Show All Answers
Smart911 allows citizens to create a "Safety Profile" where they can provide additional details that 9-1-1 call takers may need to assist them during an emergency. When you dial 9-1-1 today, the information received by the call center can be limited based on the phone you are calling from. With Smart911, when you make an emergency call from a phone registered with your Safety Profile, the 9-1-1 systems recognizes your phone number and automatically displays your profile for the call taker, giving them vital information that you have provided in your profile.
A safety profile is a list of information about an individual or a household. Information includes details about all members of the household, all phone numbers (mobile, landline or VOIP) and all addresses including home, work and even vacation homes. Users can also add details about medical conditions, medications, vehicles, pets and even emergency contacts.
You can include contact information, specifics on medical conditions and security information. The safety profile is voluntary, it is up to you to decide how much information you want to share.
Your privacy is important to us. Your information is available ONLY to 9-1-1 call takers and responders and ONLY in the event you call 9-1-1. In some areas, you can choose to allow Smart911 to share your profile with emergency managers as they prepare for and respond to emergencies. If you reside or work in one of these areas, you will be presented with this option.
Everyone should create a safety profile, but people with medical or disability issues are especially encouraged to do so. Also, anyone who uses a cell phone. Cell phones only provide a general location of the caller, not an exact address. Adding your home, school and work addresses can help responders locate you more quickly and easily.
Setting up a profile can take as little as 5-10 minutes, depending on how much information you wish to provide. You can always go back and update or add additional information at a later time.
Once registration is complete, Smart911 will send a message to your registered email address confirming your account. Smart911 will not share your information with to 9-1-1 call centers unless you have verified the phone(s) listed in your profile by responding to the text message or automated call placed to that phone.
Yes. You are encouraged to include everyone in your household. You can also create a safety profile on behalf of elderly parents, family members with disabilities, or anyone not comfortable with computers. In this situation, you must designate yourself as the emergency contact.
You can create a safety profile in multiple languages. When your profile displays at the 9-1-1 center, it will be translated back into English. If an interpreter is required, the 9-1-1 call taker will be able to see which language you designated as your primary language.
The more up-to-date your information is, the better. Smart911 prompts users to verify their information every six months. However, you should update your profile anytime there is any change in information.
Fines, costs and restitution information can be found on the Court of Common Pleas System (CPCMS). For assistance accessing this information, call 610-344-6290 during regular business hours.
Payments should begin immediately after sentencing. Offenders are encouraged to remit additional monies above and beyond their payment plan.
Payment plans provide the minimum monthly payment an offender must make to ensure the case is paid in full by the end of an offender’s probation/parole period. Failure to pay fines, costs and restitution in full by the end of an offender’s probation/parole period may result in a Violation of Probation/Parole Hearing and revocation of the offender’s probation/parole period.
Failure to comply with your payment plan may result in violation of probation/parole with possible sanctions as ordered by a Judge such as suspension of driver's license.
Changes in employment status or home address must be submitted electronically via the Change in Status form.
It is the offender’s responsibility to inform the Probation Officer if they are not able to comply with their current payment plan due to medical issues. The offender must supply medical verification from their treating physician that details the reason, duration and any work restrictions. This does not relieve the offender from monies owed; rather, it may allow the offender additional time to make payments.
Pursuant to 42 Pa. C.S.A. 9728 (g) the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County instituted a $10 per month administrative fee. This is a mandatory fee imposed on all offenders for the processing of paperwork and related activities.
Pursuant to Act 35 of 1991, the offender will be charged a $40 per month supervision fee. This is a fee imposed for the active supervision of an offender’s probation/parole.
Checks returned for insufficient funds will result in a $50 returned check fee. The check writer will have 10 days to make the check good, including payment of the returned check fee. No future personal check will be honored on that account. Individuals who fail to comply with the notice will be referred to the Chester County District Attorney's Office for criminal prosecution.
Pursuant to 42 Pa. C.S.A. 9728 (b) all offender’s convicted at the Court of Common Pleas Level will have a civil judgment filed against them for monies owed. This is filed in the Chester County Prothonotary’s Office. Judgments must be filed regardless if there is a payment plan or if payments are being received. Judgments are only satisfied upon payment in full of all monies owed.
For questions regarding enforcement of restitution, call the Probation Office at 610-344-6290.
Probation is a sentencing alternative that does not involve a period of incarceration.
Parole is a conditional release from incarceration to serve the balance of the original sentence under the supervision of a parole officer.
The conditions are the same and there is no difference between the a Probation Officer and a Parole Officer. It should be noted that the there are two paroling authorities in Pennsylvania: the Common Pleas Court Judges and the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole. The Board of Probation and Parole has parole and supervisory authority over those offenders sentenced to two years or more in prison.
Intermediate Punishment is a sentencing alternative available to the Court that includes incarceration, electronic monitoring, intensive supervision, treatment and, in most cases, community service. Restrictive Intermediate Punishment is an enhanced version of Intermediate Punishment. Those offenders convicted of a violent offense are not eligible for Intermediate Punishment.
The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program is a pre-trial alternative for certain first time offenders facing disposition on a non-violent offense. The District Attorney's Office must approve the offender's application. The Probation Office supervises those placed into the program. Successful participants can earn a dismissal of the charges and are eligible for expungement of the charges.
Offenders in compliance with the terms and conditions of their supervision may be granted permission to travel outside of the US with the approval of the receiving country, the assigned Parole Officer (PO), the District Attorney’s Office (DA) and a Chester County Common Pleas Court Judge. A Temporary International Travel Permit must be filed with the Clerk of Courts after obtaining the above approvals. Leisure travel will not be granted for offenders who owe a balance of restitution and/or are not in compliance with their payment plan for fines and costs. The department strongly discourages the international travel of sex offenders and violent offenders.
Procedure: An offender requesting travel permission must inform their assigned PO prior to any travel plans being made to gain preliminary permission and to obtain the Temporary International Travel Permit. The PO will review the case to ensure that the offender is in good standing, requesting travel for a legitimate purpose, and if the purpose of the trip is for vacation that all restitution is paid in full and the offender is in compliance with his/her payment plan for fines and costs. The defendant’s attorney is responsible for completing the Temporary International Travel Permit and should first contact the Consulate General Office of the destination country to obtain permission to travel. If permission is granted, the defendant’s attorney may proceed with seeking approval and signatures from the DA’s office, the assigned PO and finally the Judge. The document must be filed with Chester County Clerk of Courts at least 10 business days prior to the scheduled date of departure with certified copies distributed to the PO and DA’s office. The offender will notify the PO within 24 hours upon return.
No, Offenders under our supervision are prohibited from possessing a firearm or deadly weapon.
For births after 1906, please contact the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
For marriages after 1930, please contact the clerk of theOrphans’ Court.
Either visit us during business hours or email us with the information from the index and we will provide directions and pricing information for obtaining a copy via mail. Digital access to our original records is currently not available on our website. Our email address is email@example.com.
For divorce records after 1902 please contact the Prothonotary's Office.
For wills 1714-1923, see the index available on our website. For wills after 1923, please contact the Register of Wills Office.
Researchers may save digital record images from microfilm and research room computers. To take advantage of this option, researchers must bring in a new, unopened USB/Flash drive; no exceptions.
Pennsylvania State Archives Land Records
Be sure to check the Township – Land Record Clippings at that the Chester County Historical Society. You may find a full description of the buildings published with the announcement of the sale.
The millage rate (also known as mills) is the rate at which tax revenue is generated from assessments, expressed in terms of 1/1000th of assessed value. For Example: 4.369 mills is equivalent to a millage rate of .004369
The formula to calculate real property tax is: Assessment x millage = tax (face amount).
For example: The County millage is the same for all municipalities, therefore the County Tax for a property with an assessed value of $100,000 and a rate of 4.369 mills would be calculated as follows: 100,000 X .004369 = $436.90 (face amount) Note: 4.369 mills is equivalent to a millage of .004369. This is comparable to expressing percentage as whole number (5%) and as a decimal (.05). In the case of millage, the decimal is moved three places to left instead of two.
An assessment is the percentage of the market value of your property. The percentage is known as the predetermined ratio. In Chester County the assessment represents 100% of the appraised (full market value) as of the base year.
An interim assessment is derived from a straightforward mathematical calculation. Simply put, the interim assessment represents the value difference (increase) attributable to any assessable improvement to the land. It is important to note that an interim assessment is the difference between the prior and the revised total assessments. These assessable improvements include, but are not limited to; new construction of a primary structure (dwelling or other building type), the addition to any such structure and the construction of secondary improvements such as swimming pools, garages, barns, sheds, etc.
