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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 features.
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 email@example.com 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.
No. You are not obligated to disclose any information if your record has been sealed. Similarly, the court and its employees may not disclose any sealed information to the public or employers checking for criminal backgrounds.
Yes. While some offenses may not be eligible for Clean Slate (automated sealing), some offenses, mainly some M1s, may still be eligible to be sealed through filing a petition in the Court of Common Pleas through the Clerk of Courts Office. A judge will then review the petition and decide whether to grant or deny said petition through an order. If granted, the eligible offenses will be sealed.
Example: If convicted of a first degree misdemeanor (M-1) Retail Theft, that charge will not be eligible for automatic sealing because first degree misdemeanors are not included under Clean Slate. However, the charge may be sealed by court petition for limited access under Act 5 of 2016 and ordered by a court judge.
Absolutely! If your record is eligible to be expunged under current Pennsylvania law, you can continue to file for expungement even after Clean Slate goes into effect. Clean Slate/Limited Access merely shields the public and potential employers from seeing your criminal record, but it does not destroy the record. Expungement is the only mechanism to permanently and completely remove criminal history record information. Petitioning for expungement greatly increases the possibility that your past doesn’t harm your future!
Note: you can generally seek expungement for cases in which you were not convicted (e.g. charges were dismissed, withdrawn, nolle prossed (never processed), or you were found “not guilty”), diversion cases like ARD where you have completed your sentence, and summary convictions after five years without arrest.
Individuals will not be notified that their case has been sealed. You may look up your case on the AOPC website. Cases that have been fully sealed will come back as a “No Cases Found” search result. Cases that have been partially sealed will only display offenses that were not eligible for Clean Slate. For more information, visit the criminal filing office at the Chester County Clerk of Courts Office.
All requests for case file information must be made at the Court of Common Pleas. As a case primary participant (i.e. Defendant) you may request proof that the entire case, or part of a case, has been sealed. There is no charge for this. You will need proof of your identity. The Clerk of Courts may provide a report listing all offenses that have been sealed and a copy of the Administrative Docket (i.e. Order) under which the offenses were sealed.
If you believe your case should have been sealed under Clean Slate but hasn’t, here are a few reasons:
For more information, contact the Clerk of Courts office at 610-344-6135
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 mandate of the Chester County Conviction Integrity Review process is to ensure the reliability, accuracy, and credibility of trial convictions by carefully considering claims of actual innocence that meet established criteria.
No, the CIR is part of the DAO; prosecutors review all CIR cases. However, if there is a conflict for the DAO to conduct the review, the case will be referred to the Office of the Attorney General for consideration.
The CIR reviews felony or murder convictions that occurred in the Chester County Court of Common Pleas, resulting from a jury or non-jury trial, where there is a credible claim of actual innocence. To see the full list of CIR requirements, click here for the Conviction Integrity Review Protocol.
Read the Conviction Integrity Review Protocol to ensure a case meets all established criteria. If it does, complete an electronic Conviction Integrity Review Application or download a Conviction Integrity Review Application PDF and return to the District Attorney’s Office. Upload or include additional documentation if warranted. DO NOT SEND ORIGINALS. Documentation will not be returned. Applications may be submitted by the petitioner or by an attorney. If a petitioner engages an attorney, all communication with the DAO must be through the attorney.
The DAO will determine if claims of actual innocence are credible and warrant further review.
Guilty pleas will not be considered.
No, the CIR considers other factual evidence whether or not DNA evidence exists.
No, the CIR will not review sentences.
No. Claims such as these should be submitted to the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The DAO will acknowledge receipt of each application either through the petitioner or through his/her attorney. After an initial review, the DAO will notify the petitioner or attorney in writing about whether the CIR criteria have been met, therefore warranting further review.
Every effort will be made to process and communicate the status of an application in a timely fashion. The initial screening time varies depending on the age and complexity of a case, the information available, the number of applications being processed, and other factors. A CIR application will not toll any post-conviction time limits.
The DAO will attempt to keep petitioners informed of their case’s status whenever appropriate. Once the review is complete, the CIR will notify the petitioner or his/her attorney of the decision and recommendations.
No. By agreeing to review a case, the CIR is prepared to investigate claims of actual innocence. It does not mean the CIR agrees with the validity of a claim or exonerates a petitioner.
No, the CIR mandate ensures the reliability, accuracy, and credibility of trial convictions by carefully considering claims of actual innocence that meet established criteria. However, the petitioner bears the burden of providing credible evidence of actual innocence.
No. The Chester County District Attorney makes the final decision on petitions. By submitting an application, a petitioner understands that he/she is bound by the District Attorney’s decision. There is no court review of decisions.
No. Submitting an application to the CIR for review has no bearing on any other legal rights a petitioner may have, even if the case meets the initial screening criteria and is accepted for further review. A CIR application will not toll any post-conviction time limits.
No. The CIR is part of the Chester County DAO. Collaboration with Innocence Projects, however, may occur.
No, the CIR is part of the DAO, a law enforcement agency, and cannot give petitioners legal advice.
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: 610-383-7000 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.
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. An autopsy may 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.
