Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Q. Where is the Prothonotary's Office located?

A. On the first floor of the main courthouse to the left after you pass through security.

Q. Do we have forms for all the filings?

A. No, there are not forms for everything. Please see Printable Forms on our homepage Navigational list to the left to see what's available.

Q. What do I need to bring to obtain a passport?

A. See Passports on our list to the left on our homepage.

Q. How do I appeal a License Suspension or Registration Suspension?

A. We have 3 forms to complete for this appeal found on our Printable Forms on our list to the left.

Q. What do I need to renew my notary?

A. When you receive your bond, visit the Recorder of Deeds Office to file your bond. When that is completed, you are to come to our office to record your signature. Payment is made by cash or money order. (see Prothonotary Fees)

Q. How do I file for a Divorce or Annulment?

 A. Annulments are treated the same as a Divorce. We do not recommend that you use forms that you take from the Web or purchase at a book store because this paperwork may not apply to what is required in Cumberland County. Consult legal counsel. If you decide that you want to do the filing yourself, you must research the PA Rules of Civil Procedure to see what is satisfactory to this Court. Note that the staff here in the Prothonotary's Office is not able to help you with this paperwork.

Q. How do I obtain a certified copy of my Divorce Decree?

 A. For a Certified copy of your divorce decree, you will need cash or money order for $20. You can do this by personally coming in to our office or by mail. If you choose to do this by mail, please include as much information as you can in your cover letter: docket number/plaintiff's name/defendant's name/phone number where you can be reached, etc... Include a SASE and a money order for $20. Please make sure your request is legible.

Q. How do I find an attorney for my case?

 A. Contact the Cumberland County Bar Association at: 717.249.3166

Q. Do I obtain a marriage license in your office?

 A. No, you must contact the Register of Wills: If you have been divorced, you must have a certified copy of your divorce decree, which can be obtained in this office, in order to proceed with your new marriage license.

Q. How do I appeal a District Justice Judgment?

A. Defendants can appeal a DJ Judgment within 30 days from the date of the Judgment. Writeable appeal forms can be found in Prothonotary Forms found on our list to the left. You will need to bring in a copy of your "Notice of Judgment/Transcript" form and a Civil Cover sheet found on the Prothonotary Forms found on our list to the left. Payment for transaction is made by cash or money order. (see Prothonotary Fees).

Q. How do I enter a District Justice Judgment?

 A. After 30 days from the day of your Judgment, come to our office with the following: the original judgment twice signed by the District Justice and the DJ seal, a copy for the defendant, a SASE addressed to the defendant, and cash or money order in the proper amount. (see Prothonotary Fees) However, within those 30 days the defendant can file an appeal. If this was done, you cannot file a Judgment.

Q. How do I change my child's last name?
A. If the biological father's name is not on the birth certificate and he is marrying the mother, and the child has not started school, you can complete the information on the back of the birth certificate and send it to the:

Office of Vital Statistics, Division of Vital Records

101 South Mercer Street

P.O. Box 1528

New Castle, PA 16101 

or for more information, click on: PA Department of Health 

In all other circumstances, you must petition the Court.

Q. What is the difference between a "Notice to Resume PriorSurname" after a divorce and an "Official Name Change?"

A. A Notice to Resume Prior Surname can be completed here after a divorce complaint is entered in our office. This must be completed in the county where the divorce action is filed.

An Official Name Change must follow the PA Rules of Civil Procedure.There is no form for this. You must research what needs to be filed or contact an attorney. (see Prothonotary Fees)