If the taxpayer does not agree with the assessment and/or effective date, the property owner has the right to file a Notice of Intention of Appeal with the Chester County Board of Assessment Appeals. This Notice of Intention of Appeal must be filed on or before the last day to appeal as indicated on the Assessment Change Notice. The last day to appeal, as indicated, pertains to both the assessment and the effective date. Upon receipt of the Notice, the Board of Assessment Appeals will schedule an appeal hearing and notify the taxpayer and the taxing authorities of the date and time. The taxpayer should be prepared to provide documentation and/or exhibits in support of his/her opinion of value and/or documentation to ascertain a “date certain” for the effective date, if this is at issue. In the event that the taxpayer remains dissatisfied after the Board’s action, further appeal can be taken to the Court of Common Pleas.
Download the Notice Of Intention Of Appeal Form
Forms must be PRINTED, completed and returned to the Assessment Office (313 w. Market Street, Suite 4202, West Chester, PA 19382) by the appropriate filing date. (NO FAXES or ELECTRONIC COPIES please)
The property tax is used as a revenue source by county government, 14 school districts and most of the 73 municipalities in Chester County. It is the responsibility of the County Assessment Office to place a value on each parcel of land and any improvements (structures) thereon. Assessments are derived by assessors who are state certified under Pennsylvania law. After an assessment is generated or changed the property owner is mailed a "Change In Assessment" notice. All property owners have the right to appeal if they do not agree with the assessment of their property. If an appeal is initiated by a school district or municipality, the attorney must provide the Board of Assessment with a copy of a Certificate of Service verifying that the property owner was notified of the appeal within five days of the appeal filing.
For a fee, the County can supply archival, machine readable data upon request. To obtain desired information: Applicants must complete a Request for Information Form. Completed forms must be returned to the following address or emailed to OutsideRequests@chesco.org: Chester County Courthouse Attention: Outside Request Department of Computing and Information Services 313 W. Market Street, Suite 5302 West Chester, PA 19380-0991
Yes. The Assessment Office has implemented Resolution #45-97 which requires a processing fee for each parcel appealed to the Board of Assessment Appeals. The fee for each residential property is $25. The fee for commercial, industrial, parcels subject to preferential assessment such as Act 319 and Act 515 and exemption appeals is $50. The fees apply to both interim and annual appeals and must be paid at the time of filing. A check or money order is to be made payable to "Chester County Treasurer". This fee will not be refunded for failure to appear or withdrawal of the appeal. If you are over 60 years of age and want to appeal the assessment on your primary residence but are unable to afford the $25 processing fee, call the intake staff at the Department of Aging (610-344-6350), as you may be eligible for assistance. Proof of financial eligibility will be required.
Annual Appeal - Appeal of Total Assessment.
Property owners have an opportunity to appeal their assessment every year. By appealing, the property is open to the re-valuation process in which the property assessment may be lowered, raised or remain the same. Annual appeals may be filed from May 1 through August 1 (or the next official business day should August 1 fall on a weekend) of each year. In the case of an annual appeal, the Board decision does not take effect until tax bills are issued the following tax year.
Interim Appeal - Appeal of Increase in Assessment due to new construction.
The interim assessment represents the value difference (increase) attributable to any assessable improvement to the land and the resulting increase in land value, if any. Assessable improvements include, but are not limited to; new construction of a primary structure (dwelling or other building type), the addition to any such structure and the construction of any ancillary, contributory improvements such as swimming pools, sheds, garages, barns, etc. A property owner filing an interim appeal also has the option to file an annual appeal by August 1. Appeal forms for an interim appeal must be filed within forty (40) days of the date of notification of the assessment change. The appeal date will be noted on the Assessment Change Notice. Any change in the assessment due to an interim appeal is effective commencing with the interim effective date. To file an interim appeal you may download and complete the appeal form or you may contact the Assessment Office at: 610-344-6105, or VISIT the office at: 313 W. Market St, Suite 4202, West Chester, PA 19382.
In Chester County, the hearings are conducted by a 3 member Board of Assessment Appeals appointed by the County Commissioners. The Board members serve 4-year terms, which are concurrent with the terms of the County Commissioners.
The process is relatively simple. At a brief hearing the property owner has the opportunity to present such information as recent appraisals or recent sales documentation for sales of similar homes in their area. The property owner may also present other information that may have an impact on the value of the property.
The Board of Assessment Appeals requests that the property owner provide photographs (front and rear) of the dwelling or commercial property. The photographs should be recent within the last six months and are to include any recent physical changes to the exterior of the property. Failure to bring these photographs on your appeal date may result in an unnecessary delay in processing the appeal. Your assistance is anticipated and appreciated.
The property owner is requested to attend but if unable to do so, may send someone to provide the representation with a letter of authorization. If a property owner is unable to attend for medical reasons, the Board will make special accommodations. If the property is owned jointly by more than one person it is not necessary that all the owners appear at the hearing.
Based upon the documentation provided by the property owner, the Board will determine a fair market value for the property. The Board will then by statute, apply the appropriate Common Level Ratio (CLR) to the fair market value to arrive at the new assessed value.
NOTE: The CLR is created by the Pa. State Tax Equalization Board (STEB) on an annual basis for each county. The CLR is an average of assessments to sale prices (based upon valid sales activity in Chester County for the prior calendar year). The CLR is applied only when the ratio varies by more than 15% from the 100% predetermined ratio.
The Assessment Office (via the field assessor) can not consider the CLR when computing the assessment. The assessor derives the assessment by gathering the data on the new construction and using the computer assisted mass appraisal model established prior to the last countywide reassessment which was effective for 1998.
For more information on the Common Level Ratio go to STEB. The Board generally renders a decision within 3-4 weeks of the hearing date and notifies the property owner in writing. In the case of annual appeals, no results will be mailed until after August 1.
ChescoViews is an online GIS application that provides read-only access to the County’s Land Record information. There are various search tools to help locate properties / parcels. Maps can also be printed from this application.
Roads, parcels, municipal boundaries, zip code boundaries, floodplains, streams, lakes, railroads,contour lines, soils, wetlands, subdivisions, and aerial photography.
You can search by:
Items that are selected will be highlighted with a red outline and the map will zoom to them. If more than one feature is selected, then the map will zoom to include all featurest.
CHesCoViews allows you to Zoom In, Zoom Out, and Pan. These functions make ChescoViews similar to other online mapping applications. There is also an ‘Identify’ tool that allows you to click on a feature and get more information about it.
Certain layers will only be visible when you are zoomed in to certain scale levels. If you have a layer turned on in the Table of Contents but do not see the layer on the map, try zooming in closer.
In the window where you specify the size of the map, click ‘No’ for the 'Searched Data’ box.
ChescoViews will run in Internet Explorer (IE) 11, FireFox 35.0, and Chrome 40.0.2214.115, IE 9 and 10.
ChescoViews will not run in IE 8.
ChescoViews has not been tested in Safari in a Windows environment. As such, Chester County makes no guarantees on whether it will work in this environment or not. ChescoViews has not been tested in an Apple operating system (OS) environment.
Please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 610-344-6096
Reports can be made to our office 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 610-344-5800. Reports of suspected child abuse can also be made to Childline at 1-800-932-0313.
Yes, reporter’s names can be kept confidential.
All disturbances greater than 5,000 square feet must have a written Erosion and Sediment Control Plan. Any disturbance associated with the use of Chapter 105 General Permit (GP) (stream crossing, wetland disturbance, etc.), pond dredgings, or one acre and greater disturbance must have an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan developed and reviewed by the Conservation District office.
The Coroner's Office is required to investigate the facts and circumstances of all sudden, violent, traumatic or unexpected deaths that occur within the County. This includes deaths from apparent “natural diseases”, but where the individual had no recent physician of record or documented history of an existing medical condition that could credibly have caused the sudden death. Under these circumstances, it becomes the Coroner’s responsibility to determine how and why an individual died. The Coroner is also responsible for determining the individual’s identity and notifying the next of kin. A Coroner’s investigation will always include examination of the deceased, but may or may not include:
Also, refer to the Pennsylvania Coroner Statues which will also provide a full list of deaths investigated as well as other responsibilities and definitions in reference to the Coroner's Office.
The Chester County Coroner's jurisdiction encompasses the entire County of Chester, Pennsylvania. Deaths must be pronounced in the County to fall under the Coroner's jurisdiction.
When a person dies suddenly or unexpectedly, your first duty is to call 9-1-1 for medical assistance and guidance. All civilians or non-emergency services agencies shall use the following number: 610-436-4700 to request a response/service from the Coroner's Office. This recorded line will be answered in the Chester County Communication Center. Emergency Services agencies shall access the Coroner's Office through normal contact with the dispatcher.
