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Welcome to the Court of Common Pleas 43rd Judicial District

 
 

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Per the Order issued by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 38 MM 2020 on September 30, 2021:​ 

The President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Monroe County is authorized, through November 1, 2021, to suspend state or local rules that restrict the use of advanced communication technology (ACT) in court proceedings, subject to state and federal constitutional limitations. Judges shall be present in the courthouse, judicial center, or other court facility whenever a proceeding is being conducted by ACT, except for extraordinary circumstances, such as when court properties have been closed due to inclement weather or other emergency under Pa.R.J.A. Nos. 1950-1954, or when a proceeding is not being conducted during normal business hours.

Please see for PA Supreme Court 38 MM2020 -200534-(useofactthrough11121) - issued 09302021.pdf  for the full Order​.


After careful review and consideration of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) masking guidelines (released on 7/28/2021) and in conjunction with a forthcoming policy announcement by the County of Monroe, please note that effective 7/29/2021 the Court amends its Protocols for the Use of ACT (and masking policy) as follows:

Any person entering any Court Facility, regardless of vaccination status, shall wear a facial covering which covers the nose and mouth while in all public spaces including, but not limited to, corridors, restrooms, courtrooms, hearing rooms, deliberation rooms, elevators, stairways, entranceways, and all Court offices, except when an employee is in his or her own cubicle or private office. All persons in all Court Facilities shall maintain physical distancing of a minimum of 6 feet of separation, unless otherwise directed by the Court.

 

August 2021 Criminal Trial Queue – Criminal Defendants and Attorneys

 

Please see the attached PDF. This list will be utilized for the purposes of conducting Criminal Jury Selection in August (all listed parties must appear).

August Trial Queue.pdf​


 
Virtual COPE classes are now available via a web-based platform; please go to our Custody Department link for the registration form and more details.
 

  ​   
Monroe County Court - Protocols for the Use of ACT

At this time, any state or local rule that restrict the use of Advanced Communication Technology (ACT) in court proceedings is suspended until 10/01/2021

Last Administrative Order Issued: 98 AD 2020 on 08/31/2021

Emergency Administrative Order 99 AD 2020 - 5 CV 2021​

Last Emergency Administrative Order Issued on 09/08/2021

(see PA Supreme Court’s Orders related to recent Administrative Orders of this Judicial Distict)


Please note that this website/Special Coronavirus Announcements section will be updated as new information about the Court’s modified operations becomes available; please continue to check here often.

 
 All Courts of the 43rd Judicial District, Monroe County, including Magisterial District Courts and the Court of Common Pleas, have been and shall remain fully open for business with restricted public access in accordance with the Court’s Protocols (Court protocols available by clicking the area of interest in the links below).

 

The Court of Common Pleas may conduct all proceedings, where practicable, using Advanced Communications Technology (ACT).

Magisterial District Courts shall conduct all hearings/proceedings as indicated in the Court’s Protocols, Section H(6).

1.    All persons entering any Court facility, which includes 701 Main Street and the Sherman Theater, shall be screened using the COVID-19 questionnaire approved by the Court. Any person not meeting the health questionnaire criteria may be denied access to any Court facility and alternative accommodations for access to court proceedings and offices will be made. The Sheriff’s staff will continue to act as the “gatekeeper” in accordance with these procedures.

2.    Any person entering any Court Facility, regardless of vaccination statusshall wear a facial covering which covers the nose and mouth while in all public spaces including, but not limited to, corridors, restrooms, courtrooms, hearing rooms, deliberation rooms, elevators, stairways, entranceways, and all Court offices, except when an employee is in his or her own cubicle or private office.

3.    All persons in all Court Facilities shall maintain physical distancing of a minimum of 6 feet of separation, unless otherwise directed by the Court.

