Frequently Asked Questions

Home » Luzerne County » Judicial Services and Records » Prothonotary » Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Prothonotary?
The Prothonotary is the Chief Clerk of the Civil
Court. The word is of Greek origin, and it means "First Clerk." The Prothonotary's office of Luzerne County is responsible for filing, storing, and distributing official civil documents. The Prothonotary's Office also issues passports and maintains naturalization records.

What type of records are filed in the Prothonotary's Office?
All official civil records are filed in our office. These include but are not limited to: civil lawsuits, protection from abuse matters, divorce and custody matters, liens (including municipal, state and federal liens), mortgage foreclosures, executions and appeals from magistrate decisions.

Are documents filed in the  Luzerne County Prothonotary's Office available online?
Many of our documents are currently available online. The Prothonotary's Office began its computerization on March 1, 2005, and all documents filed on or after that date are available for electronic searching. 

There are seven computer stations in the office for public access. 

Are all records filed in the Prothonotary's Office public record?
All of the records maintained by the Prothonotary are available to the public unless they are sealed by the Court or involve mental health matters.

May I obtain certified copies of documents?
We will certify documents filed in our office. For a current list of fees for certification, please refer to our current fee schedule. You may request certified copies of documents by mail, in person or by phone.

Can I pay for filing fees with a credit card?
Yes. Our office accepts all major credit cards. The exception is passport fees made payable to "U.S. Department of State." For more information, please see the "Passport" section of this site.

Can the staff of the Prothonotary's Office provide legal advice or help me to file documents?
No. The staff of the Prothonotary's Office is prohibited from providing legal advice or helping individuals to file documents. If you choose to represent yourself in a lawsuit, it is your responsibility to educate yourself on the appropriate rules of civil procedure and local rules.

Last Updated: 06/07/13 14:40:43
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