Next of kin who wish to have a printed unofficial copy of the autopsy and toxicology reports, as permitted by law, may do so by completing the Next of Kin Report Request Form. State-mandated report fees for official copies of the autopsy and toxicology reports are as follows:
Attorneys or insurance companies who wish to obtain a printed copy of the autopsy and toxicology reports, as permitted by law, must fill out the Other Agencies Report Request Form and then contact the Coroner’s Office at 610-344-6165 (Mon-Fri 8:30am-4:30pm) for instructions regarding prepayment of the state-mandated fees. Payment must be received by the Coroner’s Office before the reports can be mailed. The same state-mandated fees listed above apply.
Where there is a pending investigation being conducted by law enforcement, the District Attorney may request that certain records not be released. Further, in some cases, the District Attorney may petition the Court to seal the records of the Coroner’s investigation.
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.
This varies case by case, depending on the type and extent of the investigation. If an autopsy or toxicology testing were performed, it may be at least 4-6 weeks before we receive all necessary reports needed to issue the final cause and manner of death.
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 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.
Generally it only takes 1-2 days, but can vary depending upon the extent of the investigation. The funeral director will coordinate the release on your behalf.
The next step for the next-of-kin is to select a funeral home or cremation service for your loved one. The Coroner’s Office will release your loved one to the care of a funeral home or cremation service of your choosing upon completion of our investigation. Inform the Deputy Coroner of which funeral home or cremation service you have selected, and be sure to inform the designated funeral home or cremation service that your loved one is in the care of the Chester County Coroner’s Office. The designated funeral home or cremation service will then contact the Coroner’s Office to make arrangements to transfer your loved one into their care.
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. You may start an action in person or online. To start an action online, visit www.childsupport.state.pa.us. You may start an action in person by visiting our office any weekday between 8:30am-3pm and we will explain the process and help you complete and file the necessary paperwork.
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 Hearing Officer. 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.
$56.85 per family. 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 Support Hearing. Most plaintiff’s are entitled to a staff attorney to represent them at the Support 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 and a half hours.
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.
You will receive notice of your hearing either in person at you conference or through the U.S. Mail. We schedule 20 hearings per day, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. All hearings are scheduled at 9:00 a.m. The Hearing Officer will call the list, assign an order to the list and hear the cases in that order. You are required to remain until dismissed by the court.
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.
You should inform your enforcement officer and/or their support staff; or update your information online at www.childsupport.state.pa.us. You must inform us immediately of any changes, including address, telephone number or employer.
All clients are assigned an enforcement officer to help you with your case. Assignments are made based on the defendant’s last name. We usually give you that name and contact information at the conclusion of your first conference. You may call our office during normal business hours Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. -4:30 p.m. to find out exactly who has been assigned to your case. Our phone number is (610) 344-6215 and our Fax number is (610) 344-6977.
We have many options available to you. You can visit the Pennsylvania Child Support website at http://www.childsupport.state.pa.us/ for an update. There you can sign up for alerts and emails as well. You may also contact our office by phone at 610-344-6215 or using our Automated voice response number 1-800-221-INFO
The following are some of techniques that may be used: Credit Bureau Reporting, Driver’s License Suspension, Professional License Suspension, Recreational License Suspension, Tax Refund Intercept, Income attachment, Arrears conferences Contempt Court, Seizure of bank accounts or other assets, Passport denial, or intercept of lottery winnings.
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 610-363-6164 for the telephone number of the nearest program.
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.
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.)
Parenting Classes are currently held online. For more information please view the Parenting Class brochure.
If you have additional questions, please contact 610-344-6405.
Perhaps. Generally children should not be present at the Conciliatio conference unless they are specifically ordered to appear. Children under the age of 10 are generally not permitted to attend the conference. Children ages 10 and older may attend the conference if a notice and order is filed and notice is given to the other party with the advance approval of the Custody Conciliator.
Mediation is an informal meeting with a mediator who may or may not be an attorney and who will help you and the other party attempt to resolve your custody issues. A Conciliation conference is a conference with a Court appointed official who is an attorney with the authority to make a recommendation regarding the custody issues, if the parties are unable to agree.
Click here to be taken to the Health Department after hours FAQs.
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.
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.
All animal bites and scratches are reportable to the Chester County Health Department within 24 hours. To report a bit/scratch, please complete the Animal Bite Report Form and an investigator will process your report on the next business day.
To determine if rabies post-exposure prophylaxis treatment is necessary, the Health Department strongly recommends that you consult with a physician, and visit https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/exposure/animals/domestic.html for further guidance.
In all instances of potential human exposures involving bats, the bat in question should be safely collected, if possible, and submitted for rabies diagnosis. Rabies postexposure prophylaxis is recommended for all persons with bite, scratch, or mucous membrane (eyes, nose, mouth) exposure to a bat, unless the bat is available for testing and is negative for evidence of rabies. For more information regarding rabies exposure and bats please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/exposure/animals/bats.html
Bats may be submitted alive; package in an ESCAPE-PROOF container (e.g. coffee can with tight fitting taped down lid) and clearly labeled “CAUTION - LIVE BAT.” DO NOT SHIP LIVE BATS! They MUST be hand-delivered to the laboratory;
Pennsylvania Department of Health Bureau of Laboratories
110 Pickering Way
Exton, PA 19341
Results are generally reported within 24-72 hours after the laboratory receives the sample (first day of receipt is considered on a business day prior to 10 am). Additionally, all non-negative rabies results are reported promptly by telephone and subsequently faxed to the physician and/or veterinarian, all submitters involved and to authorized public health officials. The laboratory does not report laboratory results directly to the public.
