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Probation is a sentence allowing the offender to remain in the community under supervision. The courts have the right to re-sentence the offender if he/she violates the rules and regulations of their probation.
Parole is a conditional release from incarceration, not a release from legal custody, under a set Rules similar to probation. In Pennsylvania, an inmate must serve at least the minimum Sentence before being paroled.
In Pennsylvania, a sentence of incarceration will normally have a minimum and a maximum length of time. In fact, the minimum cannot be more than half of the maximum sentence. This is why you will note that sentences are 1 to 2 years, 3 months to 23 months, 10 to 20 years, etc. In Pennsylvania, a State sentence is one in which the maximum sentence is 2 years or more.
A County sentence of incarceration is one in which the maximum sentence is 2 years minus one day or less. For State sentences, the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole assumes responsibility for the case, determines when the inmate is to be paroled, and supervises the parole case through their state agents. In a County sentence, the sentencing judge determines parole and supervises the case through our department’s parole officers.
Usually, a State sentence will be served in State Correctional Institution (Graterford, Camp Hill, etc.) and a County sentence will be served at the County Jail. However, the sentencing judge may choose to allow the offender to serve a sentence of up to a maximum of 5 years minus one day in the county jail even though it is a State Sentence.
Our Department supervises County jail sentences when they are paroled. We also supervise almost all of the persons placed on probation, without consideration of the length of the probation sentence.
DUI legislation taking effect in 2004 creates exceptions to the answer below. The exceptions are for only DUI arrests on or after February 1, 2004.
If you need to contact a State Parole Agent that supervises a case in Bucks County, call the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole District Office out of Allentown at 610-791-6157.
Rule 1 of the Rules and Regulations states that a probationer/parolee will permit a probation officer to visit them at their home or place of employment. However a probation officer will generally try to schedule appointments around your work schedule.
This depends upon you, your history, your behavior, and several factors used in determining how often you are to be seen. Your probation officer will discuss this with you when they see you. They may see you as often as necessary to see that you are complying with the orders of the court and help you complete your probation or parole period successfully.
Generally, you are asked to wait a half-hour past your appointment time. A telephone call to the office after 15 minutes past the appointment time would be a good suggestion. Especially if you do not have a telephone number that the probation officer can reach you in case there has been an emergency for which the probation officer is unable to keep the scheduled appointment.
In general there is usually not a problem with someone living with a probationer/parolee, however the probation officer will review this on a case by case basis.
Each officer has a list of agencies that are certified in various treatments and can make a referral for you. You can also visit the Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission website for a list of licensed Drug and Alcohol providers in Bucks County, or see the Human Services page for Mental Health services.
There are two rules in General Supervision that address your concern. They are:
During your period of supervision you will probably be drug tested so that we can verify to the court that you are complying with Rule 6. It is not uncommon to have random and frequent drug tests while you are on probation or parole supervision or to be asked to give a breath test to determine if there is alcohol present in your body.
While on supervision, the ability to travel is a privilege and reserved for individuals who are in compliance with supervision and meet the appropriate criteria. That criteria varies based on the nature of the travel and can be reviewed by your supervising Officer. All overnight travel as well as travel outside of Bucks County should be reviewed with your supervising Officer in order to determine eligibility, criteria and guidelines. You should discuss your wish to travel with your Officer in advance of your desired travel date in order to ensure that you are approved, can produce any necessary documentation and receive a travel permission form if it is required. Failure to plan ahead (for non-emergency situations) or meet the necessary expectations will result in your travel approval being denied.
Act 1991-35 states a probation supervision fee is to be imposed on all probation and/or parole sentences where the defendant is placed under the supervision of the Bucks County Adult Probation Department. Per the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, the local supervision fee is $40 per month.
You can call any of our office locations and ask who the Probation Officer is for a particular person. Although that person’s records are confidential, the fact that they are on probation or parole and who the assigned probation officer is are not confidential. The same is true if you are a victim calling to find out the status of restitution or other pertinent information.
All address changes must be coordinated and approved by your Probation/Parole Officer in advance. Failure to report a change of address to your probation officer is a technical violation and could result in a warrant being issued for your arrest if you cannot be located.
