Pennsylvania Court Records

Due to the increasing capabilities of online storage and data retrieval, many court records for the state of Pennsylvania can be found online without the time and energy spent tracking down documents in person. The Internet provides access to law professionals as well as the public for accessibility to historical case decisions, records for personal law research and education, vital records and even genealogy materials.

There are multiple levels of courts providing records in the state of Pennsylvania. These include the Supreme Court, Superior Court, Commonwealth Court, Court of Common Pleas, Pennsylvania Magisterial Districts, and the Municipal Courts of Philadelphia and Pittsburg.

Pennsylvania Court Records

History of Pennsylvania Courts

Pennsylvania has proven to be a progressive area for law. Before the foundation of the United States, in 1722 the settlement of Pennsylvania established a judicial system composed of a Supreme Court and Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia. Later, in 1790, legislation began to organize the courts into districts to ease the caseload of the overburdened Supreme Court. Over one hundred years later, the Superior Court was created as an appellate court to give each location separate jurisdictions. Then in 1968 the Commonwealth Court was added to Pennsylvania’s judiciary system.

Pennsylvania Court Statistics

Pennsylvania Courts recieve 3,486,724 filings per year. In 2012, the court received 2,073,278 filings and gave 3,736,629 dispositions. In 2016, the state court caseload counted 2,246,509 filings and had 2,309,655 dispositions.

Total State Caseloads

Year Caseloads
2012 3,499,237
2013 3,486,137
2014 3,369,201
2015 3,584,953
2016 3,494,094

Pennsylvania Court Records Availability

Anyone may search online to find appellate court records, dockets, court calendars and the findings of criminal and civil court records from the state of Pennsylvania by searching with a case number, party or organization name, offense tracking number, police incident, complaint number or state ID number.

Alternatively, the State Library of Pennsylvania offers experienced staff to locate and provide access to legislation, court records, regulations, and law publications at the impressive historic building located in Harrisburg.

Share of Court Type Incoming Caseloads

Court Type Caseloads
Traffic: 2,246,509 (100.0 %)

Share of Court Type Outgoing Caseloads

Court Type Caseloads
Traffic: 2,309,655 (100.0 %)

Pennsylvania Main Court Information

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is the oldest appellate court in the nation, as it has been operating since its founding in 1722. It meets in three locations: Philadelphia, Pittsburg and Harrisburg, and consists of seven justices. The main duties of the Supreme Court are to oversee cases that deal with the interpretation of the state and federal constitutions, provide disciplinary action against Pennsylvania judges or attorneys in poor standing, and to serve as the court of last resort handling cases appealed from lower courts.

Family Court Cases

Domestic relations caseload of Pennsylvania at year end 2016 has decreased by 16.5% compared to the last 5 years, in 2012 the number of incoming cases was 398,736 with a rate of 3,124 cases per 100,000 population, higher than it's in 2016.

States with More & Less Domestic Relation Caseloads than Pennsylvania

More Domestic Relations Cases than Pennsylvania:

State: Caseload:
New York 570,709
Texas 397,468
California 388,903

Less Domestic Relations Cases than Pennsylvania:

State: Caseload:
Virginia 342,040
New Jersey 247,042
Florida 233,545
Ohio 205,293
Georgia 150,303

Pennsylvania Caseload Statistics

In 2011 the court system of Pennsylvania processed 3.4 million cases. The Supreme Court of the state does not provide statistics on the number of cases that reach a disposition; however, there were 253 filings in the fiscal year of 2014.

Pennsylvania Criminal Caseloads

The number of criminal cases in Pennsylvania counts 425,746 with 136,326 felony cases and 289,420 misdemeanors accordingly.

Year Criminal Caseload Misdemeanor Caseload Felony Caseload
2014 525,049 140,933 281,910
2015 517,671 139,165 285,801
2016 498,186 136,326 289,420