To report a communicable disease, please complete the Communicable Disease Form and an investigator will follow-up on the next business day. If you need immediate medical attention please contact your healthcare provider or 9-1-1. Medical providers who need immediate assistance with a communicable disease when the Health Department is closed should call 610-344-6225 and press 1.
Long term care facilities should report an influenza/gastrointestinal outbreak using the appropriate outbreak form at please complete appropriate outbreak intake form at Influenza and Gastrointestinal Outbreak Forms. Infection control measures are provided after completion of the form. An investigator will follow-up with your facility on the next business day.
If you would like to make formal complaint, please complete the Food Establishment Complaint Form.
Contact the local Police Department and obtain an official Police report.
If you would like to make a formal complaint, please visit the following webpage and complete the appropriate Feed Back Form. An inspector will follow-up on the next business day.
The facility is to discontinue operations and contact the Chester County Health Department for further instructions. The facility is to remain closed until granted approval for a reopening by the Chester County Health Department. The facility owner/manager shall refer to the Department’s Emergency Action Plan for Retail Food Facilities located on our website for specific details and action steps.
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
Individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Chester County should call 2-1-1 for assistance.
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”.
No. The court system, acting principally through its judicial districts, is responsible for taking the necessary actions to protect the safety of court staff, court users, judges and the public, guided by general CDC and Department of Health recommendations. The Judiciary is working to protect public health while ensuring that individuals retain their fundamental state and federal constitutional rights to trial by jury. To that end, the Department of Health assisted the judiciary in developing recommended guidelines designed to ensure that jury selection and jury trials can be conducted safely.
If you are unable to appear for jury service due to COVID-19 related reasons, please submit a request for your jury
service to be postponed or to be excused as soon as possible after receiving your Summons for Jury Service. You may also contact the Jury Office directly.
If you are sick, this includes having a fever, or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 on the day you are expected to appear
for jury service DO NOT REPORT. Contact the Jury office at 610-344-6174.
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 on jury duty 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 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.
When you arrive, you will need to check in with jury personnel. 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 receive and respond to your summons, you must call the Jury Information Line: 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.
No. The court system, acting principally through its judicial districts, is responsible for taking the necessary actions to protect the safety of court staff, court users, judges and the public, guided by general CDC and Department of Health recommendations. The Judiciary is working to protect public health while ensuring that individuals retain their fundamental state and federal constitutional rights to trial by jury. To that end, the Department of Health assisted the judiciary in developing recommended guidelines designed to ensure that jury selection and jury trials can be conducted safely.
The law provides that such conduct is contempt of court and can be 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.
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 request. These requests must be in writing and will not be accepted over the phone or via email.
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 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).
In case of inclement weather, visit chesco.org (a banner will appear at the top of the page if there is a weather delay) OR call 1-610-344-6000.after 6:30 am.
The number of jurors called to the Justice Center each day is determined by the number of jury trials expected to occur. If the jury message says that individuals with jury numbers 1 through 250 report for service, 250 jurors do not report to the jury assembly. Many prospective jurors have already been excused or deferred before the date of service. For busy jury days, we expect around 100 jurors. During unusually busy days the number could approach 140. That average number of 100 jurors can be also be significantly lower depending on what matters are being heard that day. Juror’s reporting time may be staggered between an 8 am reporting time or an afternoon reporting time, further decreasing the number of jurors appearing for service at any once.
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:
Managing for Results is a comprehensive and integrated performance management system that focuses on achieving results for the customer which makes it possible for departments to demonstrate accountability to the taxpayers.
The County's Priorities and Goals, along with detailed department strategic plans and results data, are published annually in the County's Annual Approved Budget. Printable version of the Strategic Plan Priorities, Goals, and Key Measures. More information at Strategic Plan / Managing for Results.
The goals adopted by the Commissioners were developed using valuable input from various sources, including:
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.
Age 18. In Pennsylvania minors are not permitted to marry. Both applicants must be at least 18 years old to apply for a marriage license.
A comprehensive directory of Chester County Parks + Trails can be found at: https://www.chesco.org/4520/Parks-Trails
Yes. All gatherings must abide by the Chester County Parks Ordinance. Larger gatherings and gatherings open to the general public must be approved under a Special Event Permit. Further information about the requirements of hosting an event at a Chester County park or trail can be found at: https://chesco.org/4613/Permits-Events
Chester County currently owns seven dedicated Parks: Black Rock Sanctuary, Exton County Park, Hibernia County Park, Nottingham County Park, Springton Manor Farm, Warwick County Park, Wolf’s Hollow County Park
And three Regional Trails: Chester Valley Trail, Schuylkill River Trail, Struble Trail
Hibernia County Park at over 1000 acres with Chambers Lake at 94 acres boasts some of the best recreational opportunities in Chester County. Offering meadow and woodland trails, the West Branch of Brandywine Creek, Campgrounds, Playgrounds, Chamber’s Lake and Historic Structures visitors will have plenty of opportunities to fulfill their recreational needs.
You’re amazing! We’re so happy you’d like to come help us keep the parks in tip-top shape. For information on how to get involved please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: https://chesco.org/4611/Volunteers
Excluding Christmas Day the Parks will remain open from 8 AM until approximately Sunset year-round. Regional Trails are open 30 minutes before Sunrise and 30 minutes after Sunset. For a complete listing of Park Closing times please visit: https://chesco.org/4605/Parks-Trails
All kinds! You never know what you’ll see on your next hike. Commonly sighted species are Whitetail Deer, Red Foxes, Eastern Bluebirds, Red-tailed Hawks, Eastern Chipmunks, Woodchucks, Pileated Woodpeckers, Norther Flickers... the list goes on and on! Come out and see what you can spot and be sure to ask a Park Ranger about the fascinating wildlife in Chester County.