Please contact our department at 215-348-6640 during normal business hours and ask to speak to the Probation Officer handling warrants for the day. You can also report in person to the Justice Center and either go to the Public Defender’s office or the Adult Probation Intake office.
As part of a probation/parole plan, an offender may desire to establish residence or return to his/her residence in another county within the Commonwealth or another State. If you meet the criteria, courtesy supervision can be requested from the county in which you live.
For those offenders desiring to live in another State, courtesy supervision shall be requested through a formal arrangement between States called the Interstate Compact Agreement. All offenders whose cases are transferred to another county or State for supervision should be informed that, although actual supervision of their case is transferred to another agency, jurisdiction of their case remains with Bucks County. All payments for court financial obligations, including restitution, are to be made to the Bucks County Clerk of Courts - Criminal Division. Be aware that any violations of probation or parole must ultimately be resolved by the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas.
It should be noted that conditions for transferring cases to other jurisdictions change regularly, that some jurisdictions will not allow certain offenders into their State, and that reporting requirements frequently change. In some States, certain offenders are not allowed to visit or live in their jurisdiction without permission, and being there without permission will result in a new offense.
Restitution, court costs/fines and supervision fees are paid to the Bucks County Clerk of Courts - Criminal Division.
You will only be responsible to pay supervision fees to the jurisdiction in which your case is being supervised.
Probation /Parole cases from states outside Pennsylvania are processed by and if appropriate, supervised by the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole. If you reside in Bucks County and are convicted in another state, your case may be transferred to the Pennsylvania Board of Probation/Parole, located at:1101 S Front StreetHarrisburg, PA 17104-2538 Phone: 717-787-5699, ext. 315
GPS payments are accepted at any of the Adult Probation office locations in the form of cash or money order only. It’s important that these payments are made on time in order to stay compliant with your electronic monitoring.
The fastest way to contact Monitor Connect support staff is an email them and briefly describe your issue. Remember to include your name and telephone number.
You can also speak to someone Monday through Sunday by calling 800-788-9157 and listen to the prompts. There are options for English and Spanish.
Please note that if your number is not working, you may not be enrolled yet by the Adult Probation Department. Please try again later in the week or next week. If the issue is voice recognition, please move to a quiet location and try again. Please remember that you must make a payment before you are able to report in. If you are unable to pay, please contact your probation officer to discuss options.
The District Attorney’s office does not accept online community service. You must find a nonprofit organization within the community in order to volunteer your time. Examples include: the SPCA, thrift store, fire department, church or other faith based organization, local library, recreational centers such as the YMCA, a nature center, Parks and Recreation or a senior center. If you are considering a site, but not sure if it is approved, please call 215-529-7081 for verification.
If you need to speak to the ARD unit about community service, letters or certificates of completion and ARD financial obligations, please call 215-348-6344.
If you have completed your community service requirement, please send proof of completion to Bucks County Adult Probation Department at:261 California RoadSuite 3Quakertown, PA 18951
You can also fax it to 215-529-7138.
Election Officials are responsible for administering election procedures in each polling place. Their duties include:
To be an Election Official, you must:
Election Officials work from approximately 6:30 am to 9 pm.
Yes. Election Officials are compensated.
Most employers are willing to work out arrangements.
Classes are held throughout the county for Election Officials. For more information on training specifics, visit the Election Officials page to view some training materials.
Judge of Elections and Inspectors of Election are elected offices, however, there are also appointed positions in each polling place. Some polls are adequately staffed, but there are some polling places that are always in need of workers. Please complete and submit our Election Official Volunteer Form (PDF) to apply to volunteer your time.
Please feel free to email or call our office at 215-348-6154 with any questions on the application and submission process.
Absentee ballots require a reason for requesting one, such as illness, disability, or plans to be away on Election Day.
Mail-in ballots may be requested by any qualified voter with no reason required and can be used in lieu of absentee ballots.
You must apply for one, either online at www.votespa.com/applymailballot, or by printing, completing and mailing the mail-in or absentee application found on that site.
