Family Court

Suggested Guidelines for Persons Subject to Luzerne County Custody Orders During COVID-19 

For persons seeking guidance regarding existing Custody Orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, the following are recommendations only and are not enforceable via a Contempt Petition. These recommendations are consistent with the Governor’s Emergency Mandate: Click Here 

Family Court is responsible for adjudicating child custody concerns, dependency (CYS) issues, adoption and termination of parental rights matters, child support enforcement, and select divorce disputes.

Family Court hearings occur in the Brominski Building, as well as Penn Place and the Main Courthouse. 

Things to Know

  • If a child is in immediate danger or there are serious concerns for a child’s welfare, please notify Childline at 1-800-932-0313 at once. 
  • Always be aware of the date, time and location of your hearing. Family Court proceedings occur in the Brominski Building, Penn Place and the Main Courthouse throughout the day. Have your Scheduling Order and accompanying paperwork with you at all times.
  • Self-represented (pro se) litigants are held to the same standards as attorneys admitted to the bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Representing yourself does not exempt you from understanding and following statewide and local Rules of Court.
  • Family Court does not notify (provide service to) any other parties in custody matters. You, the Petitioner, are responsible for the proper service of all documents to all parties. If all parties have not been notified properly, your hearing cannot take place.
  • Court staff is prohibited from providing legal advice in all situations. Staff cannot assist in the creation or preparation of any documents.
  • In most matters, case captions do not change. If you have an existing matter, please copy your caption and case number exactly as it appears on your last court order on all documents.  Lawyer Referral Service may be able to assist you, if needed.
  • The Court does not appoint counsel in custody matters. You are free to hire your own attorney at any time.  
  • A continuance of any hearing must be granted by a Judge and cannot be accommodated by making a request via mail or telephone.
  • Requests for an interpreter of any kind should be made, whenever possible, upon the scheduling of a hearing.

Notice of Language Rights

You have the right to an interpreter at no cost to you. To request an interpreter, please inform Family Court staff or contact the Language Access Coordinator at 570-830-8406 or 570-830-5190.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1980

Luzerne County Courthouse is a facility accessible to persons with disabilities. Please notify the ADA Compliance Officer, who may be contacted by telephone at 570-830-5135, if special accommodations are required. All arrangements must be made at least 72 hours prior to any hearing or business before the Court.

You must attend the scheduled conference or hearing.