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Our firm has over 25 years of combined legal practice. Our Philadelphia criminal attorneys have been recognized by the top lawyer ranking services.
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You may never have heard of the Court of Common Pleas, but they have been around for quite a long time. In fact, they have been a part of the justice system in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania since its original charter was granted way back in 1776. In Philadelphia County, the Court of Common Pleas is responsible for hearing most of the major civil and criminal cases being tried in the region. The court is also divided to further include the following:
In Philadelphia County, the entire Court of Common Pleas is governed by a President Judge. This individual is responsible for the oversight of the entire court. There are ninety different judges who are assigned to preside over the various divisions of the Court of Common Pleas.
Civil Trial Division
The Civil Section of the Trial Division will hear any civil claim that has a value attached to it in excess of $10,000. If you happen to file any type of civil action in the Court of Common Pleas, and the amount is valued at $50,000 or less, you will need to first show up in front of an arbitration hearing. This hearing is mandatory and will be presided over by three attorneys who are certified and appointed by the court. The exception to this is if the claim that you are filing is related to real estate.
It is also helpful to know that any civil case that is considered major in nature will first go before a Mandatory Settlement Conference. This happens before the case can go to a jury trial. This conference will be overseen by a Judge Pro Tempore. For your information, the civil division of the court is located inside of Philadelphia City Hall. You can contact them by telephone at (215)686-6650 to get information about a case.
Criminal Trial Division
This particular division of the Court of Common Pleas will maintain jurisdiction over any felony case that is filed in Philadelphia County. It also handles all appeals from the Municipal Court that involves a petition for a new trial. You will also find that the Probation Department and all Pretrial Services are all housed inside the criminal area of the trial division of the Court of Common Pleas. It is important to note that the Criminal Justice Center is housed at 1301 Filbert Street. You can call (215)683-7517 if you need information about a particular case.
The Family Division
You will want to know that the Family Division may also be referred to as Family Court. It also includes both Juvenile Court and Domestic Relations.
When it comes to Juvenile Court, you will find that this entails the following:
You can find juvenile courtrooms, court services related to domestic relations, and juvenile probation at 1501 Arch Street. You can call (215)686-4000 for information related to any court proceedings involving a juvenile or about domestic relations.
When it comes to the Orphans’ Division of the Court of Common Pleas, this is the area that seeks to protect individuals and entities who are no longer able to handle their own personal affairs. This division will handle issues involving minors, individuals who have become incapacitated, estates of a decedent, nonprofit corporations, and most types of trusts. The court will also strive to settle a dispute or other type of issue related to any application for a marriage license that comes from the Philadelphia Marriage License Bureau.
You can find the Orphans’ Division of the Court of Common Pleas inside Philadelphia City Hall on Chestnut Street. You can call (215)686-2231 if you need general information or have any questions.