** IMPORTANT: Do not submit multiple applications, as they slow down the Board of Elections’ ability to process new applications. **
If you apply online at www.votespa.com/applymailballot and include an e-mail address you will get notifications when your application is processed, when your ballot is sent, and when your voted ballot is returned to the Board of Elections.
If you apply by paper application, you can track the status at www.votespa.com/mailballotstatus. If your status reads “Pending,” it means your ballot application has been processed and approved. As ballots are mailed out and completed ballots are mailed back and received, the status will update.
If your application has not yet been processed yet, you will receive this:
If hand delivering your ballot it must be received (and placed in the secrecy envelope and mailing envelope) at the Board of Elections, or placed in one of its secure drop box locations, by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
If mailing your ballot it must be received (and placed in the secrecy envelope and mailing envelope) by the Board of Elections by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Postmarks do not count.
Absentee and mail-in ballots must be placed in the envelope marked “Official Election Ballot” and then placed into the signed and dated declaration envelope.
The PA Supreme Court has ruled that absentee and mail-in ballots that are missing the Secrecy Envelope cannot be counted.
Yes. Ballots can either be returned directly to the Board of Elections office or returned to secure drop boxes that are placed throughout the county. Please check back regularly for drop box locations and dates of availability.
No. By law, only the voter themselves may hand deliver their ballot to the Board of Elections. However, if you have a disability that prevents you from submitting your ballot in person, you may fill out an authorized designated agent form which would allow someone you choose to drop off your ballot (with the filled-out form) on your behalf.
If you still have your mail-in ballot and envelope on Election Day, you may hand it to the poll workers at your polling place, complete a declaration form, and use the voting machine instead.
If you do not bring your ballot and envelope with you, you will be required to vote using a provisional ballot to be approved at a later date by the Board of Elections.
Yes. Go to your regular polling place and tell the poll workers you applied for a ballot but it didn’t arrive. It will be marked in the poll book that you applied for a ballot that was not returned. You will be given a provisional ballot to fill out.
If you have already returned your ballot, it will be indicated in the poll book that your ballot has already been cast. Your only option would be to vote provisionally. However, a valid absentee or mail-in ballot would supersede the provisional.
The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) program was officially launched as a national community-based movement in July 2002, in response to President Bush’s call for all Americans to volunteer in their communities. Its mission is to improve the health and safety of communities across the country by organizing and utilizing public health, medical, and other volunteers. The Bucks County Medical Reserve Corps is a local unit of the national Medical Reserve Corps designed to serve Bucks County and its residents.
The Bucks County Medical Reserve Corps (BC-MRC) recruits, organizes, and trains a group of community volunteers that will be involved in working with the Bucks County Health Department and partners on public health preparedness activities and exercises including:
The BC-MRC also provides its services at various community functions including public health fairs.
Training will be provided to BC-MRC volunteers to increase their emergency response skills and help prepare their families and communities.
The BC-MRC partners with other organizations to accomplish its mission of improving the health and safety of our communities through public health preparedness. In agreement with the Surgeon General’s priorities, the BC-MRC will engage in the following:
Anyone 18 years of age or older can join become a volunteer with the Bucks County Medical Reserve Corps. There are no licensures or educational/employment backgrounds required for membership. The Bucks County Medical Reserve Corp welcomes non-medical volunteers as well as those with medical or public health backgrounds. For more information on volunteering please see the Volunteer section of our website.
The diverse backgrounds and skills of the volunteers with the Bucks County Medical Reserve Corps give the organization the strength and depth that makes it successful and useful to the community. There are no requirements which you must possess prior to becoming a member. However, after signing up for the Bucks County Medical Reserve Corps (BC-MRC) you must pass a background check and, if you have any licensures or certifications, provide us with a copy to prove it is current. There are trainings which will be required of every Bucks County Medical Reserve Corps volunteer in order to provide our members with the basic knowledge necessary to fulfill their roles as a BC-MRC volunteer during times of emergency and non-emergency. Some of these trainings can be completed on your own time and at home.