Hibernia County Park is home to three separate camping areas. Whether you are looking for a large, group-camping for a scout troop or just a weekend get-away with your significant other Chester County Parks + Trails have the perfect solution. To reserve a campsite, for $15 per night, please visit: Reserve a Campsite (Note: Group-camping please call us at 610-344-6415.)
Parks are the perfect place for your next party or gathering! Many of our parks offer amenities such as pavilions, picnic areas, camping and more. Larger gatherings and events open to the public require some special considerations and organizers must submit an application for a Special Events Permit. More information on these options can be found at: http://chesco.org/4613/Permits-Events
Food is permitted at privately hosted park events provided the organizers follow the complete guidelines put forth by the Chester County Department of Health. If food vendors are present they must also be licensed to operate by the Chester County Department of Health. Alcohol is not permitted in the parks.
Finding an injured animal can be heart-breaking, but please do not approach the animal. Contact a Chester County Park Ranger immediately by calling 911 and maintain a safe distance. Never put yourself in danger. The Park Ranger will attend to the well-being of the animal by contacting the appropriate entities for wildlife rescue/rehabilitation depending on the species, location, and nature of injury.
All press-related inquiries regarding Chester County Parks and Preservation contact our Public Information Officer at 610-344-6279 or via email at email@example.com
Yes, all of our events are incredibly family-friendly and many programs are geared towards children. We strongly encourage all ages to come out and help us foster a sense of community in the beautiful natural setting our Parks provide. Upcoming events, programs, and activities will be posted on the park’s website and social media, and throughout your local park. http://chesco.org/4613/Permits-Events
Regulated archery hunting is permitted in limited park areas during open seasons, by application and lottery selection process. In order to be considered the applicant must have successfully completed the PA Game Commission Successful Bowhunting Course. Hunting permits are issued upon approval and successful completion of an Archery Proficiency Test. Further information about Archery permits can be obtained at https://www.chesco.org/4641/Hunting. County-regulated goose hunting is permitted at Chamber’s lake. Public hunting for geese and pheasant is permitted at Struble lake.
Personal photography and video is permitted. Professional photography/video sessions are required to apply for a Special Event Permit. You can apply for a permit at www.chescoparkspres.org.
No. Feeding is prohibited for the well-being of the wildlife in our parks. When we feed the animals they learn to become dependent on our involvement and it disrupts the natural balance of the ecosystem.
Yes. Up-to-date park/trail closing information will be available on social media or you can subscribe to ChescoAlerts for information.
Of course! Enjoying the outdoors with your furry friends is a great way to spend the day. Just remember to keep any pet on a leash no longer than 6 feet, make sure they have access to drinking water, and check them for ticks before returning home. The only location pets are not allowed is the Great Barn complex at Springton Manor Farm.
You can inform any Staff Member or Ranger on duty of any unfavorable conditions in the park or regional trails. We want every visitor to have the most positive experience possible and will make an active effort to provide a safe and enjoyable environment. If you would like to speak directly with the Lead Ranger, Park Manager, or Director you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Absolutely! We work hard to ensure all individuals are welcome and are encouraged to enjoy the beauty of nature free of charge.
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.
ParksAll of our parks have some internal trails particularly well-suited to horseback riding, except for Wolf’s Hollow, which is only open to hiking, per township requirements.
TrailsHorseback 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 submit a special event permit request via ChescoParksPres.org at least 60 days prior to the event date. An agreement must be signed and fees paid in advance, including pavilion or other needed rentals. For a more formal occasion, The Manor House at Springton Manor Farm is available. For more information on the Manor, call J. Scott Catering at 610-733-2516.
Regional trails with smooth, asphalt macadam surfaces (ie., the Chester Valley Trail) are permitted for: walking, jogging, cycling, non-motorized scooters, in-line skating, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, Battery-operated wheelchairs or battery-powered bicycles by persons with doctor-verifiable disabilities, Dog walking under leash (maximum 6’ length), and Strollers, including those connected to bicycles.
The following are NOT permitted for use on our trails: Motorized vehicles including segways, motorcycles and mopeds, Powered scooters , Snowmobiles (excluding authorized vehicles), Skateboards, Horses or horseback riding, and Horse carriage, pony carts, etc.
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 strictly prohibited on any pond or lake at all County parks.
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.
No, drone flight is not permitted by the public over any County park or trail property.
No, metal detecting is not permitted by the public on any County park or trail property.
We would love to see you at our next event! Please check out our website for a listing of upcoming events: chesco.org/390/Events
If you would like to receive notifications of all programs and events you can subscribe to our newsletter Nature of Things.
Many of these nature preserves are owned and managed by land trusts. If you look up the name of the nature preserve you can see who manages and owns that preserve.
Many of the local parks in your neighborhood are under the jurisdiction of the municipality you are in. The best option is to look up the municipality for their individual contact information.
An easement deed is public record, and you can find and review most easements on the Chester County Recorder of Deeds. If you can’t find a deed you are looking for there, contact staff via phone (610) 344 - 5656, or by email: email@example.com. If the property was preserved by the county, they will be able to provide a copy to you.
