What is the Clerk of Courts Office?

The Clerk of Court is the official record keeper for all matters relating to the Criminal Division of the Court of Common Pleas.  For Civil matters, please click here (Insert link to Prothonotary’s Office).  All documents pertaining to a criminal court case must be filed with the Clerk of Courts.  All records, with the exception of records involving juveniles and those not open to public inspection by statute or by court order, are open for public view.   

This office is a fee office and is required  to charge fees for services to maintain the office. See Act 36 of 2000.
Staff of the Clerk of Courts Office is here to assist you.  However, please be advised that we cannot provide legal advice nor can we provide information over the phone.  If you need assistance with a legal issue, please contact an attorney or visit the Dauphin County Law Library.

How do I file a motion/petition or other notice or document?

Bring with you an original of the motion/petition, notice or document you wish to file along with the appropriate number of copies—please check the Rules of Criminal Procedure for number of copies you will need to bring with you.  Please make sure that each document has the case caption, docket number, affidavit of service, and distribution on proposed orders with correct names and addresses of parties to be served, copies and original of any citation or exhibit you will be attaching to your filing.  For certain filings, there are filing fees.  Please bring cash, exact change only, or a certified check.  For filing fees, click here.

If you are filing for In Forma Pauperis status (IFP) or Nunc Pro Tunc, please make sure that each and every line item is completed and complies with the Rules of Criminal Procedure and the Instruction Packet attached to the request.  For nunc pro tunc petitions, you must include an explanation as to why the defendant failed to file his/her appeal within the 30 day time frame.

You may also mail your filing with any fee to:
Dauphin County Clerk of Courts
101 Market Street
Rm 202
Harrisburg, PA 17101

Please note that we do not accept filings by fax or email.
Costs and Fines
How are fines, court costs and restitution determined?

Some fines are mandated by law, while others are determined by the Court.  Costs are mandated by law or local rule.  Restitution is determined based on the amount of damage incurred.  If fees, fines and costs exceeding $1,000.00 are not paid in full within 30 days of sentencing, a judgment in the amount owed will be entered against you.   Judgments may be entered against you for fees, fines and costs that are less than $1,000.00. Failure to pay your fees, fines and costs can result in additional penalties including incarceration and /or increased costs.
Where are fines, court costs and restitution paid?
Fines, Costs and restitution are paid in the Fines and Costs Office located on the ground floor of the Dauphin County Courthouse.  Payments may be made in person Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., or electronically by credit card at http://ujsportal.pacourts.us/epay/
Please bring with you your docket number.
Payments also may be mailed to:
Fines and Costs
101 Market Street, Rm
Harrisburg, PA 17101
For additional information, please click here: (link to Fines and Costs)
How do I locate my docket number(s)? 
The Clerk of Courts Office has 2 public terminals for your use or at the link below through the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.  www.ujsportal.pacourts.us 
How do I appeal a Summary Conviction?
Appeal from Magisterial District Judge Sentence

A Defendant who has been found guilty or who has plead guilty to a summary offense may file an appeal with the Court of Common Pleas within thirty (30) days of the date of the guilty plea or trial disposition of the District Court.   Summary Appeal Forms and Informational Packets are available in the Office of the Clerk of Courts for a fee  $5.00 or download free from here: (insert link to forms) for additional information refer to Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure 460.
A non-refundable fee of $68.50 is charged by the Clerk of Court for the filing of any summary appeal or Petition for Nunc Pro Tunc.  This fee is in addition to any costs and fines which may be or have been charged.  If you require a certified copy for PennDot there is a $ 10.90 charge. 
Print and complete the Notice of Summary Appeal form. Make sure that all required information is included in your form.
Mail FIVE (5) COPIES enclosed with a check or money order in the amount of $ 68.50  payable to the Dauphin County Clerk of Courts to the following:
Dauphin County Clerk of Courts
101 market Street
Rm 202
Harrisburg, PA 17101
If more than 30 days have elapsed since the date of disposition (guilty plea or trial) by the Magisterial District Judge, the defendant may file a Petition Nunc Pro Tunc.  The Nunc Pro Tunc petition is a request made to the Court to allow the defendant to file an appeal even though the deadline has passed.  You may obtain this packet form the Clerk of Court’s office or click here (insert link to form).  Please make sure to include an explanation as to why the defendant failed to file his/her appeal within the 30 day time frame.  Mail one (1) copy of the completed form and a check or money order in the amount of $ 68.50 for the filing made payable to Dauphin County Clerk of Courts.
If you are unable to afford the Summary Appeal filing fee of $ 68.50  , the filing fee may be waived by order of the Court of the Common Pleas pending sufficient evidence of the inability to pay.  Click here for  an IFP petition and informational packet.  Packets are also available at the Front Desk of the Clerk of Courts Office.  Please read through the instructions prior to completing the form.  Make sure you include all information requested or you risk having your IFP petition denied. 
If your appeal is denied, you will incur additional costs.  In addition, the judge does have the right to impose more court costs and fines.
Your appeal is due within 30 days of your hearing at the MDJ. 