No. The deaths that are not reportable to the Coroner's Office are: deaths due to natural causes where the decedent has been an in-patient of a hospital for at least twenty-four (24) hours, those who die of natural causes while medically attended or as a resident in a nursing facility or in hospice care, and some cases of those who die from natural causes at home and are seen regularly and are under the care of a physician.
The Coroner's Office will send the death certificate to the funeral home. You can request a copy of the death certificate through your funeral home or you can call Vital Records with the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 724-656-3100 or 800-842-5040.
Arrangements for viewing at the morgue cannot be granted. The Coroner's Office will work as quickly as possible to have your loved one taken into the care of the funeral home you have chosen.
An autopsy is an examination of a body of a deceased person by a qualified pathologist or coroner to determine a cause of death. There are a number of reasons why autopsies are performed, however the basic reason is to determine how and why an individual died suddenly and/or unexpectedly. An autopsy can also be performed if, upon investigation, the coroner is unable to determine the cause and manner of death. An autopsy is not necessary in every case brought to the office's attention.
If your family wishes to perform an autopsy and the Coroner's Office does not need to perform one for their investigation, your family can make arrangements with the hospital where the death occurred or with another agency to have a private autopsy performed at your expense.
The next of kin, an attorney, or life insurance company must officially request a copy of the autopsy or toxicology report from the Coroner’s Office by completing and mailing in the Coroner Report Request Form along with a check payable to the “Chester County Coroner”.
The fees for each report are as follows:
The legal next of kin is the closest living relative in the following order: spouse (unless divorced), adult child, parent, adult brother or sister, adult grandchild. Common law marriage was abolished in Pennsylvania as of January 2, 2005. This means you must be legally married in order to be considered a spouse, regardless of length of cohabitation or whether there are children who are issue of the relationship.
If a cause of death is determined after the medical review and forensic examination during the autopsy, the cause of death is typically available to the next of kin the same day as the autopsy, unless the cause and manner of death are "pending".
You may initially be informed that the cause and manner of death are "pending". The initial Death Certificate will note "pending" as cause of death; you may make funeral arrangements with this document. Pending simply means that the cause and manner are still under investigation. The most common reason for pending is toxicological testing. Usually, toxicology results can take 4 to 6 weeks for completion. The next of kin will be notified of all completed pending cases. For this reason, if you move or change your phone number, please advise our office immediately.
Most items are released to the funeral home with the deceased. Other items to be released can be retrieved from the Coroner's Office Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Please make contact with the Coroner's Office at 610-344-6165 for more information.
The funeral director will coordinate the release on your behalf. Generally it only takes 1-2 days.
The nest step for the next-of-kin is to select a funeral home for your loved one. The selection of a funeral home is so the Coroner's Office can release your loved one to the care of a funeral home upon completion of our investigation. If you would like the Coroner's Office to contact the funeral home, inform the deputy coroner . If you would like to handle contacting the funeral home, inform the deputy coroner of which funeral home you have selected, as well as informing the funeral home of your choosing that the Coroner's Office is holding your loved one. The funeral home will then contact the Coroner's Office.
The Chester County Coroner's Office cannot endorse a particular funeral home and is prohibited from recommending a funeral director. A listing of funeral homes within Chester County is available from the Coroner's Office and can also be found on this website.
Most Chester County Magisterial District Judges perform wedding ceremonies in their courtrooms during regular office hours by appointment only. To inquire about a wedding ceremony, contact the District Court directly.
District Courts may accept filings up to $12,000. You may file a civil complaint, sometimes referred to as small claims, in the Magisterial District Court where the party you are suing (the defendant) lives OR where the incident (accident) occurred. If your case involves a landlord-tenant dispute, you may file the case where the property is located. To look up property locations, visit ChesCoViews.
Civil costs vary depending on the amount of your claim and the type of service option you choose to have your complaint served. Please contact the District Court to obtain the exact amount of filing costs.
The Civil Complaint form can be obtained at the District Court or by accessing the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts WEB page.
An appeal for a Civil or Landlord and Tenant case is filed at the Prothonotary's Office. An appeal for a summary, non-traffic or traffic case is filed at the Clerk of Courts Office. Both offices are located on the 1st floor of the Chester County Justice Center.
Yes. Most traffic and parking citations can be paid on the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania Web Portal. You can search for a citation by name, citation number, docket number or payment plan number. If your citation does not appear, contact the appropriate District Court located in box #1 on the front of your citation. A transaction fee of $2.75 will be charged to the user. Please confirm with the District Court that the payment was received and there is no balance on the case.
No, you do not need an attorney to file a case in the Domestic Relations office. Come to the office any weekday between 8:30am-2pm and we will explain the process and help you complete and file the necessary paperwork. If you’d like, we can also arrange for free legal representation through our legal department.
Please bring the following information:
Your interview will take about one hour.
If an order is entered after the initial support conference, a wage attachment will be issued immediately. It normally takes an employer two to three weeks to begin deductions from the defendant’s paycheck. The defendant is required by law to make payments on his/her own until the automated deduction is completed. If payments do not arrive in a timely fashion, the Enforcement Officer assigned to your case will investigate with both the employer and the defendant.
Generally it takes 3-4 weeks from the date of your intake until the date of your conference.
If the defendant has been served with notice to appear (this is usually handled by our office through certified mail), and we have wage information and paternity has been established, a temporary order for support will be issued and a hearing will be scheduled before a Master. If we don’t have proper service or wage information, we will continue our efforts to obtain this information and reschedule the conference. If the defendant does not live in Chester County, we may request another county or state to enter the order. We process all necessary paperwork in that event.
$32 per person. Testing is performed on mother, father and child.
You will receive an Order to Appear for the conference with a list of the required documents. These documents include
Defendants should be prepared to make their first payment at the conference.
By all means you must appear for the conference and you should also bring a parent/ guardian along with you.
Please call the our office (610-344-6215) as far in advance of the conference as possible. We will arrange for a sheriff to be present at the conference, and to escort you to your car if necessary.
No. You do not need to complete that for the support conference.
If the defendant challenges your entitlement on economic grounds, a Temporary Order can be entered, even if no divorce complaint has been filed. If the conference officer has the proper financial information, there is a pending divorce complaint filed in Chester County, and there is an Equitable Distribution claim included in that complaint, the conference officer will enter a temporary order for spousal support even if the defendant challenges the plaintiff’s entitlement. This applies to Alimony Pendente Lite (APL) as well.
Using the parties’ incomes and the Pennsylvania Support Guidelines, the conference officer will calculate the proper amount of support owed by law.
Income for purposes of support is “net income.” Net income is gross income from any source less taxes and mandatory retirement and union dues.
Basic child support is intended to cover the following for the child in question:
Responsibility for other expenses, such as child care and health insurance premiums, is assigned to the parties, depending on who pays them directly and usually in proportion to their incomes, and added to the base amount.
It is always wise to seek legal counsel, but it is not mandatory to have an attorney represent you at the support conference. If either party does not agree with the guideline amount calculated at the conference, they can request the case be listed for a Master Hearing. All plaintiff's are entitled to a staff attorney to represent them at the Master Hearing.
If he/she has been properly served with notice of the conference, regardless of whether plaintiff or defendant, an order may be entered in his/her absence.
Approximately one hour.
Children are entitled to support until they are emancipated. In Pennsylvania, emancipation is defined as lasting until age 18, or until the child graduates high school, whichever occurs later. Emancipation may be later for children with special needs. That determination is up to the Court.
Yes. Depending on the amount of overnight time the child is with either party.
Most often, conferences will be rescheduled by the agreement of both parties. If there is no agreement to reschedule the conference the Court may make a determination to reschedule that conference to the next available date.
If you know about your hearing and you don’t appear, an order may be entered in the other party’s favor or a bench warrant may be issued for your arrest.
Your enforcement officer and/or his/her support staff. You must inform us immediately of any changes, including address, telephone number or employer.
They can call their nearest outpatient program. A counselor from the program will meet with them to do an assessment and set up a treatment plan. This could be treatment as an outpatient or a referral to a different service that would best meet their need,s such as a residential rehab program. If they have insurance, they should start by calling the insurance company to find out how to proceed.
See our list outpatient programs or call the COAD Group at 800-917-1117 for the telephone number of the nearest program.
AA Meeting Locator
NA Meeting Locator
The COAD Group at 1-800-917-1117 is funded by the Department of Drug and Alcohol Services to provide drug and alcohol information and referral to citizens. They can provide you with information about the signs and symptoms of substance use and can provide you with resources.
Funding assistance is available for drug and alcohol treatment. The first step is to contact the closest drug & alcohol treatment program. The outpatient program will complete an assessment, make necessary referrals, and arrange for funding assistance from the Department of Drug and Alcohol Services.