If you’re concerned that a property the county helped to protect is not following the terms of the easement, you can contact our compliance staff at firstname.lastname@example.org
Preserved farms are not open to the public; they remain under the control of the owner. The public can benefit from the pristine views, and the knowledge that the landscape will remain in farming in perpetuity.
Farms must be at least 50 acres in size, unless they are adjacent to preserved land. If the property is adjacent to preserved land the minimum is 10 acres.
Chester County has preserved over 500 farms.
The program is funded through County, State, Federal, and municipal funding. Landowners also may choose to provide a donation, which helps the County leverage more funding.
The farmland preservation program is for productive farmland, however, Chester County has multiple programs in place to preserve multiple facets of land. For more information please visit https://www.chesco.org/4618/Farmland-Preservation
Yes, it is required that Chester County visits each farm at least once every two years.
Yes, all preserved farms are required to have a conservation plan and follow the stewardship practices. https://www.chesco.org/4621/Stewardship
Yes, a real estate appraisal is completed to provide the easement value that is offered for each farm.
A parcel map of all the preserved farms is located at https://www.chesco.org/DocumentCenter/View/5759/ProtectedOpenSpace?bidId=
Due to Covid-19, passport applications could face a significant delay in processing. If you are traveling within 72 hours due to a life or death emergency, please call 1-877-487-2778, Monday-Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern Time, except federal holidays.
It takes a minimum of 10-12 weeks for processing of a routine passport application. The fee for an expedited passport is an additional $60 (for a total of $170) and takes a minimum of 4-6 weeks. Until further notice, the Philadelphia passport office will only serve customers in person who have a life or death emergency and are traveling within 3 business days.
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.
You will answer a series of questions during registration that will determine if the nasal swab test is best for you at this time. These questions cover factors such as whether you have any symptoms or known exposure.
RT-PCR tests work by detecting bits of viral genetic material present in a patient’s mucus, saliva and cells at the very back of their nasal cavity, where the nose meets the throat. This test involves the administration of a nasal swab that will capture mucus and secretions from your nose. This procedure is called a nasopharyngeal swab and is used to identify upper respiratory infections. These tests can recognize if someone has any COVID-19 viral genetic material in their body. This means that someone has or had COVID-19.
Results Infographic - English
Results Infographic - Spanish
There will be several testing sites made available to the public in phases. These sites will all remain open as testing supplies allow and several time slots will be available per day.
Chester County: Click here to register
Delaware County: Click here to register
Only enclosed passenger vehicles and small vans and trucks will be permitted to enter the site. Large commercial vehicles and motorcycles are prohibited, as are pedestrians.
Only service animals are permitted onsite.
Chester County: Yes, each individual wanting a test must register in advance. Each individual must have a Confirmation # to access testing. Please retain this Confirmation # (printed or on your smartphone) and show it when you enter the site.
Delaware County: Individuals are encouraged to register. Walk-ups will be accepted.
No treatment or medical care will conducted on-site at any sites.
If you do not have internet access:
Please make every effort to keep your appointment. Appointment slots are limited and we want to ensure everyone who needs to be tested has access. Due to HIPAA compliance, we cannot allow online appointment cancellations or rescheduling.
Testing is open to individuals who live or work in Chester County or Delaware County and meet the criteria based on county-specific guidelines.
Testing is open to anyone who lives or works in the County.
Insurance information will be collected to bill insurance providers as a way to help pay for the cost of the test. You will not receive a bill and will not pay any out of pocket costs for the test, even if your insurance does not fully cover it. If you do not have insurance, the cost will be covered by the County. Testing eligibility is not based on your insurance status.
A printed or digital copy of your registration Confirmation # and your insurance card, if you have one.
Registration confirmation will be emailed to you (or provided via phone) and will include instructions on what to bring with you for testing, testing site location address, and precautions to be taken upon arrival at the site. Each individual must complete a registration. Individuals are required to come directly to the testing site and return directly home.
No. Testing appointments are provided one per person. If multiple members of a household want to be tested, then each member must register for their own appointment time slot. If there are other people in your car without a registration, they will not be provided a test.
Please ensure that only household contacts come to the testing site with you. Do not offer to carpool with neighbors, friends, etc.
Chester County: All children ages 5 and up may be tested if accompanied by a parent or guardian. Children under the age of 5 will NOT be tested.
Delaware County: All children ages 12 and up may be tested if accompanied by a parent or guardian. Children under the age of 12 will NOT be tested.
Public bathroom facilities are not available at the test sites, so plan accordingly as wait times may vary.
If you provided an email address at the time of registration, you will receive a registration link to the lab portal. Check your portal for test results and the lab will also email you when they are ready.
Lab website: hnl.com
Patient portal registration: https://myhnlaccess.force.com/Patients/hnlloginpage
If you provided a phone number at the time of registration and did not enter an email, you will receive your results by phone within 5-7 days following your test. If you do not pick up this call, you will be called one more time by Health Department staff. After that, you will have to call the Health Department during business hours (8:30 AM – 4:30 PM).
Staff will NOT leave a voicemail with test results. Staff will NOT give results after business hours.
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 poll workers are compensated for their respective shifts each election as well as for attending the provided training classes. Poll workers who work a full day receive $114, half day is $57 and class attendance is $10.