To sign up, download the BCMRC Volunteer Application 2020 application (PDF). Complete the information on the form and send it in via mail or email. If you have any questions please call 215-345-3318.
Applications can be sent to:Bucks County Department of Health1282 Almshouse RoadNeshaminy Manor CenterDoylestown, PA 18901
To update your information, email the Bucks County Medical Reserve Corps with all your updated information. If you have any questions please call 215-345-3318.
Contact the Bucks County Medical Reserve Corps Coordinator at the Bucks County Department of Health at:Bucks County Department of Health1282 Almshouse RoadNeshaminy Manor CenterDoylestown, PA 18901Phone: 215-345-3318Email Bucks County Medical Reserve Corps
Emergency response requires people with diverse skills and backgrounds; therefore anyone 18 years of age or older can volunteer and there are no licensures or skills required to become a BC-MRC volunteer. To ensure our members are prepared to aid their communities during an emergency, some basic emergency response knowledge is required for all BC-MRC members. This knowledge will be provided to all members through trainings offered throughout the year.
View examples of volunteers on our Volunteering page.
When you sign up to become a BC-MRC volunteer you will be expected to participate in some basic emergency preparedness and response training. This training will help prepare you for participation in an emergency response and provide you with knowledge on personal preparedness. Some training will also be provided for specific volunteer opportunities such as participation in the Bucks County Health Department point of dispensing (POD) drill and flu vaccination drill. Volunteers must pass a background check as a standard precaution for membership. Any member with current licensures or certifications will need to provide the BC-MRC with a copy for our records. Every member should expect to be called upon to contribute their services during an emergency. Of course this is voluntary but BC-MRC members should anticipate being contacted to volunteer during an emergency.
Activities in which BC-MRC volunteers can expect to be involved in will vary greatly depending on the volunteer’s level of involvement, the situation at hand, and the training and experience of the volunteer. View possible activities.
Child abuse, according to the CPSL, means intentionally, knowingly or recklessly doing any of the following:
Child abuse also includes certain acts in which the act itself constitutes abuse without any resulting injury or condition. These recent acts include any of the following:
"Recent" is defined as an abusive act within two years from the date the report is made to ChildLine. Sexual abuse, serious mental injury, serious physical neglect and deaths have no time limit.
The following adults are considered mandated reporters and are required to report suspected child abuse if they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse:
A mandated reporter must make a report of suspected child abuse if they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse under any of the following circumstances:
Yes. Nothing requires the mandated reporter have direct contact with the child in order to make a report.
Mandated reporters must make an immediate and direct report of suspected child abuse to ChildLine either electronically at www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis or by calling 1-800-932-0313.
Yes, after making the report to ChildLine, you are required to immediately thereafter notify the person in charge of the institution, school, facility or agency or the designated agent of the person in charge.
The penalties for a mandated reporter who willfully fails to report child abuse range from a misdemeanor of second degree to a felony of the second degree.
Yes. Anyone who is concerned about the safety of a child is encouraged to make a report. Individuals who are encouraged, although not required by law, to make a report of suspected child abuse, can make a report to ChildLine by calling 1-800-932-0313.
Yes, persons making a report of suspected child abuse are immune from civil and criminal liability as long as the report was made in good faith. The good faith of a mandated reporter is assumed.
The identity of the person making the report is kept confidential with the exception of being released to law enforcement officials or the district attorney's office. Law enforcement and district attorney's office must treat the mandated reporter as a confidential informant.
Reasonable cause to suspect is a determination you make, based on your knowledge of circumstances, observations, familiarity with the individuals, and feelings about the incident.
Knowledge of circumstances would include:
Observations would include:
Familiarity would include the knowledge you have about:
Think about your feelings and personal biases and consider how they influence your conclusions and actions.
No, however, if you do not live in Bucks County and you want to be a foster parent for Bucks County you will have to go through a provider Agency.
If you are a foster parent for Bucks County Children and Youth Social Services Agency, you will only get a child(ren) from Bucks County.
Bucks County Children and Youth Social Services Agency provides Pre – Service Training and ongoing training after approval.
