Pennsylvania Court Records
Due to the increasing capabilities of online storage and data retrieval, many court records for the state of Pennsylvania can be found online without the time and energy spent tracking down documents in person. The Internet provides access to law professionals as well as the public for accessibility to historical case decisions, records for personal law research and education, vital records and even genealogy materials.
There are multiple levels of courts providing records in the state of Pennsylvania. These include the Supreme Court, Superior Court, Commonwealth Court, Court of Common Pleas, Pennsylvania Magisterial Districts, and the Municipal Courts of Philadelphia and Pittsburg.
History of Pennsylvania Court Records
Pennsylvania has proven to be a progressive area for law. Before the foundation of the United States, in 1722 the settlement of Pennsylvania established a judicial system composed of a Supreme Court and Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia. Later, in 1790, legislation began to organize the courts into districts to ease the caseload of the overburdened Supreme Court. Over one hundred years later, the Superior Court was created as an appellate court to give each location separate jurisdictions. Then in 1968 the Commonwealth Court was added to Pennsylvania’s judiciary system.
Pennsylvania Court Records Availability
Anyone may search online to find appellate court records, dockets, court calendars and the findings of criminal and civil court records from the state of Pennsylvania by searching with a case number, party or organization name, offense tracking number, police incident, complaint number or state ID number.
Alternatively, the State Library of Pennsylvania offers experienced staff to locate and provide access to legislation, court records, regulations, and law publications at the impressive historic building located in Harrisburg.
Main Court Information
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is the oldest appellate court in the nation, as it has been operating since its founding in 1722. It meets in three locations: Philadelphia, Pittsburg and Harrisburg, and consists of seven justices. The main duties of the Supreme Court are to oversee cases that deal with the interpretation of the state and federal constitutions, provide disciplinary action against Pennsylvania judges or attorneys in poor standing, and to serve as the court of last resort handling cases appealed from lower courts.
In 2011 the court system of Pennsylvania processed 3.4 million cases. The Supreme Court of the state does not provide statistics on the number of cases that reach a disposition; however, there were 253 filings in the fiscal year of 2014.