You must fill in all requested information and submit the completed form to our office along with 4 copies. Upon payment of $ 68.50  non-refundable fee or an approved IFP Petition, the Clerk of Courts shall accept the appeal.   Please note that the Clerk of Court’s staff is not permitted to assist you with the completion of your forms nor is staff permitted to give legal advice. 
Be advised that it can take upwards of 6 months for a hearing to be scheduled on your summary appeal.  If you should change your contact information after the filing of your appeal, you must contact the District Attorney’s Office and this Office with your updated contact information.
Cases involving vehicle offenses

In cases where your Pennsylvania Driver’s License can be suspended or revoked due to a conviction for certain vehicle code and criminal offenses, you may request a 6 month delay in processing the suspension/revocation/disqualification pending the outcome of your summary appeal. The form is available on this website by clicking here.  Please submit this form, along with a certified copy of your Notice of Appeal filed with the Dauphin County Clerk of Courts to PennDot.  There is a $ 10.90 fee for certified copies.
In the event that your summary appeal is denied, please consult the Rules of Criminal Procedure and Rules of Appellate Procedure regarding perfecting an appeal from a Common Pleas case.
How Do I File An Appeal To Superior And/Or Commonwealth Courts

Appealing to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania for a Common Pleas decision generally must be filed within 30 days from the date of sentence or/and date of final decision in the matter is issued to file a notice of appeal to Superior Court.  Please see Pennsylvania Rules of Appellate Procedure 903 and Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 114 and 720.
One original and two copies of the Notice of Appeal along with a proof of service, copy of docket entry and a request for transcript must be filed with the Clerk of Courts Office with filing fees of $ 85.50 payable to the Dauphin County Clerk of Courts  and a separate filing fee of $ 73.50  made payable to the Prothonotary of the Superior Court, or a petition for In Forma Pauperis. See Rule of Appellate Procedure 903 and 904. 
Once Superior Court receives the notice of appeal, they will assign their own case number to the case (MDA).  The Clerk of Courts office will transmit a transcript of all items mailed to Superior Court.  It is your obligation to ensure that all items necessary for your appeal have been forwarded to the Superior Court for review.  Please check the docketing transcript closely to ensure that no items were missed and that any and all exhibits have been forwarded to the appellate court.  The Clerk of Courts Office usually does not retain exhibits unless the exhibits have been made part of the record, are docketed and at most 8 ½ x 11 in size.   The Court Reporter’s Office maintains all exhibits.  As such, if you wish for a particular exhibit to be transmitted to the Superior Court you must take steps to see that the requested item has been docketed with our office and sent up to Superior Court. 
To keep track of Superior Court proceedings you can visit their website at: http://www.pacourts.us/courts/superior-court/
How Do I Obtain a Copy Of a Transcript?
In order to obtain a copy of any transcript, one must file a motion.  See Rule Of Criminal Procedure 115.  To view the form for a request of transcript, click here (direct to self-help section form for transcripts) If motion is granted, you must make arrangements with the Court Reporters Office for payment of the transcript unless you have been granted IFP status.  See Rules of Judicial Administration 5000.1, 5000.5, 5000.6, 5000.7, 5000.11, and 5000.13; Rules of Appellate Procedure 1911, 1922 and 1923.
How Do I Post Bail?