The child can share the same bedroom space but must have his/her own bed. Children of the opposite sex who are 5 years of age or older may not share the same bedroom.
No, we accept foster parents who are single or in a committed relationship. If you are in a committed relationship and reside together both individuals must complete the requirements to become a foster parent.
If you are interested, email or call Shantelle Gammon at (215) 348-6922 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a personalized response that will include the opportunity for an in-home orientation.
The basic qualifications to be a Corrections Officer include:
20 to 29
30 to 39
40 to 49
50 to 59
60 and higher
The Corrections Officer 2021 base salary starts at $46,051.20 and up to $59,883.20 with four years of service. Officers also receive 14 paid holidays, 12 sick days, 2 weeks of vacation in the first year and up to 5 weeks of vacation depending upon years of service.
The Department of Corrections has many career opportunities available such as Food Service Officer, Case Managers, and Drug and Alcohol Case Managers. The Department also has opportunities for promotion for several supervisory positions as well.
An applicant, who earns over $81,340 annually, will be considered to have a financial need for the exemption when the applicant’s allowable expenses exceed the applicant’s household income. The applicant’s monthly household expenses will be calculated to include a cost of living allowance and dependent’s allowance.
The Board of the Assessment and Revision of Taxes will grant the tax exemption. Cases that have been granted tax exemption will be reviewed periodically (every 5 years) to determine continued need for exemption from certain real estate property taxes.
Contact the County Veterans Affairs Director in the county you reside to apply for this program.
Bucks County Domestic Relations Section, a department within the Family Court Division, enters, modifies, and enforces orders for child support, spousal support, and alimony pendente lite, and establishes paternity for children on support cases who were born out of wedlock.
To address custody, visitation, protection from abuse, or divorce, contact the Prothonotary Office at 215-348-6822.
No, you can file online on the Pennsylvania Child Support website or through the mail. Learn more about Filing for Support.
Print the Conference Documents Checklist and submit all required documents at least one week prior to your scheduled conference. Learn more about Conferences and Hearings.
Email your documents for electronic submission (PDF format only).
Conferences are held with officers and if an agreement is reached, a final order is entered. If no agreement is reached, a temporary order may be entered and a hearing will be scheduled in front of a Judge, who will enter a final order.
All Domestic Relations Section (DRS) conferences are being conducted in person. If you would like to participate virtually, contact our office.
All Domestic Relations Section (DRS) hearings are being conducted in person. If you would like to participate virtually, contact our office.
Day of Conference, Purge, and Contempt payments that are ordered at a conference or a hearing are accepted at our Doylestown and Bristol office locations. View payment options for all other payments. Learn more about Paying Support.
Support payments are paid via direct deposit into a checking or savings account or loaded onto a stored value debit MasterCard. Learn more about Receiving Support.
In most cases, a child support order in Pennsylvania terminated when the child emancipates (turns 18 years old and has graduated from high school). Any arrears that remain due after a child has emancipated continue to be collected until paid in full.
Yes, email or call Domestic Relations at 215-340-8068 for assistance.
Print and complete the Unreimbursed Medical Instructions and Summary Sheet.
Visit the Pennsylvania Child Support website or call PA SCDU at 877-727-7238
Complete the Client Request Form, to request enforcement.
Complete the Client Request Form, to request a payment history.
Complete the Client Request Form, to request a copy of your order.
Contact our office immediately at 215-348-6843. Learn more about Warrants.
Paternity testing is done using a buccal swab (swabbing inside the cheek). Learn more about Paternity.
Yes, your personal information, such as your address, telephone number, and employer can be kept confidential from the other party. Email or call Domestic Relations at 215-340-8068 for additional information.
Log in to your PA EMS Account at https://ems.health.state.pa.us/registry/logon.aspx
After you log in click on the "Con-Ed" tab. You will see a list of the classes that you completed. If you continue to scroll down you will see your "ConED Summary". This section lets you see if you meet the coned requirements or not.
