BLUE BELL, Pa. (February 2020) – After an emergency shutdown of regular operations due to COVID-19, our local courts reopened this week, with new health and safety rules to reduce risk to their staff and visitors.  Most counties will be using a combination of remote access and limited in-person appearances for family law matters. A brief summary of what you need to know in each county follows. Links for county websites are also included for more information.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

Some Montgomery Courts have resumed some judicial operations, including in-person hearings, with staggered start schedules. Most family court matters will be handled by telephone or video conference.

  • In-Person Courthouse Appearances
    • Do not arrive early or linger in the hallways.
    • Courthouse will be accessible by the main street / plaza level entrance only.
    • One Montgomery Plaza and 321 Swede Street will not be opened to the public.
    • Masks are required and social distancing must be observed.
    • At the security checkpoint, your temperature will be taken and you will be given a sticker that you must wear to show you passed through security.
  • Custody
    • Custody conciliation will be conducted by telephone conference calls.
    • Children Come First Seminar will be online.
  • Domestic Relations
    • Support Conferences will be by telephone.
    • Support Masters’ matters will remain on hold pending further notice.
    • Protection from Abuse (PFAs) will be heard in person at the courthouse.
    • For more information, see Family Division Protocols

BUCKS COUNTY

All Bucks County courts have resumed normal operations and hours. Proceedings may be conducted via advanced communication technologies.

  • Visitors are required to wear a protective face mask or covering, maintain social distancing, and comply with any other court safety directives.
  • Domestic Relations
    • All conferences will be conducted by telephone.
    • Officer of the Day services at DRS Doylestown and Walk-in Services at DRS Bristol are suspended.
    • Email all questions to CSBucks@pacses.com or call (215) 340-8068.
    • For more information, see Emergency Order No. 2020-11.

CHESTER COUNTY

All Chester County court functions are restored.  Staggered court proceedings and advanced communication technology will be used when appropriate. Visitors should allow extra time to comply with safety protocols.

  • Masks and social distancing are required.
  • The number of people permitted in the elevators is limited to 2.  
  • Public stairways are available for use (but be aware that courtrooms are on floors 6 and 7).
  • Attendance at hearings should be limited to essential participants. 
  • All visitors are required to complete a symptom survey when entering the Justice Center and temperatures will be taken at the security checkpoint.
  • Domestic Relations
    • Appointments required. 
    • Call for instruction before appearing at the Justice Center. 
    • Staff are available by phone and email.
    • Most Domestic Relations matters will take place using telephone or technology.

DELAWARE COUNTY

Delaware County Courts have resumed certain judicial operations, including in-person hearings, with staggered start schedules.

  • Only counsel, parties, and witnesses will be permitted access to the court house.
  • Arrive about thirty minutes before the scheduled start time, earlier arrivals will not be admitted.
  • Everyone must undergo both security and health screenings. Temperatures will be taken.
  • Domestic Relations

PHILADELPHIA COUNTY

Most Philadelphia County Family Court services, conferences, hearings, and court proceedings will be conducted by telephone and/or video conference. The Philadelphia Family Court building shall remain generally closed to the public. However, in-person proceedings at the Philadelphia Family Courthouse may be scheduled, as the court deems necessary.

All matters that were given a date certain by notice issued prior to March 16, 2020 for any date from March 17, 2020 through December 31, 2020, have been administratively canceled and will be rescheduled. Parties will receive notification of their rescheduled hearing date(s). This does not apply to cases designated as protracted, which remain as scheduled.

About Shemtob Draganosky Taylor, P.C.: The divorce and family law attorneys of Shemtob Draganosky Taylor can guide you through all aspects of your divorce, including the differing procedures of our local counties. Call us at 215-542-2105 for a confidential discussion.

Abuse | ADR | Alimony | Appeals | Arbitration | Business Valuation | Child Custody | Child Support | Collaborative Law | Divorce | Equitable Distribution | Grandparent and Third Party Visitation and Custody | High Asset Divorce | Mediation | Post-Divorce | Prenuptial Agreements | Property Settlement Agreements | Relocation | Restraining Orders | Retirement Benefits in Divorce | Same-Sex Marriage | Spousal Support

Montgomery County | Bucks County | Chester County | Delaware County | Philadelphia

Montgomery County:
790 Penllyn Blue Bell Pike, Suite 303
Blue Bell, PA 19422

Bucks County:
68 East Court Street, Suite 2D
Doylestown, PA 18901

 

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