Contact the Chester County DUI Program at 610-344-6800.
Yes. There are strict state and federal laws covering the confidentiality of drug and alcohol treatment records. No one may be given information about your participation in drug and alcohol treatment without your specific written consent.
The COAD (Counsel on Addictive Diseases) Group is funded by the Department of Drug and Alcohol Services to provide drug and alcohol prevention services to the community. Call 1-800-917-1117 to get information on speakers. Also, if you have a drug and alcohol treatment program in your area they will often provide speakers for local community groups.
The COAD (Counsel on Addictive Diseases) Group is funded by the Department of Drug and Alcohol Services to provide information to the community. They can be contacted to obtain pamphlets, brochures, etc. at 1-800-917-1117.
If you have any other questions about treatment, drug and alcohol programs, how to get help, or anything else about drugs and alcohol you can call 1-866-286-3767 or 1-800-692-1100 ext. 6620 You can also visit ReferWeb. ReferWeb has information about drug and alcohol and many other services. For information on all licensed treatment providers in Chester County, visit http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/about.htm
per the National Weather Service, Mt Holly, NJ Weather Field Office: The climatology in western Chester County is quite different compared to the eastern part of the county, which means the weather can be a lot different too. For instance, during the winter months, the western portions of the county may receive a lot more snow than the eastern sections. When this situation arises, we can now issue a warning just for the western portion of the county if we think snow will be heavier there than in the east. This holds true for other types of hazardous weather as well, such as excessive heat, where the more urban areas in the eastern section of the county experience higher temperatures than in the west. Population density also plays a role because the effects of hazardous weather become more problematic as the number of people affected increases.
Emergency preparedness information is available on ReadyChesco.org.
In Chester County, there are several ways to get information during an emergency:
Officials ordering you to evacuate will tell you where shelters have been established. Follow their instructions.
When Chester County opens a shelter for people, the County Animal Response Team will open a pet shelter in the same facility. If multiple shelters are opened, not all shelters will be pet friendly. Check our Facebook, Twitter, or website for information on pet-friendly shelters.
Residents living within the 10-mile radius, who have not already done so, may obtain Potassium Iodide (KI) from the Chester County Health Department.
No. Chester County only uses warning sirens to indicate an emergency at one of the nuclear power plants.
Call your electric company. Do NOT call 9-1-1.
Chester County's main power providers are:
Premise Information is used to alert responders of special circumstances at a specific address. This information is presented each time an incident is entered for that address. For more information and instructions on how to have your information entered into the Premise Information system, visit here
If you placed a 9-1-1 call, you are legally permitted to have a copy. . Anyone else requesting a copy of a 9-1-1 call must provide a subpoena. For more information and instructions on how to obtain copies of 9-1-1 calls, visit our website
The Public Safety Training Campus has four rooms available for meetings and conferences. To make a reservation, call 610-344-4100 or email.
Everyone is welcome to tour the 9-1-1 Center, Emergency Operations Center and the Public Safety Training Campus. Schedule a tour
Emergency Services has a training website at http://destraining.chesco.org
Please remember if you have a true emergency, call or text 9-1-1. Click here to get the non-emergency phone numbers to the police, fire and ambulance stations of Chester County.
Children come into this program as referrals from parents, schools, mental health agencies, juvenile probation, district courts, fire stations and police departments. The juveniles, due to their actions, that have escalated into the Court System are required to attend the complete program as part of the sentencing process. The Judges have welcomed the program as an alternative or in addition to monetary penalties. For more information on this program please call 610-344-5000 or email the Fire Marshal's Office.
Yes, Mediation Orientation is mandatory. It takes about 30 minutes and is scheduled on a date mutually convenient to the parties. If you do not attend mediation orientation, there may be serious consequences for you or your case. The only exception to this rule is if you or the child has been abused by the other party within the past 24 months. If that is true, you should notify the mediator of this fact and the mediator will decide whether or not to hold the mediation session.
No. Each party pays $90 for up to a two hour session with the mediator, including the orientation. If one party decides not to stay for mediation after the orientation, there is no mediation. However, if both parties decide to continue, the mediation will take place for no additional fee. If it ends before the two hours, there is no refund.
A custody mediator is a trained professional and a neutral third party who has been approved by the Court to conduct custody mediations.
Lawyer Referral Service Phone:610-429-1500 Legal Aid/Access to Justice Phone: 1-877-429-5994 (Monday to Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.)
For births after 1906, please contact the Pennsylvania Department of Health
You can find out the age of your system by requesting a copy of your septic system permit by submitting the Sewage and Well File Look Up Form.
There are several laboratories in Chester County that offer well water testing.
Records are available from our office. Call 610.344.6252 during regular business hours.
Complaints are handled by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
Visit the Chester County Solid Waste Authority for information on disposing of red bag waste.
Links to Heath Insurance Programs
Visit our webpage on medication drop-off disposal boxes.
Latex paint is not hazardous waste. Latex paints are water-based and are a safer substitute for oil-based paints. They can be placed in the trash after allowing to harden. Take the top off the pain can and place it outside, away from pets and children. Allow it to harden. If the can is very full, absorb the material by mixing it with sawdust, clay-based cat litter, or rags. Stir with a stick until all the paint is absorbed. When the paint is solidified, it can be placed in the trash leaving the lid off.
Several municipalities in Chester County maintain their own code enforcement office. These municipalities have primary jurisdiction over housing conditions such as high grass/weeds, abandoned vehicles, junk/debris accumulations. If you live in one of these municipalities and have a housing complaint, please contact thecode enforcement office for your area. If you live in a municipality that does not have a code enforcement office, please call 610-344-6225 or email email@example.com to lodge a complaint.
Chester County Hospital and Paoli Hospital have travel immunization programs. You can find information on both on our International Travel Information web page.
Yes. Property owners who disagree with the decision of the assessor may appeal to the Board of Assessment Appeals for a review of the decision. Appeal must pertain to application filing, deadlines, reapplication or the definition of a property as “homestead property” or “farmstead property.” Appeal instructions will be provided with the denial notice.
Human Services, Inc.330 West Market StreetWest Chester, PA 19380610-429-3033
La Comunidad Hispana731 West Cypress StreetKennett Square, PA 19348610-444-7550
Maternal and Child Health Consortium (MCHC)1001 East Lincoln HighwayCoatesville, PA 19320484-378-4030
Oxford Area Neighborhood Services35 North Third StreetOxford, PA 19363610-932-8557
Phoenixville Area Community Services257 Church StreetPhoenixville, PA 19460610-933-1105
You may also go to http://www.referweb.net/chesco/. Use the category “Clothing/Food/Personal Goods/Services” and the subcategory “Food” to search for programs in your area.
Chester County Information and Referral Providers
You may also go to http://www.referweb.net/chesco and use the Refer Web Information and Referral Database. Use the category “Family/Community Services” and the subcategory “Donor Services” to search for programs in your area.
This list is not all-inclusive. You can go to http://www.referweb.net/chesco/ and use the ReferWeb Information and Referral Database if you cannot find the hotline number you are looking for.
http://www.state.pa.us : Pennsylvania Power Port gives information and links to various online Government services and programs. Driver’s license and registration services, requesting copies of birth and death certificates, and submitting applications for hunting and fishing licenses are some of the more commonly used services on this website.
www.referweb.net : Chester County Health and Human Services online Resource Directory
www.govbenefits.gov : Gives information about Government benefit eligibility and application.
www.dhs.state.pa.us : Gives information about the PA Department of Human Services (formerly the Dept. of Public Welfare).
www.compass.state.pa.us : Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Access to Social Services. Allows individuals and community based organizations to screen, to apply, and to renew a broad range of social services provided through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
pacareerlink.state.pa.us : Pennsylvania Career Link is a cooperative effort to provide one-stop delivery of career services to job seekers, employers and other interested individuals. These services are also available at the following Chester County locations:
Chester County CareerLink OfficeOaklands Corporate Center479 Thomas Jones Way, Suite 500Exton, PA, 19341610-280-1010
1003 East Lincoln HighwayCoatesville, PA 19320 www.connectpoints.org
Legal Aid of Chester County222 North Walnut Street, 2nd FloorWest Chester, PA 193801-877-429-5994
Legal Aid of Southeast PennsylvaniaHelpline: 9:00 AM-1:00 PM, Monday-Friday1-877-429-5994
La Comunidad Hispana731 West Cypress StreetKennett Square, PA, 19348610-444-7550
You may also go to http://www.referweb.net/chesco/ and use the Refer Web Information and Referral Database. Use the category “Legal Services/Immigration” and the subcategory “Tenant/Landlord Services”.
Enter the Justice Center through the Market Street entrance. Take the elevator to the 5th floor. Make a left and follow the hallway to the Jury Assembly Room, Suite 5325.