Please view the following link for a step by step guide. https://ems.health.state.pa.us/Registry/Help/JobAids/EMS%20Registry%20Job%20Aid%20for%20Entering%20CPR.pdf
HIV is the viral infection that leads to a diagnosis of AIDS. Once someone is infected with HIV, it usually takes about 7 to 10 years for their immune system to be compromised to the point of an AIDS diagnosis, specifically their CD4+ T-cell count is less than 200 per millimeter of blood and/or they have an onset of one Opportunistic Infection. Usually, CD4 cell counts in someone with a healthy immune system range from 500 to 1,800 per cubic millimeter of blood.
HIV-positive people with suppressed immune systems may experience illnesses that are not usually seen (or do not cause symptoms) in people with healthy immune systems. Some common OIs include Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP), Mycobacterium Avium Complex (MAC), and Cytomegalovirus (CMV).
In 1999, scientists discovered the origins of HIV-1. HIV has been found to be related to a strain of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) found in a subspecies of chimpanzees native to west equatorial Africa. Scientists believe that HIV was introduced into the human population when hunters became exposed to infected blood.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is sure that the virus existed in the United States since at least the mid- to late 1970s. From 1979-1981 rare types of pneumonia, cancer and other illness were recognized by doctors around the United States. In 1982, public health officials termed the occurrences of rare illnesses Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). In 1983, scientists discovered the virus that causes AIDS, which was later named Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
An individual can be infected with HIV if they exchange blood, semen, vaginal fluid or breast milk with an infected person. The main ways that this exchange of fluids happens are during unprotected sex, sharing needles, and a mother to their baby.
No. You cannot become infected with HIV by hugging, touching, sneezing, coughing, playing sports, sharing eating utensils, or sharing a bathroom with a person who is infected with HIV. Mosquitoes, fleas and other insects also do not transmit HIV as it is a human virus transmittable from one human to another through the exchange of infected fluids.
HIV infection can be prevented in several different ways:
The only way someone knows their HIV status is to get tested. The HIV test looks for HIV antibodies that a person’s immune system makes once they are infected with HIV; the average person takes 3 to 6 months to make these antibodies. The test can be performed on a sample of blood or saliva and the results take about 1 to 2 weeks to return. An individual who engages in any risky behavior should be tested every six months.
The Bucks County Department of Health (as well as any other Health Department in Pennsylvania) and Planned Parenthood Association offer free HIV testing. Additionally, an individual can be tested by a private physician or in a hospital; note that testing in these settings is subject to a fee, and is usually covered by most health insurance plans. Remember, an individual should not assume they were tested for HIV just because they had blood drawn for other tests, he or she must specifically request an HIV test to be performed.
When someone is infected with HIV they may have symptoms of Acute Infection, which is the period of time when the virus establishes itself in the body, which can cause the following symptoms to occur 2 to 6 weeks after HIV infection:
Many of these symptoms are common to a variety of illnesses; however, persistence of any of them for several weeks could signal the progression of HIV disease. About half of infected persons do not experience any symptoms, so an individual should not depend on symptoms to occur as a signal to get tested.
There is no known cure for HIV/AIDS. Even though antiretroviral treatment helps people to live longer and healthier lives, it is not a cure and has not benefited all people with HIV. Also, these medications are expensive and not everyone who needs them has access. They may also cause serious side effects. Lastly, it is important to adhere strictly to a medication regimen once started.
There is no certain answer to this question; it is known that the majority of untreated HIV-positive people do eventually become ill from HIV infection. However, with regular medical care and adherence to treatment, many people have been living with HIV/AIDS for almost two decades or more. The likelihood of long-term survival increases if an HIV-positive individual finds out their status as soon as possible and begins treatment earlier in the course of HIV disease. With proper treatment and the emergence of new treatments, it has become possible to further postpone, and possibly even prevent, illness.
The first step in getting care for HIV/AIDS is to find a physician. It is best to find a doctor who is familiar with treating HIV disease; usually they are called Infectious Disease (ID) doctors. Doctors who don’t specialize in HIV treatment may not keep up with rapidly changing developments in antiretroviral medications and other treatment strategies. An individual should remember that it is always okay to get a second opinion if they have any doubts about a doctor’s approach to treating their HIV. Remember, it is always better for an individual to inform any doctor providing them with medical care about all of their medical conditions.
