available online through the MDJS system.
Court records dating to 1707 are available at the Pennsylvania State archives. The online MDJS system’s historical data varies by county, generally from the 1980s/1990s.
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