Community Access to Legal Services
On March 18th, the PA Supreme Court declared a statewide judicial emergency through April 14, 2020. In York, the judicial center and county and legal aid offices related to the administration of justice are closed to the general public.
Members of the public currently involved in legal proceedings are requested to stay in contact with their attorneys for updates as the situation evolves.
The courts will provide advisement of continuances and cancellations via mail and robo-call.
Members of the public in need of legal services for new matters have several options:
1) For businesses or employees in need of legal assistance, call or email the York County Bar Association for help in connecting with an attorney: 717-854-8755×201 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (M-F 8:30 am- 4:30 pm)
2) Survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and low-income residents who need civil legal services should call MidPenn Legal Services 717-848-3605. The office is closing from the end of day, March 19th until 8:30 a.m. on March 25, 2019. Clients can apply for services online at apply.midpenn.org however they will not be responding or returning calls until March 25, 2019.
3) Visit the Court Self-Help and Law Resource Center online at https://yorkcountypa.gov/courts-criminal-justice/self-help-center.html or email CourtSelfHelp@YorkCountyPA.gov. The self-help center is closed for all purposes except assisting protection from abuse plaintiffs who cannot be assisted by the advocates’ office.
York County Judicial Center operations are currently limited to critical functions for at least the next 30 days. Judges will use advanced technology whenever possible to keep the number of people in a courtroom to 12. Only those matters that are required by statute to be held within a certain time period as well as matters deemed an emergency by a judge will be held. These include, but not limited to, requests for protection from abuse, indirect criminal contempt hearings, bench warrants, certain juvenile matters, emergency guardianships, involuntary commitments and injunctions.
Important note regarding eviction proceedings and COVID-19: as a loss of income is likely for those who have the virus and those under quarantine which may affect ability to make rent payments and mortgage-loan payments, the Court will not entertain evictions or ejectments until at least April 3, 2020. The Order does not prevent a landlord from requesting an order for possession where a judgment has already been entered. Orders for Possession, if granted, will not be executed until April 3, 2020 or later.
All York County Register of Wills and Orphans’ Court appointments, including Marriage Licenses, are suspended immediately until further notice. In the case of the Orphans’ Court, only persons filing Emergency Petitions for Guardianship will be permitted. Please be aware that the door to the Register of Wills & Clerk of Orphans’ Court is currently locked, and only those filing Emergency Petitions for Guardianship will be permitted to enter.
Orphans’ Court and Marriage Licenses – (717) 771-9288
Emergency Petitions for Guardianship – (717) 771-9258
Wills & Estates – (717) 771-9607
As of Friday, March 20, noon, the Recorder of Deeds office will also be closed to the public. The office will continue to process recordings (E-recording preferred). They are still accepting documents mailed to the office with a self-addressed stamped envelope to return recorded documents. UPS and FedEx are still delivering packages. There is a drop box for walk-ins located inside the main administrative center doors.
Additional changes and limitations are expected.