You are eligible if you:
You are not eligible if you
Complete the Poll Worker Form and email at email@example.com, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 process of filing a petition for a PFA in Chester County takes approximately two hours. The filing procedure to file a petition is a multi-step process that includes the drafting of the narrative and petition, a hearing for the petitioner alone with the Court, and the actual filing, certifying and submitting of the completed petition to the Sheriff for service.
The Court of Common Pleas is available from 8:30AM with the last hearing held at 3PM. PFA petitions are filed in the order in which they check in which means that if a petitioner checks in for a PFA at 3:00PM there may be other petitioners that checked in before who will file ahead.
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.
The short answer is yes. Please remember that this is a legal proceeding. While the statute does not require a petitioner to have an attorney it is a very good idea to have someone who can advocate on your behalf to the court. Unlike the hearing with the judge that occurred in chambers when the petition was filed initially, this will be before a judge in open court. Furthermore, if the defendant has an attorney and you do not, you may be at a disadvantage in court. Petitioners granted a PFA are entitled to a free attorney from Legal Aid, regardless of income. Please contact Legal Aid if you are granted a PFA at 610-436-4510.
When you leave the courthouse with a temporary order it is very important that you take a certified copy to your local police department or Pennsylvania State Police barracks. A certified copy will have a raised stamp and a red seal that says "Certified from the Record." 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.
Currently, we accept check, cash, money order, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover. Please make checks payable to the “Prothonotary of Chester County.”
In landlord/tenant cases, we only accept cash, money order or certified funds for payments to be escrowed.
Yes, ChescoPIN is a paid subscription service that provides access to docket entries. ChescoPIN may be accessed at no charge in the Prothonotary's Office or at libraries in the Chester County Library System.
Come to our office during regular business hours (M-F,8:30am-4:30pm). ORMail a request to our office. Include the name of both parties and approximately when the divorce occurred. Include case number if known. Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope along with the exact amount for the cost of your divorce decree:
Our records begin in 1688. However most of our records prior to 1900 are stored on microfilm and are available through the Chester County Archives Office. Most of these records are hand-written and some are difficult to read. Records are available in their original form. There are also other resources to supplement genealogical and other historic research.
General Recording Requirements and Fees can be found on our website or by calling our office. pemloyees are not permitted to perform searches. For information regarding previously recorded papers you must come to the office or hire an attorney.
If the document was recorded after 1994, you can print it from our website using Records Search. If the document was recorded prior to 1994, there are three ways to obtain copies:
1. Visit our Search Library to look up and print documents. The fee is $0.50 per page for printed copies and $1.50 for certification if needed
2. Submit a written request - must include owner’s name, the book and page number of the document, a self-addressed stamped envelope, and a check covering the fee. Fee is $5 per page, and $1.50 to certify the document if needed.
3. FAX - must provide book and page number. The fee is $5 per page, plus $1 fax charge. We are not able to certify copies sent by fax.
Records are kept by the property owner’s last name and by the book and page number assigned to every document recorded in our office. If you have this information, then you can search our database via the Records Search area of this website. You can also visit our Records Library. Library staff can get you started but are not permitted to conduct research for the public. If you do not have the book and page, you will need to refer to our indexes which list documents alphabetically by the last name of the party to a transaction.
If you are recording a plan [subdivision, septic, etc.], you may need additional approvals prior to recording. Check with your municipality for details.
Yes. Make sure the document meets our Document Standards and include the a check payable to the Recorder of Deeds for the correct amount along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope for the return of your original documents. See Recording Guidelines and Recording Fees for more information.
Yes. With the exception of military discharges, all documents recorded in this office are public information.
Yes, but it is best to have someone with some degree of expertise in this field, such as an attorney, draft the deed. Employees of the Recorder of Deeds cannot draft a deed for you.
Physical possession of a deed is not necessary to prove ownership of land once the deed has been recorded in our office. Any documents filed in our office are there to provide public notice of the contents of those documents. You can obtain a copy of a deed or any other document from this office a number of ways. See How can I get a copy of a document recorded in your office?
The Recorder of Deeds cannot alter documents once they have been recorded. Changes can only be made by recording a new deed. It is generally best to have someone with some degree of expertise in this field, such as an attorney, draft the deed. Employees of the Recorder of Deeds cannot draft a deed for you.
No. The Recorder of Deeds cannot alter any documents once they have gone on record. If you want to remove the deceased person’s name from the deed, you will need to have a new Deed prepared and recorded in this office. It is generally best to have someone with some degree of expertise in this field, such as an attorney, draft the deed.
No. If for some reason you wish to reflect that the property is now owned by the same people with different names you will need to have a new deed prepared and recorded in this office. It is generally best to have someone with some degree of expertise in this field, such as an attorney, to draft the new deed.
No. The Recorder of Deeds is merely a repository for any deeds that are recorded. If your current deed has been recorded and you subsequently sell a piece of that land on another deed which is then recorded, a title search will reveal these two transactions and allow a person to conclude that the amount of land you own has now changed. If for some reason you wish to reflect that the property's legal description is different, you will need to have a new deed prepared and recorded in this office. It is generally best to have someone with some degree of expertise in this field, such as an attorney, to draft the new deed.
You cannot alter any documents once they have gone on record. In order to replace the current deed, you will need to have a new deed prepared and recorded in this office. This is usually referred to as a Deed of Correction. It is generally best to have someone with some degree of expertise in this field, such as an attorney, to draft the new deed .
Yes. With the exception of military discharges, all documents recorded in this office are public information. This means anyone can look at any deed, mortgage, and any other documents filed in this office.
