Courts & Criminal Justice
Court/Court Related Offices
Adult Probation officers investigate, advise, counsel, and monitor individuals on probation and parole to foster their personal, social and economic adjustment in the community. This department’s work involves the counseling and supervision of adults on probation or parole, completion of pre-sentence investigations, violation reports and pre-parole plans.
The York County Clerk of Courts’ office is primarily responsible for processing, maintaining and recording criminal case records for the York County Court of Common Pleas. Among its other duties, the Clerk of Courts also collects court costs/fines, and licensing private detectives.
The responsibilities of the Clerk of the Orphans' Court include the maintaining of dockets and files for petitions for incapacitated persons, appointment of guardians, adoptions (which records are confidential) and any other issues which may come before the Orphans' Court Division. The Clerk's office is also responsible for taking applications for - and issuing - marriage licenses.
The District Court Administrator is appointed by the President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas to assist with all of the administrative responsibilities in the Courts. Duties include, but are not limited to, judicial and courtroom assignments, processing and disbursing proper paperwork for criminal, civil, and juvenile cases, scheduling and coordinating the use of hearing rooms and conference rooms.
The mission of the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program is to provide advocacy in court for abused and neglected children that will lead to placement in safe and permanent homes.
The District Attorney is the chief law enforcement officer of the county, and has jurisdiction over all felony, misdemeanor, and summary offenses. In addition, this office is responsible for providing legal guidance in criminal matters for various police agencies and county departments.
The Magisterial District Courts handle minor civil and criminal matters. District Judges also hear criminal complaints stemming from alleged felonies and misdemeanors, and determine whether a prima facie case has been shown by the prosecutor. If so, the judge orders the defendant held for trial at the York County Court of Common Pleas.
The Divorce Masters Office is part of the Family Law Division of the Court of Common Pleas. Hearing Masters are appointed by the court to conduct hearings and make recommendations in divorce cases where the parties have been unable to resolve issues involving fault divorce, irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, distribution of property, alimony, or related economic claims.
Domestic Relations is the York County agency responsible for all matters involving the establishment of paternity for children born outside of marriage and the establishment and enforcement of financial and medical support of spouses and/or children.
The mission of this department is to provide services to the community, victims and juvenile offenders by restoring justice through accountability, restoration of losses, community protection and the preservation of the family.
The Law Library provides more than 30,000 volumes of material for legal research The Library is open to the public during normal business hours, but items may only be checked-out by members of the York County Bar Association.
The PFA Office provides clerical assistance with preparing and filing court papers for people seeking PFA. Please note: The office does not provide legal advice.
All civil litigation is filed with the Prothonotary. Such litigation includes mortgage foreclosures, personal injury cases, license suspension appeals, divorce, child custody and protection from abuse cases. The Prothonotary also accepts U.S. Passport applications.
The Public Defender’s Office is responsible for providing legal counsel to any person who, for lack of sufficient funds, is unable to obtain legal counsel in any situation where representation is constitutionally guaranteed. In general, a person is entitled to legal counsel whenever that individual's personal liberty is at stake.
The Register of Wills, who also serves as the Clerk of the Orphans' Court, has jurisdiction of the probate of wills and the grant of letters to a personal representative.
Letters Testamentary (with a will) or Letters of Administration (no will) are granted to properly qualified individuals. The Register's office also collects inheritance taxes on behalf of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, and is a great source for genealogical information.
The Sheriff is an officer of the Courts whose responsibilities include service subpoenas, providing security in courtrooms and for transporting and securing prisoners to and from correctional facilities. The Sheriff’s Office also handles licenses to carry firearms.