You may be called to serve if you are at least 18 years old, a United States citizen, and a resident of Chester County.
Chester County uses lists from the Departments of Human Services, Transportation, Revenue and State as well as the Chester County Voters Services list. The required number of jurors for a particular day are randomly selected by the computer and summoned to appear for jury service.
Jury selection is a random process. As such, there is always the chance that a person may never be called while another may be called several times.
No. Jury service is a civic obligation. No one is automatically excused because of their occupation. Many doctors, lawyers, dentists and school teachers have served as jurors in Chester County. Not even the judges themselves are exempt from jury service.
If you are selected to serve as a trial juror, your jury service will be for the length of that trial. Most trials take between one and five days to complete. Because of this, DO NOT make any appointments or commitments that would interfere with you serving on a trial that may take up to five days to complete. If you are not selected as a trial juror, your length of service will be two days.
You will be greeted by jury personnel in Suite 5325, 5th Floor of the Chester County Justice Center, where you will check in. A brief orientation will be provided by a jury commissioner advising you of the jury selection procedures. During jury selection you will be told about the length of the trial. Any conflicts that you may have will be addressed during jury selection.
The normal business hours for the Chester County courts are 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. You may be required to report at a different time. The phone call-in system will advise you of the specific time to report if your services are required. If you are seated on a trial, you may serve later than 4:30 p.m. Breaks and a minimum of one hour for lunch will be provided.
After you have received and responded to your summons, you must call the Jury Information Line: 1-800-223-JURY (1-800-223-5879) or 610-344-6597 after 5:00 p.m. each day prior to your service dates. Service dates are listed on your jury summons. Instructions concerning reporting time will be given via a recorded message. Please listen carefully and follow all instructions. Jurors scheduled for Monday and Tuesday must call Sunday and Monday evenings. Jurors scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday must call Monday and Tuesday evenings. Jurors scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday must call Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Jurors scheduled for Friday must call Thursday evening.
Per Pennsylvania law, jurors are paid $9.00 per day for the first three days of jury service and $25.00 per day for every day thereafter. PA law also requires payment of mileage at the rate of 17 cents per mile. Mileage is calculated by using a zip code table from the Chester County Justice Center to the center of the zip code listed in the mailing address of the juror.
No, Pennsylvania law does not require an employer to compensate an employee for jury service. Check with your employer for their policy.
The law provides that such conduct is contempt of court punishable by fine and or imprisonment.
Pennsylvania law does not exclude persons over the age of 18 due to age. However, Chester County is liberal with excusing senior citizens upon written request for good reason.
The number of jurors needed by the court changes daily. An adequate number of jurors must be summoned each day to cover potential trials. We try to summon as few jurors as possible. In the past, all jurors summoned were required to report each day and then were sent home if they were not needed. As a convenience to jurors, we established the call-in system to avoid an unnecessary trip to the Justice Center.
Only persons for whom jury service would be an extreme hardship may be excused. Should you need to be excused from jury service or have your jury service postponed, YOU MUST SUBMIT A REQUEST IN WRITING to the Jury Commission’s Office, Chester County Justice Center, P.O. Box 2746, West Chester, PA 19380-0989. Please include your juror number and service date with your correspondence. These requests must be in writing and will not be accepted over the phone.
Parking is provided for jurors in the Chester County Parking Garage located directly across the street from the Chester County Justice Center. You must show your juror information sheet to the parking attendant to enter the garage. After entering the garage, proceed to the third floor where an attendant will be on duty between 8:00am-8:30am to admit jurors - plan to arrive accordingly. When approaching the two gates located on the third floor please use the gate on the left hand side. Once the attendant has opened the gate, you will be directed to park on the top floor.
Reminder: If you leave the garage during the day you cannot get back in. The County will pay for your parking in the above-mentioned parking garage ONLY. There are two entrances to the garage - from Market Street and from Wollerton Alley.
If there is inclement weather and the county has a delayed opening, the time to check into the parking garage will be adjusted accordingly. For example, if the county opens on a one-hour delay, parking will be open from 9:00 am – 9:30 am.
If you have an emergency on the day your are scheduled to report for jury duty, please call the Jury Commission Office at 610-344-6174 before 9:00 a.m.
Please use good judgment and dress conservatively We suggest simple business attire that is comfortable and not extreme in style. This helps maintain the dignity of the court. Blue jeans, shorts, tank tops and tee shirts are not suitable.
Yes, all persons entering the Justice Center are subject to a security search and will be required to pass through a metal detector. Please do not bring any sharp objects with you (scissors, pen knives, knitting needles, etc).
Selection of a Jury Opening Statements Plaintiff’s attorney (or prosecuting/Commonwealth’s attorney for a criminal case) Defendant’s attorney Testimony of Witnesses and Presentation of Evidence Plaintiff’s attorney (or prosecuting/Commonwealth’s attorney for a criminal case) Direct examination of plaintiff’s witnesses by plaintiff’s attorney Cross-examination of plaintiff’s witnesses by defendant’s attorney Redirect examination of plaintiff’s witnesses by plaintiff’s attorney Defendant’s attorney Direct examination of defendant’s witnesses by defendant’s attorney Cross-examination of defendant’s witnesses by plaintiff’s attorney Redirect examination of defendant’s witnesses by defendant’s attorney Selection and Preparation of Jury Instructions Jury Instructions Presented to the Jury Closing Arguments Plaintiff’s attorney (or prosecuting/Commonwealth’s attorney for a criminal case)Defendant’s attorney Plaintiff’s attorney (or prosecuting/Commonwealth’s attorney) to close the case Jury Deliberations Verdict of the Jury
Do NOT wear: shorts; tank tops; tight or revealing clothing; pants that hang down and expose your underwear; clothing with drug, gun, or gang references; or ripped or torn clothing.
A strategic plan helps an organization to focus its energy, to ensure employees are working towards the same goals and enables an organization to effectively manage its resources. A strategic plan ensures a consistent focus for decision-making and performance (of individuals and departments).
Strategic planning offers the opportunity to:
Chester County has undergone major growth and rapid change over the last decade. This growth led to a decision by the Commissioners to review the government's priorities for the future. It also contributes to the Commissioners' goals to increase accountability, transparency, and performance in Chester County government.
Managing for Results is a comprehensive and integrated management system that focuses on achieving results for the customer which makes it possible for departments to demonstrate accountability to the taxpayers.
Chester County had grown and changed rapidly over the prior ten years. The Board of Commissioners decided that a new set of priorities and goals should be established through a strategic plan that would meet the needs of citizens today and for the future.
Chester County’s strategic plan makes clear what the County does, how well it does it, what it costs, and the value Chester County citizens receive. It helps the Commissioners, and all County departments, to prioritize their efforts, maximizing the services provided, at the most efficient cost.
From start to finish, the initial strategic planning process took two years.
Managing for Results is the underlying message of Chester County’s strategic plan. That means that department business plans are written – and subsequently implemented – to achieve measurable results.
As a result of the strategic planning effort and use of Managing for Results, the County is able to offer more accountability and address three critical issues:
The goals adopted by the County Commissioners are currently divided into seven priority areas.
The current goals adopted by the Commissioners were developed based on responses from the two county-wide citizen surveys conducted in 2009 and 2013, consultation with County department heads, key staff, and subject matter experts, and suggestions offered by over 150 community leaders who participated in facilitated discussion groups held throughout 2013.
Some goals will be met with direct input from County departments, while others will be met through indirect initiatives by the County.
For instance, one of the goals is that by 2019, 30 percent of the acreage in Chester County will be preserved for open space, consistent with the goals of the county’s Landscapes 2 planning guide. To attain that goal, the Department of Open Space Preservation will work to distribute the funds the County has budgeted for open space preservation. Chester County’s Planning Commission staff will work with individual municipalities to help them achieve open space efforts.
Another one of the Commissioners’ goals – that of keeping the crime rate low – will be achieved through indirect initiatives. In this instance, the County provides support, training, and forensic services to our local law enforcement partners.
The certification is signed by the Assistant Clerk of the Orphans' Court. In some instances, for example, Foreign Registration of the Marriage or Foreign Adoptions, the certification must be signed by the Elected Clerk of the Orphans' Court and the Court. You must determine which type of certification is needed. Refer to the section on Marriage Records for a Foreign Country for more details.
A form for requesting certified marriage records is available in the Forms and Documents section. Walk-in requests are processed immediately. Please allow 7 to 10 working days for processing of mail-in requests. All requests require the following information:
Name of male applicant Name of female applicant at the time of application Date of Marriage Daytime Telephone number for all mail-in requests $15.00 fee payable with Cash, Credit Card, or Money Order ONLY. Please do NOT mail cash. Make money order payable to "Clerk of the Orphans' Court." If the request is by mail, a self-addressed, stamped envelope must be enclosed for the return of the Certification. Mail the request to: Marriage License Department, Chester County Justice Center, 201 W. Market Street, Suite 2200 PO Box 2746, West Chester, PA 19380.