For information on E-Recording[electronic recording] in Chester County, visit the E-Recording section of this website.
The Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans’ Court frequently receive requests for assistance in preparing and/or filing forms required for a particular matter. Our staff are not permitted to offer opinions, directions or instructions on any matter that may be construed as legal advice. We provide, as required, many of the forms needed for estate administration, including the inheritance tax return. The offering of these forms is not a statement that no other forms are necessary or that those provided must be completed in every instance. 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.
Except for marriage applications and estate probates, the office is open Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Marriage applications and estate probates are accepted ONLY from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm.
Yes. Call the office at 610-344-6335. If you provide a name, we will search our records for that name. If a record is found, a file number is provided. Once you know the file number, more detailed information can be requested by mail. There is a nominal fee depending on the type of information requested.
The records go back to 1924 for Register of Wills and Orphans’ Court. Marriage Licenses go back to 1930. Records are in various formats - paper, microfilm or scanned images. For records previous to these dates, contact the Chester County Archives Department at 610-344-6760 or visit chesco.org/archives.
ALL records in the Register of Wills, Orphans’ Court and Marriage License Department are open to the public with the exception of adoptions or any other records impounded by court order. Public access to adoptions and other impounded records require a court order.
This is the process more correctly known as Probate of the Will. The procedure requires that the original will and, if applicable, codicil(s) be brought to our office. The document(s) are reviewed for proper execution. Details such as the original signatures of the decedent and witnesses are checked. Due to the complexities of proper execution, it is strongly recommended that you contact an attorney for the preparation and probate of a will.
No. A will is not registered until the person who wrote it (testator) dies. It is important that someone, usually (the executor) knows where the will is kept or the name of the attorney who prepared it.
There are many reasons to register or probate a will - chief among these is the need to transfer assets, e.g. real estate or personal property (cash, checking and savings accounts, etc.) from the decedent to beneficiaries.
This expression refers to the process in which an estate personal representative is appointed. A Petition for Probate and Grant of Letters is completed by the attorney or person qualifying as personal representative. The filing of this petition is the first step required to open an estate. The petition is available as a fill-in form on this website.
There is no time limit or requirement to open an estate unless or until a short certificate or proof of appointment is requested to transfer an asset from the decedent to a beneficiary. If it is more than 21 years after death, a court order is required.
A short certificate is a document that is certified proof of the appointment of the estate personal representative (executor or administrator). It is required to gain access to the assets of the decedent. The term "short" certificate refers to the size of the document. The personal representative can request as many short certificates as necessary to complete the estate administration. There is no time limit to request extra short certificates.
We are required by law to retain the original will and codicil(s). Since all records in this office are permanent, that is kept "forever," the document(s) will always be available in paper form or as microfilm or scanned images. It is recommended that you make a copy of the original document(s) for your records before you come to the office.
A petition to admit a copy of the will to probate is required. This petition is not provided by this office. We strongly suggest that you contact an attorney for the form of the petition that must be prepared and presented to the Register of Wills to accept a copy of the will for probate.
"Letters" is a formal document appointing the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. If the decedent died with a Will, the document is referred to as Letters Testamentary. If the person died without a will, the document is called Letters of Administration. Estate administration typically requires more than this one document certifying the appointment of the personal representative. Rather than the formal letters, short certificates are provided as proof that the letters were issued by the Register of Wills.
No, however, due to the complexity of the process, it is strongly recommended that an attorney be engaged. This office provides the form for the Petition for Letters and other forms that may be required but cannot offer any direction or legal advice as to the preparation.
The order of appointment is very detailed and specific. Usually, the spouse is the first one to qualify. If there is no spouse, then the children can apply to be appointed. These situations often require the advice of an attorney.
Please be advised that this list is not all inclusive. There may be other forms or actions required that cannot be determined until the documents provided are reviewed by this office.
No. This office functions only as an agent for the filing of the Inheritance Tax Return and the payment of the inheritance tax. This means that we accept the return and payment and send them to the Commonwealth. The staff is not trained to give direction or advice concerning the correct completion of the return or calculation of the tax. If you have questions that are not answered in the return instruction booklet, you should contact an attorney or an accountant for assistance. The Inheritance Tax Booklet with instructions is provided by this office at the time that the Estate is opened. To download forms and instructions from the Inheritance Tax Department, visit http://www.revenue.pa.gov/Pages/default.aspx.
The Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans’ Court frequently receive requests for assistance in preparing and/or filing forms required for a particular matter. Our staff are not permitted to offer opinions, directions or instructions on any matter that may be construed as legal advice. The Register of Wills provides, as required, many of the forms needed for estate administration, including the Inheritance Tax Return. The offering of these forms is not a statement that no other forms are necessary or that those provided must be completed in every instance. 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.
The office is on the second floor, Suite 2200, of the Chester County Justice Center, located at 201 West Market Street in West Chester, PA.
Except for marriage applications and estate probates, the office is open Monday through Friday, excluding Holidays, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Marriage applications and estate probates are accepted ONLY from 8:30 am to 4 pm. Please check the county holiday schedule for days when the office is closed.
Yes, email us at email@example.com. If you provide a name, we will search our records for that name. If a record is found, a file number is provided. Once you know the file number, more detailed information can be requested by mail. There is a nominal fee depending on the type of information requested.