4.    Any person who meets one or more of the below criteria is prohibited from entering the Court facility:

a. is currently directed to quarantine, isolate or self-monitor at home for COVID-19 by any doctor, hospital or health agency; or

b. has been diagnosed with (and has not been medically cleared from isolation), or has had close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 (within the last fourteen (14) days); or

c.  has flulike symptoms or a temperature over 100 degrees Fahrenheit; or

d. is not wearing a facial covering in accordance with paragraph 2 above (as amended 7/29/2021); or

e. has traveled outside of the United States of America within the last ten (10) days

Protocols for the Use of ACT 
 
​               As the Court continues to navigate necessary changes in operations, We are mindful of our unwavering priority and goal of the health and safety of our employees and the public which has guided us throughout this pandemic. As the Commonwealth and Country begin to reopen, and as our vaccination rates increase,

We will continue to cautiously increase in person proceedings, while using ACT as appropriate and practicable.

In accordance with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Order dated September 3. 2021, allowing the continued suspension of any state or local rule that restricts, directly or indirectly, the use of Advanced Communications Technology (ACT) in court proceedings, including but not limited to Pa.R.Crim.P. 119 and Pa.R.J.C.P. Nos. 129 and 1129 through October 1, 2021, we promulgate the following procedures.


A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

1.   All persons entering any Court facility, which includes 701 Main Street and the Sherman Theater, shall be screened using the COVID-19 questionnaire approved by the Court. Any person not meeting the health questionnaire criteria may be denied access to any Court facility and alternative accommodations for access to court proceedings and offices will be made. The Sheriff’s staff will continue to act as the “gatekeeper” in accordance with these procedures.

  

​2.   Any person entering any Court Facility, regardless of vaccination status, shall wear a facial covering which covers the nose and mouth while in all public spaces including, but not limited to, corridors, restrooms, courtrooms, hearing rooms, deliberation rooms and all Court offices (As amended 7/29/2021).  All persons in all Court Facilities shall maintain physical distancing of a minimum of 6 feet of separation, unless otherwise directed by the Court.


​3.   Courthouse boxes and a limited number of blank printed forms will remain at the front door.  Forms are available on the Court’s website at www.monroepacourts.us, additional forms from the Prothonotary’s Office are available on the County’s website: http://www.monroecountypa.gov/Dept/Prothonotary/Pages/default.aspx.

 

4.     Litigants will be permitted in the facility no more than 10 minutes prior to a scheduled proceeding and counsel shall speak with their clients outside of the court facility prior to the proceeding. Accommodations for the press and for public access to proceedings will be made upon request to Court Administration.

 

5.     In accordance with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Order dated September 3, 2021, granting permission to continue the use of ACT through October 1, 2021, “judges shall be present in the courthouse, judicial center, or other court facility whenever a proceeding is being conducted by ACT, except for extraordinary circumstances, such as when court properties have been closed due to inclement weather or other emergency under Pa.R.J.A. Nos. 1950–1954, or when a proceeding is not being conducted during normal business hours.”

 

6.     ACT may be used for all proceedings when possible and practicable, and in the discretion of the presiding Judge. All Court orders shall specify whether a proceeding will be held in person or via ACT. In person proceedings shall be staggered by time. All in person proceedings shall be scheduled to ensure that physical distancing in any given courtroom at all times and during ingress and egress can be maintained.  While this will inevitably create longer hearing times and more “down time” in court, it remains necessary for the health of the public, counsel and employees.

 

7.     Unless otherwise directed by the presiding Judge, documents/exhibits for use in all types of proceedings held using ACT must be emailed to the presiding Judge, Hearing Officer or Conciliator to an address provided and to all opposing counsel/parties a minimum of 3 days prior to the scheduled proceeding or as specified herein or by the presiding Judge.  Exhibits must be pre-marked by counsel and able to be displayed at the time of the proceedings in an electronic format with a copy to opposing counsel/party.  

 

8.     The Prothonotary/Clerk of Courts/Orphans Court will continue to receive filings via U.S. Mail, email, counter or front door drop-off and process same by scanning and docketing each filing to insure electronic means of review and scheduling.

 

9.     All criminal pleadings, except those specifically excluded by rule, shall be filed using PACFile (see Monroe Co.R.Crim.P. 576.1).

