Frequently Asked Questions

HOW DO I FILE FOR DIVORCE?

The forms and instructions for a simple divorce are available on our website at this link: http://yorkcountypa.gov/images/pdf/DivorcePacket1.pdf

If your divorce involves property issues, you should consult with an attorney.

HOW DO I GET A COPY OF MY DIVORCE DECREE?

You may mail your request to Prothonotary at 45 N. George St. York PA 17401. Include with your request the names of the parties, the approximate year of the divorce, the case number if you have it, a money order for $14.00 and a self addressed stamped envelope. If you come to the office, you may pay by money order, cash or credit.

HOW DO I FILE FOR A NAME CHANGE?

There are two types of name changes. One is to resume a maiden name. The other is to change your name to a name you have never before had.

To resume your maiden name, you may file the Resume Prior Surname available under the Forms section of our website at this link:
http://yorkcountypa.gov/images/pdf/resume_prior_surname.pdf

You must include a copy of something with your maiden name on it. This could be an old school record, birth certificate, old license etc. If you mail it in, you must have it notarized. If you come to the office and sign it in front of our clerk, you do not have to have it notarized. The fee is $19.00 payable by money order if mailed or by money order, cash or credit in the office. Please include a self addressed stamped envelope with a mailed request.

In order to change to a completely new name, you will have to file a petition for change of name with a proposed order to schedule a hearing, have fingerprints, a criminal background and credit checks done (this could be done through an abstracting company), place notice in two news publications, and get a hearing before a judge.
We do not have any forms for this; you or your attorney must create the petition and subsequent documents.

When you file the Petition here, you take a copy to Court Administration where they will schedule a hearing 60 days out. During that 60 days, all of the other items must be completed. This is complicated and we strongly recommend that you seek the advice of an attorney before you begin the process. We are not permitted to give legal advice.

If you wish to do it on your own, you will have to follow the Pennsylvania Rules of Court. The York County Court does not provide assistance to pro se (without an attorney) filers. Below is an address for PA Law Help which has name change information. If you need a referral for an attorney, you may call the Attorney Connection for the York County Bar Association at 854-8755. The filing fee for a Petition for Change of Name is $97.00.
PA Law Help http://palawhelp.org/PA/index.cfm (Click on the Children and Families section for name change information)
PA Rules of Court http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/231/partItoc.html

HOW DO I FILE A DISTRICT JUSTICE JUDGMENT IN THE PROTHONOTARY’S OFFICE?

In order to file a District Justice Judgment in this office, you must wait for 30 days after the date of the judgment. If the other party does not file an appeal in that time, you should bring in or mail the certified copy of the judgment from the D.J. along with a 236 notice (you can complete that here or go to the link below to get one) which has to be mailed to the other party. The filing fee of $55.00 is payable by money order or business check if mailed. In the office you may also pay by cash or credit.
http://yorkcountypa.gov/images/pdf/noticeofentryre236judgment.pdf

HOW DO I FILE AN APPEAL TO A DISTRICT JUSTICE JUDGMENT?

You can find instructions for this on the Prothonotary website under the Forms. Look for Appeal from District Justice Judgment Instructions. The form is also on that list under Appeal from District Justice.

HOW DO I GET COPIES OF DOCUMENTS FILED IN THE PROTHONOTARY’S OFFICE?

For items filed May 2008 or later, you can print copies from our Civil Case Search module at our website by clicking here: http://yorkcountypa.gov/courts-criminal-justice/court-courtrelated-offices/prothonotary.html

Go to the Civil Case Search button, look for your case by name or case number and then click on the document you want. You may then print that document.
If you want to get copies from us by mail, you must send in a money order for $1 per page or come into the office where you may copy for .50 per page.