The records go back to 1924 for Register of Wills and Orphans’ Court. Marriage licenses go back to 1930. Records are in various formats-paper, microfilm or scanned images. For records before those years, contact the Chester County Archives Department at 610-344-6760 or visit chesco.org/archives.
Yes. All non-impounded records are available to anyone. Copies of records are provided for a nominal fee.
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.
No. No Sheriff’s Office employee is permitted to give legal advice; we can assist with factual and procedural questions. You may wish to consult an attorney for any issues related to Sheriff’s Sales or other matters involving the Sheriff’s Office, and you can reach out to the Chester County Bar Association for a referral at www.chescobar.org. If you have financial constraints, you can contact Legal Aid of Southeastern PA at www.lasp.org. You may also choose to conduct your own legal research by visiting the public Law Library located in the Justice Center at 201 W. Market Street, West Chester, PA.
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: Government - Departments - Tax Claim Bureau - Online Payments
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, etc.
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 2nd 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 15)
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., Ste. 4202, PO Box 2748, West Chester, PA 19380.
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 Chester County Treasurer 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 the Chester County Treasurer (listed by municipal number and name):
01 - West Chester Borough06 - Oxford Borough07 - Atglen Borough09 - South Coatesville Borough10 - Modena Borough12 - Honey Brook Borough22 - Honey Brook Township28 - West Caln Township29 - West Brandywine Township34 - West Pikeland Township38 - Valley Township35 - Charlestown Township47 - East Fallowfield Township50 - West Bradford Township51 - East Bradford Township54 - Willistown Township55 - Easttown Township56 - Lower Oxford Township58 - Penn Township60 - New Garden Township63 - Pocopson Township65 - Birmingham Township72 - Franklin Township
The current county tax rate is 4.369.
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.
A tax certification applied for in person is completed while you wait. For a tax certification by mail, the process takes one to two weeks from the date the request is received. An online application will be emailed the next day. We do not accept tax certifications by fax.
No. Please do not fax requests for a tax certification. The request form must include payment, or the request will not be processed. Also, we do not fax-back any tax certifications.
Under Chester County Ordinance #2019-2, 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.
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 $300.
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.
The Pennsylvania Bingo Law (the Law), 10 P.S. §§301-308.1, was passed in 1981. The Law allows certain nonprofit associations, known as “Associations”, to conduct Bingo for the purpose of raising funds for “Charitable” and “Civic” purposes.
A license cannot be granted to an individual. Only an “association” as defined in the Bingo Law, 10 P.S. §§301-308.1, can apply. Members of interested associations should refer to §303 of the Law which can be viewed or downloaded from this site, to see if their association is eligible for licensing.
All licenses are valid for one year from date of issue. An association applying for a three consecutive day license must specify the dates they intend to conduct bingo and an association granted a three consecutive day license cannot apply for and be granted any other bingo license for one year from the date of issue of the three consecutive day license.
No, only the association in whose name the license is issued may conduct bingo.
Yes, as long as they are a “bona fide member” of the association as defined by the Law and the application has been completed in its entirety, is signed by the President (Executive Officer) or Secretary of the association and the application is notarized.
No, it will be filed by the Treasurer with the application and becomes public information.
Provided there have been no changes to the documentation and no lapse in the license, the documentation does not have to be provided unless specifically asked for by the County Treasurer's Office. However, an application must be prepared each time a license is renewed. The completed, signed and notarized application, along with those records that the association is required to keep concerning its conduct of bingo, must be brought to the County Treasurer’s Office for review.
The district attorney is responsible for investigating violations of the Law, however, any State, county or local law enforcement official is empowered to investigate violations of the Law.
Bingo, with one exception, may only be played at the association’s “licensed premises” (regular place of business, or other location specifically listed on the association’s application for license). Each association must list its “licensed premises” on its license application. An association may conduct bingo at the association’s exposition, carnival or fair site for a period not to exceed ten days.
Yes. No person under 18 years of age shall be permitted to play bingo unless accompanied by an adult.
Yes. §305 (c) (7) of the Law states: “Each association shall keep written records of the moneys and merchandise collected and distributed for each day they conduct bingo. These records shall indicate the total proceeds collected, the total prize money distributed, the total value of all merchandise awarded as a prize and the amount of moneys paid as rentals or wages and to whom such rentals or wages were paid. All prizes awarded having a value greater than $250 shall be specifically described in the association's records”. In addition, §305 (c) (8) of the Law states: “Each association shall deposit with a financial institution all proceeds for each day's bingo game in an account in the association's name. This deposit shall be made before any of the proceeds may be used for any other purpose, except for payment of prize money and compensation to members employed in the operation of the game”.
Yes. The Law permits the proceeds to be used for only “charitable purposes” or “civic purposes” as defined in §303 of the Law.
Yes there are very specific prize limits. §305 (c) (3) of the Law states: “Prizes awarded shall not exceed a value of $500 for any one game of bingo, except for jackpot games which shall not exceed a value of $4,000 for one such game. In addition, no more than $8,000 in prizes shall be awarded in any calendar day”.
No. According to House Bill 411 there are no longer any limits to how often a licensed association may hold bingo.
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.
Your situation may now qualify for help. If your income is below the amount set by Congress taking into consideration unreimbursed medical expenses and you meet the requirements described above you should reapply. You may also apply for Aid and Attendance if you are permanently housebound because of health reasons. These allowances are intended to keep the veteran as independent as possible in a community setting.
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.