Our park staff make every effort to accommodate visitors with disabilities.Most County park trails are ADA accessible. Hibernia, Nottingham and Warwick Parks offer playgrounds accessible to those with disabilities per ADA standards.
All of our parks have internal trails particularly well-suited to horseback riding, except for Wolf’s Hollow, which is only open to hiking, per township requirements.
Horseback riding is permitted on the Schuylkill River Trail because it is unpaved and does not have a high degree of pedestrian and bicycle activity. Other county trails are off-limits to equestrian due to the large numbers of joggers and cyclists and the excessive damage that regular horseshoes can cause to paved, macadam trail surfaces.
Yes, any of the County parks would make a lovely backdrop for an informal outdoor wedding. Please call the park office at least 60 days prior to the event date. An agreement must be signed and fees paid in advance, including pavilion rentals. For a more formal occasion, The Manor House at Springton Manor Farm is available. For more information on the Manor, call Scott at 610-733-2516.
Regional trails with smooth, macadam surfaces (ie., the Chester Valley Trail) are permitted for:
The following are NOT permitted for use on our trails:
Possession of beer, alcohol or other controlled substances is strictly prohibited at any County park or trail.
The operation of any type of mini-bike, trail bike, all-terrain vehicle, snowmobile or other vehicle that cannot be registered for operation on public highways, except in areas designated for that purpose, is prohibited. Only then, with County approval and the appropriate permit, are such vehicles permitted.
No, Ice-skating is prohibited on any pond or lake at all County parks.
All County parks and trails welcome the active involvement of volunteers in the Friends Groups affiliated with the County.
Swimming is not permitted at any County Park.
Chambers Lake is stocked with warm water species including channel catfish, chain pickerel, smallmouth and largemouth bass.Non-motorized or electric powered boats ONLY. No sailboats. All watercraft must be registered with the PA Fish and Boat Commission. Boating for the purpose of fishing is also permitted after park hours. A public fishing pier is open on the north side of the lake and may be accessed from Lake Trail. Other shoreline fishing is permitted, but is prohibited from the dam breast itself. Swimming is prohibited at Chambers Lake.
Pets are permitted everywhere except in picnic areas and the Great Barn complex at Springton Manor Farm. All pets must be restrained on a leash not exceeding six feet in length.
The fee for an expedited passport is and additional $60 (for a total of $170) and takes a minimum of 2-3 weeks. If a passport is needed within 14 days you must appear in person at the US Customs House in Philadelphia by appointment only. Call 1-877-487-2778 for an appointment.
2. Naturalization certificate if you became a naturalized citizen.
3. Valid drivers license. Parents ID will be used for minors who do not drive.
4. Two 2” x 2” identical photographs. Photographs may be taken at the Sheriff’s Office, located at the same address, for a fee of $10 payable by check or money order. School photos are not acceptable.
Information required on the form: your social security number, parent’s birthdate and birthplace, current or previous marriage information.
If one parent or guardian cannot be present, a statement of consent form (#DS3053), or a comparable written statement, must be presented at the time of applying and must be notarized within 90 days of the application. Please be sure to include a front and back copy of the non-appearing parent's ID. It must be the same ID the parent used to notarize the documentation. All minor children age 15 years and younger that had a previous passport are required to bring both the expired passport and the long form birth certificate.
$80 for children up to 15 years of age, $110 for age 16 years and older. Payments must be made by check or money order. A separate processing fee of $35 is required for each application. This processing fee may be paid in cash, check, or money order. This office does not accept credit or debit cards.
You do not need to include the resident's room number.
Medicaid is a joint Federal and State program that will pay for care in a long-term care setting if the resident does not have the financial means to be able to cover the cost of care. The Medicaid applicant must be medically eligible and meet financial criteria.
Pollworkers are individuals from their voting precinct that have volunteered to work at their local polling location on Election Day.
The basic responsibilities of a pollworker are to check voters in on Election Day so that they may vote. They also help maintain a safe, secure and efficient voting system at the precinct on Election Day.
Every polling place should be staffed by a minimum of five (5) pollworkers. A team of pollworkers at a precinct consists of a Judge of Election, two (2) Inspectors and usually two (2) clerks (sometimes larger precincts need more clerks to help staff the location).
There are two elections every year, Primary elections are always held on the third Tuesday in the month of May, except during a Presidential year, in which case the primary is held on the fourth Tuesday in April. General and Municipal elections are scheduled for the Tuesday following the first Monday in the month of November.
The Judge of Election and both inspectors are required to work full day shifts. A full day runs from about 6:00AM until about 9:30PM on Election Day. Clerks can choose to work full day or half day shifts.
The benefits of being a pollworker are ever expanding, but some of the great points are: serving your community, meeting your neighbors, making new friends all while getting paid to do it.
Yes, although it is primarily a volunteer position the pollworkers are compensated for their respective shifts each election as well as for attending the provided training classes.
You are eligible if you:
You are not eligible if you
Complete the Poll Worker Form and email at firstname.lastname@example.org, drop off at our office, or send via ground mail to: Chester County Voter Services, 601 Westtown Road, Suite 150, West Chester, PA 19380-0990.
The political parties and Voter Services must then see that these positions are filled by appointment.
We are always looking for volunteers to work the polls, especially those who are willing to travel to other precincts. Contact us at 610-344-6410 or email@example.com.
Yes we do. Usually our training starts about six weeks before each election. We offer classes that deal with many different aspects of the process at varying times throughout each week (even nights and weekends).
Yes, students of good standing who are 17 years or older may serve as clerks or machine operators. The student must complete the Student Authorization Form and hav eit signed by both the school and their parents. This forms needs to be turned in to Voter Services before the next election.
Yes, as long as the Committee person does not engage in any political activity while the polls are open and acts in a nonpartisan manner in all dealings inside the polls.
The PFA Act does not cover abuse by a stranger or a roommate that the victim is not intimately involved with.
Even though each county is different, the legal process follows the same general pattern. The PFA process usually starts by filling out a form called a "petition" at the local county courthouse. The questions in the petition ask victims to explain why they want protection and to describe the abuse they suffered. In legal terms, the person who wants the PFA is called the "petitioner" or the "plaintiff". ThePFA petition also asks the petitioner to tell what they want the PFA to do. Usually, there are employees at the courthouse who can help to complete PFA petitions, and give information about free or low-cost legal services in the county or region. The PFA Act says that courthouse information and assistance to PFA petitioners should be provided in both English and Spanish.
After the petition is filled out, a judge will read it and may ask the plaintiff to answer a few questions. The abuser will not usually be present in the court for this. The judge may grant or deny a temporary PFA order and will schedule a date for a final hearing. A temporary PFA order will protect a victim and/or children until the date of the final hearing. This hearing will take place within 10 business days.Even if the judge does not grant a temporary protection order, the judge will schedule a final order hearing.
On the date of the PFA hearing, the plaintiff/victim and defendant/abuser will come before a judge. Both are allowed to have attorneys to represent them at this hearing. A domestic violence advocate may also come with the victim. If both the plaintiff and defendant agree on the terms of an order, the judge will make it official. If either does not agree, the judge will give the victim and abuser the chance to talk on the record about the abuse described in the petition.
After listening to the testimony, the judge may grant the plaintiff a final PFA order. Final orders can be in place for any period of time up to and including 3 years.
Always keep a copy of the PFA with you. If there are minor children protected by the PFA provide a copy to the children's school or daycare center. You may also give a copy to your employer if you so choose.
A defendant who violates a PFA order can be arrested and charged with a crime called indirect criminal contempt. The victim may be asked to testify about the violation at a court hearing. If the court finds the defendant guilty of violating the PFA order, the court can give jail time, probation, and/or fines. Even though the police may arrest and charge an abuser for indirect criminal contempt, the abuser may be released before the hearing. Victims should consider talking to a domestic violence advocate about steps to take to stay safe.
A plaintiff who has a PFA order does not have to register it in a different county or state for it to be valid, but registering it with the local courthouse may be helpful. On the plus side, registering an order allows police to quickly verify the order and respond faster to if an abuser violates it. On the downside, some states will notify the defendant when the victim registers a PFA order in a new county or state. If thevictim does not want an abuser to know where they are, they may not want to register the PFA. Procedures for registering a PFA order vary from state to state.
It is good for a victim to have a certified copy of the order along at all times, especially if a victim decides not to register a PFA order after moving. (A certified copy is one that is stamped with a raised seal and initialed by the court.) It is also a good idea to have multiple copies of the order for work, home, and/or school.
