Huntingdon County Coronavirus Court Orders

PLEASE NOTE:  The Huntingdon County Court system is fully staffed and operational, and continues to operate pursuant to an Extended Declaration of Judicial Emergency (see link above) which will remain in effect until August 31, 2020.  The first floor of the Courthouse is now open for public access, and the Prothonotary, Clerk of Courts, and Clerk of the Orphans’ Court are accepting filings in-person, as well as remotely via e-mail.  The second floor of the Courthouse (the Court of Common Pleas) will reopen for public access July 1st, and Court Administration will schedule proceedings using a mix of in-person and remote formats, per the Court’s June 19, 2020, Omnibus Administrative Order (see link above).  Public access to the Magisterial District Courts will likewise resume July 1st, but will be limited to lobbies and waiting areas for the making of filings and payments.  All Magisterial District Court proceedings will continue to be held remotely, unless previously approved by the President Judge. 

For more information regarding special procedures during the judicial emergency please refer to the Omnibus Administrative Order, or contact court staff via e-mail at huntingdoncountycourts@huntingdoncounty.net or by phone at 814-643-5078.  The full scope of Administrative Orders regarding the judicial emergency is also included in the links above.  Be advised that any or all of the Administrative Orders may be amended at any time as circumstances change.

Jury Trials: Jury selection is scheduled to occur on August 3, 2020, at the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts at Juniata College.  Jury trials will occur in-person in August and September at the Huntingdon County Courthouse.  Citizens selected for jury duty will receive the necessary information along with their jury summons.

Public Access to Court Proceedings:  Public access to proceedings conducted in-person (e.g., jury trials) may be limited due to the judicial emergency.  The Court will endeavor to provide alternate means of access as practicable and appropriate. 

Public hearings conducted by video may be viewed live at www.youtube.com/channel/UCLAYbwpQ-bPC8fYYATOR2lQ/featured.  Public access to the courts is an important Constitutional right, and in an effort to enable the continued exercise of that right during the COVID-19 judicial emergency, we have developed this site.  Please note that the right of access is not absolute; certain proceedings are confidential, in whole or in part, due to the nature of the parties or information involved (e.g., most cases involving minors or the disclosure of sensitive personal financial information).  Proceedings may be designated confidential generally by rule, or specifically by the Court.  Confidential proceedings are closed to the public, and will not be available for viewing on this site.

Non-confidential proceedings will be livestreamed here as they occur.  Please note that they will not be available for replay, as they are not video recorded.  All proceedings are being recorded by the Court Reporter, and transcripts may be requested as with any other proceeding.  Just as with any physical courtroom in Pennsylvania, it is a crime to use any device to record (audio or video) or take photographs of the proceedings broadcast on this site, per 18 Pa. C.S. § 5103.1.  Violations are punishable by a sentence of up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 for the first offense.  All reports of recording will be investigated and, if proven, prosecuted. 

 

PA Unified Judicial System Coronavirus Information (www.pacourts.us/ujs-coronavirus-information )

Statement from the Court on Custody Exchanges During the Judicial Emergency

The Governor’s shelter-in-place order provides an exception for court orders, and the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts has advised that court orders, including custody orders, should be followed during the Judicial Emergency.

As such, any custody order entered by a court shall still be followed, and all custody exchanges shall take place unless a petition to modify custody is granted by the Court.

Visitors Please Note: If you need language assistance please email LAC@huntingdoncounty.net

Huntingdon County was established on the 20th day of September 1787. It had been created out of Bedford County, which in turn had been part of Cumberland County. Land taken from Huntingdon County to form parts of Centre and Cambria Counties reduced the size of Huntingdon County, and on February 26, 1846, with the creation of Blair County from a portion of Huntingdon County, the present boundaries of the County were established.

Since the creation of the County, there have been three courthouses. The first Huntingdon County Court House was completed in 1797 and was located in the middle of Third Street on the south side of Penn Street in Huntingdon Borough. After outgrowing this structure and site, a second Court House was erected in 1842 on the site of the present structure, Penn Street between Second and Third Streets. The present Court House was designed by M.E. Beebe of Buffalo, New York in a French Renaissance style. The structure was completed in 1883, with major renovations occurring in the 1930’s, a new clock tower, and 1972, addition of office space to the west side of the building and general remodeling to the entire building.

NOTICE

Judges in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are prohibited by the judicial rules of ethics from discussing cases with members of the public. Please do not contact the chambers of judges to ask questions about cases, to discuss cases or to comment on cases. Judges and their staffs are unable to respond to such communications. Judges are also prohibited from reading e-mails or letters regarding cases. In addition, court personnel are prohibited from giving legal advice. All court filings must be made through the Prothonotary’s Office.