 

10. Judicial Assistants will continue to create orders for electronic signature and filing by each Judge where possible.

 

11. Court reporters/recorders will continue to provide orders for electronic signature and filing for each Judge.

 

The following links will take you to the applicable section of the Court’s Protocols for the Use of ACT
(please reference these links for specific protocols, methods of filing and / or helpful contact information):

 

  • Family (PFA Court; Custody; Domestic Relations Office [DRO]; Divorce)
  • Civil (Mortgage Foreclosure; Tax Assessment Appeals; Mental Health Act Proceedings; All Civil Filings; Arbitrations)
  • Juvenile - Delinquency (Detention Hearings; Juvenile Call; Adjudication Hearings; Disposition Hearings; Placement Reviews; Probation Reviews and Releases; Pre and Post- Adjudication Motions; Additional Hearing Procedures and Protocols; Administrative)
  • Juvenile - Dependency(Emergency Protective Custody [EPC]; Hearings; Motions; Visitation; TPR Hearings)
  • Magisterial District Courts​(Public Access; Preliminary Arraignments; Scheduling Events; Correspondence; New Civil Case Filings; Contact Information)
  • Language Access​ (Interpreter Needs)

 Individuals should come to Court facilities during this time only if they

are required to be there physically.  With alternative means of filing

available to court users versus over-the-counter filing (see COVID-19

INFO/FAQs) and with many proceedings being conducted via alternative

communication technology (ACT), please be sure you need to be

here and please come alone:


-  Do​ not bring children to the Courthouse unless mandated by Court order.

-     Do not bring relatives or friends unless they are mandated by Order of Court.

-     Individuals scheduled for Court are encouraged to remain outside of the building or in their vehicle until just before the scheduled time of their Court proceeding (allow time for security screening at the front door).

o   Litigants will be permitted in the facility no more than 10 minutes prior
to a scheduled proceeding and counsel shall speak with their clients outside of the court facility prior to the proceeding. Witnesses will remain
outside of the court facility and will be called in as needed. Reasonable accommodations for the press and for public access to proceedings will be made upon request to Court Administration.
​​

​​

   

Please continue to check http://www.monroepacourts.us/ for updates.  As always, please reference the “Calendar” link on this page to see scheduled proceedings for criminal cases for the Court of Common Pleas.
For those at risk for homelessness as a result of COVID-19, please see the following:

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) provides assistance to households that have experienced financial hardship and may be at risk of homelessness due to COVID-19. ERAP provides tenant households assistance with rental and utility costs to include arrearages and other related housing expenses. Eligible households can receive up to fifteen (15) months of rental and utility assistance, including payment on arrears dating back to March 13, 2020, and there are no caps on the amounts that can be paid. Interested tenants or landlords can apply online, and Monroe County residents can call Pocono Mountains United Way's ERAP team at 570-243-6677 for more information.​​



COVID-19 Questions? Call 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258)
If you are sick, please stay home and contact your health care professional for assistance/direction.
 
Updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) can be found at
 
 Links to local health care providers:
 
      Lehigh Valley Health Network –
            https://www.lvhn.org/
 
      St. Luke’s University Health Network
            https://www.slhn.org/
 

 
 
 
Mission: The Courts of the 43rd Judicial District of Pennsylvania, as an independent branch of government, are dedicated to the administration of justice in a fair, impartial and timely manner in accordance with the rule of law and the constitutions of the United States of America and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The Court of Common Pleas of the 43rd Judicial District is a state trial court of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania. It encompasses the County of Monroe. The Court hears civil cases with a significant amount in controversy and trials for serious crimes. The Court has original jurisdiction over all cases not exclusively assigned to another court and appellate jurisdiction over judgments from the minor courts. The Court also hears appeals from certain state and most local government agencies. The courts are established by Article V, Section 5 of the Pennsylvania Constitution: "There shall be one court of common pleas for each judicial district (a) having such divisions and consisting of such number of judges as shall be provided by law, one of whom shall be the president judge; and (b) having unlimited original jurisdiction in all cases except as may otherwise be provided by law." The Court of Common Pleas of the 43rd Judicial District has 6 judges. Judges of the Common Pleas courts are elected to 10-year terms. A president judge and a court administrator serve in each judicial district.
 
 
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News / Updates
  
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Upcoming Jury Selection Dates

(please refer to your juror summons for more information):

 

Monday, October 4, 2021 (cancelled)

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

 

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

 

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Thursday, December 21, 2021

 
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