A domestic violence advocate can help victims with many services. They may be able to help victims fill out a PFA petition or go with the victim to court. Advocates can give victims information about the county PFA process and help victims to make a safety plan.
What a victim says to a domestic violence program advocate is confidential. By law, an advocate cannot repeat what victims tell them, even if called into court by a judge. The only exception is that the advocate must report it if the victim reveals that a child is in danger of being abused. Confidentiality between victims and advocates means that victims can speak freely about their circumstances and planfor their future safety.
Whether a plaintiff wishes to file a PSV or a PFI depends on the facts of the case.
A plaintiff files a PSV when the plaintiff has been a victim of sexual violence. Sexual violence is conduct between persons who are not family members that includes: sexual offenses, endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors, sexual abuse of children, and unlawful contact with minors and sexual exploitation of children.
A plaintiff files a PFI when the plaintiff is a victim of harassment or stalking AND the conduct is committed by a person over 18 against a person under 18.
Even though each county is different, the legal process follows the same general pattern. The PSVI process usually starts by filling out a form called a "petition" at the local county courthouse. The questions in the petition ask victims to explain why they want protection and to describe the abuse they suffered. In legal terms, the person who wants the PSVI is called the "petitioner" or the "plaintiff". ThePSVI petition also asks the petitioner to tell what they want the PSVI to do. The PSVI Act says that courthouse information and assistance to PSVI petitioners should be provided in both English and Spanish.
After the petition is filled out, a judge will read it and may ask the plaintiff to answer a few questions. The abuser will not usually be present in the court for this. The judge may grant or deny a temporary PSVI order and will schedule a date for a final hearing. A temporary PSVI order will protect a victim and/or children until the date of the final hearing. This hearing will take place within 10 business days. Even if the judge does not grant a temporary protection order, the judge will schedule a final order hearing.
On the date of the PSVI hearing, the plaintiff/victim and defendant/abuser will come before a judge.Both are allowed to have attorneys to represent them at this hearing. If both the plaintiff and defendant agree on the terms of an order, the judge will make it official. If either does not agree, the judge will give the victim and abuser the chance to talk on the record about the abuse described in the petition.
After listening to the testimony, the judge may grant the plaintiff a final PSVI order. Final orders can be in place for any period of time up to and including 3 years.
Always keep a copy of the PSVI with you. If there are minor children protected by the PSVI provide a copy to the children's school or daycare center. You may also give a copy to your employer if you so choose.
A defendant who violates a PSVI order can be arrested and charged with a crime called indirect criminal contempt. The victim may be asked to testify about the violation at a court hearing. If the court finds the defendant guilty of violating the PSVI order, the court can give jail time, probation, and/or fines.
Even though the police may arrest and charge an abuser for indirect criminal contempt, the abuser may be released before the hearing.
It is important for victims to have their certified PSVI orders with them whenever they are traveling. A certified copy is stamped "Certified" in red with a raised seal and initialed by the court.
It is also a good idea to have multiple copies of the order for work, home, and/or school.
In landlord/tenant cases, we only accept cash, money order or certified funds for payments to be escrowed.
The Clerk of the Orphans’ Court, acting as a conduit for the Court, accepts filings for Orphans’ Court matters. The Court, in accordance with Federal, State and Local rules and statutes, determines the correctness of the filings.
The Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans’ Court have prepared the information provided on this website. Nothing contained herein is intended to be legal advice or to offer any opinion of the legal remedies available or appropriate in any particular circumstance. It is hoped that the information presented will merely be useful in answering frequently asked questions concerning the Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans’ Court.
Please Note: You will forfeit the 10% hand money deposit if you do not pay the balance of the purchase price by the 21-day deadline.
Yes. seven miles of multi-purpose, connecting trails range from .19 miles to 2.47 miles. Full color trail maps may be purchased in the park office for $1.
Yes, in the catch and release pond. A current Pennsylvania fishing license is required. Learn about other fishing opportunities.
No, Springton Manor does not have a playground.
Dogs are welcome in the park on a 6' leash. However, dogs are not permitted in the barn complex area and surrounding animal sheds.
Yes, horseback riding is permitted on trails that are marked for riders. Please do not ride in the vicinity of the following areas: Barn Complex Manor House Carriage House
Our animals are on controlled diets, so please do not feed them without staff permission. Guests are welcome to bring treats like carrots or apples, but please check first to make sure it is ok.
Visit Tax Claim at or mail to: 313 West Market Street Suite 3602 West Chester, PA 19380 Pay online at: Departments - Tax Claim Bureau - Online Payments
All checks must be made out to "Chester County Treasurer".
The Chester County tax bills are sent out on January 15th each year. Municipal bills are sent out February 1st each year.
For County annual tax bills, we have three payment periods after the tax bills are mailed on January 15:
1. 60 day 2% discount period from Jan 15 (Due on Mar 16)
2. Face value due during the 60 days after the discount payment period (Due May 15)
3. Payment made after the face value date incurs a 10 % penalty for payments made up to December 31 of current year.
The last date for payment must be postmarked or paid by December 31st of the current year, no later. No exceptions.
Tax bills are normally sent to person on record listed as the property owner. However, if your property is mortgaged, one of two billing events can occur:
The ultimate responsibility for payment of the real estate tax in Chester County rests with the property owner even though they may not have received their tax bill. If you have not received a tax bill, contact our office and speak with a representative about how to correct the problem. If there has been a change of address, and this is causing your tax bill to be mailed to an incorrect address, the property owner must contact the County Assessment Office to complete the required forms to change the mailing address. Also, it is the responsibility of the property owner to notify the Treasurer's Office of the address change so that the tax bill can be mailed to the correct address.
You must send a written request to the Assessment Office, 313 W Market St West Chester, PA 19382
You can pay online, via postal mail, or in person. Tax bill payments are also accepted at any Chester County branch of DNB First. For more information, visit the Treasurer's Office website.
The Office collects for some townships and boroughs but not for school districts. The authority for your school tax is the school district in which you reside. Any township tax imposed on your residence is under the authority of your local municipality. Municipalities Collected By Chester County Treasurer (listed by municipal number and name):
01 - West Chester
06 – Oxford
07 – Atglen
09 – South Coatesville
10 – Modena
12 - Honey Brook Borough
28 - West Caln Twp
29 – West Brandywine Twp
34 - West Pikeland Twp
35 – Charlestown Twp
47 - East Fallowfield Twp
51 – East Bradford Twp
54 – Willistown Twp
55 - Easttown Twp
58 - Penn Twp
60 – New Garden Twp
63 – Pocopson Twp
72 - Franklin Twp
The current county tax rate is 4.369 (last updated on 02/02/2017)
No, Chester County Government is not the tax authority for the Local Earned Income Tax. This tax is imposed by local cities, boroughs, townships and the like, and may vary from community to community. The PA Department of Community & Economic Development website contains specific information about the many local taxing authorities throughout the state. Please contact your local township/borough with any questions regarding the Local Earned Income Tax.
Simply provide the top portion of your tax bill along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope, when mailing your payment. The top portion is stamped "PAID", and returned to you via postal mail.
Tax Certification requested in person are completed while you wait. For request/payment by mail, the process takes one to two weeks from the date the request is mailed. We do not accept Tax Certifications by FAX.
Under Chester County Ordinance #2017-1, every business holding itself out as a “hotel” must apply a 5% tax to each and every rental of a room with a bed. Other communities throughout the country sometimes refer to this type of tax as a bed tax, lodging tax, occupancy tax or transiency tax. Depending on the size or class of the county and the intended use of the collected revenue, some counties may apply a higher tax rate. In Chester County all but 4% of collected hotel tax dollars is paid over to the Chester County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. The intended purpose is to provide the CCCVB with enough funding to allow them to market Chester County in a highly competitive tourism market. The process is cyclical in nature. That is, we generate revenue through taxes from transients in order to successfully promote our community to those we hope will return again. One half of all proceeds are used to fund a grant program administered by the CCCVB. Visit the CCCVB website for more information on this program.
Complete the Hotel Room Rental Tax Registration Form and send to the Office of the Treasurer.
Permanent residents, anyone occupying or possessing the right to occupy a room, for 30 consecutive nights or longer, are exempt. PA State and Federal employees, on official business, are also exempt.
Hotel Tax Forms
Hotels must submit a tax report by midnight of the 25th day after the close of each calendar month. If your mailing is post-marked before the 25th day of the subsequent month, you will be on time and avoid a penalty.
All hotels must submit a Hotel Room Rental Tax Report on a monthly basis, unless they meet the requirements of Resolution 40.01, which allows for quarterly reporting if certain criteria are met. Contact the Hotel Tax Auditor to see if you qualify.