Bail can be posted at the Clerk of Courts Office, located on the 2nd floor of the Dauphin County  Court house during the hours of 8:00 to 4:00 pm, excluding holidays.  The case for which you are posting bail must have been forwarded to and  received by the Clerk of Courts Office in order to process bail, otherwise you will need to contact the Magisterial District Justice who set the bail.   Bail may be posted at the Magisterial District Judge Office.  See Rules of Criminal Procedure 520 – 536.
In some instances, a defendant may be ordered to be under the supervision of Pre-Trial Services.  For more information, please click here.
For some of the consequences when a defendant fails to appear or fails to comply as required, see the Crimes Code, 18 Pa.C.S. 5124 and Rule of Criminal Procedure 536. 
Types of payments accepted:
  • Only cash or certified check is accepted for posting bail
  • Bail bondsman (insert link for bondsmen list)
  • Surety Company(insert link for bondsmen list)
  • Real estate can be posted as surety for bail, however, the following regulations apply: (insert link to realty bail)
Bail Refund:
If a "third party surety" posts the bail, they will receive a refund of the money within 40 days of the final disposition or prison report date.
  • More information on bail (click link)
  • Approved Bail Bondsmen List (insert link)
  • Bail Piece Check List (insert link)
  • Bail Piece Application (insert link)
How do I request a Record Check?
The following procedure and information are required when requesting a record search from this office:
For Private Individuals:
Submit in writing a request to conduct a criminal record search and include the individual’s name, address, date
of birth and full social security number.  Include a certified check made payable to “Clerk of Courts” with required fee(s).  Remember to include any aliases, maiden name, prior married names, etc.  This office will not accept requests by phone.  
Once complete, this office will forward the requester an official  court seal letter stating the criminal charges, offense date and disposition of the case or cases filed against that individual or a letter stating that no record was found for that individual.  Should you require copies of the record(s), upon receipt of the required fees, those copies will be mailed to you.  If you would like for those records to be certified, additional fees apply. 
Please be advised that the record search results will only include convictions which occurred in Dauphin County.  For a complete criminal history, please contact Pennsylvania State Police (insert link here)
For Government Agencies and Police Departments:
Submit in writing or by fax on your official letterhead, the individuals’ name, address, date of birth and social security number.  Without proper identification of your agency, record searches will not be conducted. 
Please be advised that there are 2 public access terminals located at this office and are available to the public should they wish to conduct a record search on an individual themselves.  You can also visit the state website at : (insert ujs portal link)
$ 10.90 per search
$ 10.90  per certified copy requested
$ 00.50 per copy requested
Driver Licensing Issues
Please be advised that it can take upwards of 6 weeks from the date of your sentence until PennDot receives and processes any and all driver licensing issues. 
How do I get my Pennsylvania Driver’s License Restored?
If you are reporting to the Adult Probation/Parole Office about restoration of your driving privilege, or if you have received a restoration letter from PennDOT, here are the steps you must complete:
ACT 122
You will need to contact your probation officer by telephone to schedule an appointment to complete an Act 122 Form. At that appointment time, bring with you:
  1. A letter of completion from the CARE Center or other approved treatment agency. This letter states that you have completed all DUI-related treatment and have paid for the services in full.
  2. An Act 122 Affidavit from the Clerk of Courts. This is a specific form that states that all fines and costs have been paid in full. A copy of your receipts will not be acceptable.
  3. Your PA driver's license number. You must know your driver's license number to be put on the appropriate paperwork. If you do not know this number, it will be located on your restoration letter from PennDOT.
If you do not have all of these items, the Act 122 will not be complete and your driver's license will not be restored.
This states that any jail time has been completed. If you are in the process of having your driver’s license restored, the Act 151 paperwork will be completed at the same time as the Act 122 (please see above for explanation). You will need to notify the probation officer at the Act 122 appointment that PennDOT does not have verification of your jail time.
If you have completed the process for an Act 122 but PennDOT does not have notification that your jail time was completed, contact your probation officer and ask them to complete an Act 151. It will be helpful if you are able to provide the dates in which you were incarcerated.
Once the Act 122 paperwork has been completed at the Adult Probation Office, it is sent to the sentencing judge for approval. From the judge, the paperwork is taken to the Clerk of Courts office. They handle the processing and filing of this paperwork and they certify all information to PennDOT. The entire process generally takes 6 to 8 weeks.
For all other PennDot issues, please contact PennDot or click here to visit the website.
How do I file for an Expungement?
What is an expungement?

According to Pennsylvania Law, 18 Pa.C.S. § 9122, under limited circumstances individuals may obtain permission to remove criminal records and non-conviction data from the files of the Department of Court Records, Criminal Division, and other criminal justice agencies.  Be advised that it can take upwards of 12 months until all information is removed from each and every repository.
Click here for the forms and instructions on how to file for an expungement.  Please note that should you fail to comply with the filing requirements, you will be required to re-file and pay an additional filing fee.
Submit your Expungement Petition along with the required $ 34.65 filing fee or IFP Order. 
What if I am not eligible for an “expungement”?
If your conviction is not eligible for expungement in Pennsylvania at this time, the other option for clearing your record is to seek a pardon. There are no minimum eligibility requirements to apply for a pardon.
After you receive a pardon, you will be eligible to completely expunge the conviction from your record. Or additional information on applying for a pardon, contact the Board of Pardons.
Criminal Case expungements:
  • 18 Pa.C.S.A. 9122
  • Rules of Criminal Procedure 490 and 790
  • Juvenile Court Procedure Rules 170 and 172
How do I file for a Private Detective License?
You will need the following:

  1. 2 complete Petitions (1 original and 1 copy)
  2. You must include your full Social Security Number/Federal I.D. number
  3. One set of completed fingerprint cards for each Individual/officer of the corporation included within the petition
  4. A second set of fingerprint cards and a check in the amount of $ 17.50 made payable to "Commonwealth of PA" for processing
  5. A check in the amount of $ 35.00  made payable to Clerk of Courts
  6. A set of photos, the license and file
  7. Surety Bond in the amount of $10,000.00—Please note that a Surety Bond for new applications may not be filed until the license is approved by the Court
  8. It is necessary for the Court to approve the Surety Bond before licenses are issued.
  9. Bring all required items and filing fees to the Clerk of Courts office for filing.  You may also mail the same to the address listed below.
Click here for additional information(send to COC website page link to private detective)
Additional Links