The meal exemption was intended to provide a small measure of tax relief to those whose hotel bill includes a meal and a room in the same basic charge. The exemption applies to only that portion of the charge, which addresses the meal. Because this charge is not separately identifiable, the allowable exemption rate is stated on the Hotel Room Rental Tax Report. This exemption should NOT be treated as a discount, nor is it intended to serve as an additional source of revenue to the hotelier. If this is difficult to apply, contact the Hotel Tax Auditor for assistance.
Hunting licenses are issued for a fiscal year. Your license will expire on June 30 of the same calendar year.
Yes, you can purchase a license online through the PA Fish & Boat Commission or at a local sporting goods retailer if they are a state agent for the sale of fishing or hunting licenses.
You must be a Pennsylvania resident 65 years of age, or older to apply for a lifetime license.
All dogs, 3 months of age or older, are required by the State of Pennsylvania to have a valid dog license. Lack of compliance could result in a fine of up to $500.
Dog licenses can be purchased online, at the Treasurer's Office and at other locations throughout Chester County. Visit our Dog License page for options.
Dog licenses can be purchased for a calendar year and then renewed annually, or you can purchase a lifetime license if your dog is microchipped. For details, visit our website.
If a lost dog is found, please contact the Treasurer's Office at 610-344-6370 during normal business hours (8:30am-4:30pm) and provide the tag number and the year on the front of the tag. If you find a dog outside of regular business hours, call the Chester County SPCA at 610-692-6113. They may be able to shelter the dog until the owner can be found.
No, licenses are only available to not-for-profit organizations.
A replacement permit can be obtained for a $6 fee. Visit our website for details.
Refunds for overpayment or duplicate payments can occur. If you are in doubt as to why you received a check, please contact us at 610-344-6370 or email.
The check may represent the amount provided as a one-time death benefit for veterans of the Armed Forces. All inquiries for this activity should be directed to the Department of Veterans' Affairs at 610-344-6375.
Chester County Veterans Affairs601 Westtown Rd, West Chester, PACall for an appointment 610-344-6375Hours 8:30am-4:30pm
Coatesville Veterans Administration Medical Center Bldg 8 VAVS Resource RM B14 A, Coatesville , PAHours 9:00-2:00 M-F By appointment only call 610-384-7711 or 800-290-6172 Ext 4239
Veterans Administration Out-PatientSpring City, PA
Other Relevant Medical Records - Medical records to substantiate any and all treatment by private doctors and hospitals.
Dependency Documents - Original or copies of birth and marriage certificates and copies of divorce/death record terminating all of your prior marriages and those of your spouse.
Military Discharge/DD Form 214 - (Copy 4 - Member Copy) Those applicants who have a copy of their DD-214 are encouraged to provide a copy with their claim to expedite processing. Otherwise, VA will attempt to obtain verification from the service department.
Periods of War:WWII - 12/07/41 to 12/31/46 Korea - 06/27/50 to 01/31/55Vietnam - 08/05/64 to 05/07/75 (if “in country” 02/28/61 to 08/04/64)Dessert Storm/Gulf Wars - 08/02/1990 to present
Visit http://www.benefits.gov/benefits/benefit-details/284 for more information.
First, contact the Revenue Coordinator at the VA health care facility and request a waiver from paying your current debt. This requires sufficient proof of financial hardship that prevents you from paying the VA.
Second, contact the Enrollment Coordinator to request a hardship determination to avoid medical care copay charges. This determination is also based on financial need. If you are approved for a hardship determination, your copay status will change and your enrollment priority will improve.
Third, contact the Revenue Coordinator to request an Offer in Compromise, which is applicable to past debts for medical services. If the VA accepts the offer to compromise, a partial payment of the balance owed is settlement of the entire debt. This requires proof of inability to pay the entire amount of the debt due.
To request a catastrophic disability evaluation, contact the Enrollment Coordinator at your local VA health care facility. VA will make every effort to schedule your evaluation within 35 days of request. There is no charge for the Catastrophic Disability evaluation.If it is determined by a VA health care provider that you are Catastrophically Disabled, your priority group assignment will be upgraded to Priority Group 4.
Active Duty or Service Connected Death - $2,000 is available if the veteran died during active duty, or if an honorably discharged veteran died of a service-connected injury.
Burial Plot Allowance - $300 is available for an honorably discharged veteran not interred in a cemetery that is under the jurisdiction of the US government if the veteran was receiving a pension or disability benefits from the VA at the time of death or if the death occurred in a VA hospital, or VA contracted health care facility.
Transportation Allowance - Transportation allowance will be reimbursed by the VA for transportation expenses from the place of death to the funeral home and to the cemetery for a veteran who died in a VA hospital, or VA contracted health care facility.
US flag - An honorably discharged veteran is entitled to a US flag provided by the Veterans Administration. The American flag is used to drape casket of veteran, after which it may be given to next of kin, close friend or associate of the deceased.
Headstone or Marker - A headstone or grave marker is provided without charge and shipped at Government expense to the consignee designated to mark the burial site of eligible veterans. The cost of placing the marker in a private cemetery must be borne by the applicant. Applicants are cautioned to ensure the correctness of all information. In a National Cemetery, a veteran, spouse and dependent children receive a free headstone. We suggest that if burial will be in a private cemetery and a Government headstone or marker will be requested for the veteran’s grave, that the family complete VA Form 40-1330, Application for Standard Government Headstone or Marker in advance and place it with the veterans military discharge papers for use at the time of need.
Burial in a National Cemetery - Burial is available at all VA national cemeteries to any deceased veteran of wartime or peacetime service (other than for training) who was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. Members of the Reserve and the Army and Air National Guard who die while performing or as a result of performing active duty for training may also be eligible. A deceased veteran who had entered active duty as an enlisted person after September 7, 1980. Also, any deceased veteran who has entered active duty after October 16, 1981. Said veteran must have had minimum active duty of 24 months, or the period for which he/she was called to active duty, or have had a hardship discharge, or a service-connected disability. Burial is also available to an eligible veteran's spouse minor child(ren) and, under certain conditions, to unmarried adult children. Headstones and markers are provided for the gravesites of those interred in national cemeteries. No application is required. Gravesites in (VA) national cemeteries cannot be reserved in advance. Families are encouraged to prepare in advance by discussing cemetery options, collecting the veteran’s military information including discharge papers, and by contacting the cemetery where burial is desired.
WalkWorks ChesCo! is an initiative that aims to increase physical activity and reduce obesity rates in Chester County by promoting places and opportunities to walk, supporting walking groups, planning and promoting walking events, and coordinating walking challenges. Walking is a fun, easy, inexpensive, and accessible way to get more physically active.
The WalkWorks ChesCo! initiative is competing in the National Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge for a grand prize of $500,000. The goal is to make a positive health impact on our community. The Healthiest Cities and Counties challenge lasts for two years. We are competing against 49 other counties in the U.S for this prize, so join the efforts by registering for Walker Tracker to start counting your steps today!
Yes! Walker Tracker is a free tool for you to track your steps, join groups, participate in challenges, and connect with other walkers.
Since this is a county-wide initiative, you must either live or work in Chester County to participate.
Nope, anyone of any age can walk! However, kids should ask for a parent’s permission before registering online for Walker Tracker.
You do not need a pedometer to track your steps with Walker Tracker’s unique activity conversion feature. The program uses your stride length (based on your height) to calculate the number of steps taken in a given time or distance. You may input the amount of time walked or the distance traveled and Walker Tracker will convert that activity to steps and add it to your walking log!
Visit our website: http://www.chesco.org/walkworks for the link to our Walker Tracker tool. Click on “Register Now” to complete a short registration. After registration, you will be taken directly to your dashboard where you may begin by adding an entry or syncing an activity tracker.
To sync an activity tracker, navigate to the “Your Stats” tab and click on “Connect a Device” on the right of your screen. You will then be directed to select your activity tracker and you will be given instructions for syncing.
Sometimes a device will stop syncing, even though it looks like it is still connected to your account. This can be caused by an update to WalkerTracker or your device, or another reason. On the “Your Stats” tab, you should see your profile information on the right side. If you hover the mouse over your device’s icon, it will tell you the last time it synced. You can view the device by clicking on the icon, or by clicking on your username and selecting “Devices.” WalkerTracker will give you some tips. If these tips don’t help, you may want to try disconnecting and reconnecting the device. If you are still having trouble, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are many opportunities to partner with WalkWorks ChesCo! We have partnered with businesses to promote walking as part of a worksite wellness program, with schools to promote walking during recess, and with communities to promote safe and exciting places to walk. If you would like to discuss opportunities to partner with us, please email email@example.com.