There are varying opinions on when is the best time to begin HIV treatment; however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends starting antiretroviral treatment if an individual has a history of opportunistic infections (OIs) or other severe symptoms of HIV disease, or if their T-cell count is between the range of 350 to 200. Preventative treatment against Pneumocystis pneumonia and other OIs is recommended when the CD4 count indicates severe immune suppression. The bottom line is that treatment is a personal choice; it is helpful for an individual to find a doctor that they can trust and who can help them determine what treatment strategy makes the most sense for them.
People with health insurance can usually get their care through private doctors, clinics, or hospitals. For people without health insurance, the Bucks County Department of Health (as well as any other Health Department in Pennsylvania) provides CD4 and viral load testing for free. Additionally, each state has their own AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) to cover HIV medications for uninsured HIV-positive individuals; the Pennsylvania ADAP is called Special Pharmaceutical Benefits Program (SPBP). Also, there are a variety of funds that cover visits to see an Infectious Disease (ID) doctor as well as other social support services (see Local HIV/AIDS Resources).
Receiving an AIDS diagnosis does not necessarily mean that the diagnosed person will die soon; some people have lived for many years after being diagnosed with AIDS. Routine medical care and antiretroviral treatment has extended the lives of thousands of people living with HIV and AIDS. In addition, many opportunistic infections can be prevented or treated more effectively today. Improved treatments for both HIV and opportunistic infections have substantially increased the longevity and quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS.
Nutrition is a valuable supportive measure, so eating a balanced diet can contribute greatly to maintaining immune system health. An HIV-positive individual can eat a variety of foods that can help strengthen the immune system and maintain optimum body weight. A balanced diet is based on selecting foods from the basic food groups including proteins, fruits and vegetables, breads and grains, and dairy products. Since some AIDS-related conditions affect the ability to eat and some treatments have dietary restrictions, it is important to consult a physician and an HIV-knowledgeable dietitian to ensure adequate nutrition.
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The Lodging Room Rental Tax is a 5% tax applied to any room having at least one bed or sleeping accommodations which is rented for a period less than 30 days. Under the Bucks County Tourist Promotion Law 73 P.S. 401, the tax is applied to hotel, motel, bed and breakfast, extended stay, cottage and guest house room rentals. The renting of a room, apartment, or house privately, online or through third party brokers is subject to this tax.
These monies are collected on behalf of the Bucks County Conference and Visitors Bureau. The monies are to provide the Bureau with funding to market and promote Bucks County in a highly competitive tourism market.
Anyone who intends to rent a room with a bed must register.
Contact the Bucks County Treasurer’s Office via mail, email the Treasurer, or call at 215-348-6248. A welcome packet will be sent containing an application, the applicable forms and the procedures for collecting the tax. Once the Treasurer’s Office receives the completed application, a County Lodging Room Rental Tax Certificate of Authorization is generated authorizing the establishment to collect the tax.
The Hotel Room Rental Tax rate in Bucks County is 5% of the gross room rental charge.
Yes. Permanent residents are exempt from this tax. A permanent resident is defined as anyone occupying or possessing the right to occupy a room, for 30 consecutive nights or longer. Pennsylvania State and Federal employees, on official business, are also exempt from this tax.
The 5% Lodging Room Rental Tax is only applicable to food included in the room rate. Lodging tax is not applied to food itemized separately from the room rate.
Tax reporting forms can be obtained from our Visit Bucks County website. The forms may also be photo-copied.
Establishments with greater than 100 rooms are required to report on a monthly basis. Establishments with less than 100 rooms are required to report on a quarterly basis.
Payments are due by the last business day of the month following the period ending date. For example, if you are submitting your remittance for the period ending March 31, the payment is due on or before April 30. The late penalty is 1.5% compounded monthly on the unpaid balance. The payment must be postmarked by the last day of the month to avoid the penalty.
Annually a master juror list is created. Your name can come from various approved public lists such as licensed drivers lists, voter rolls, tax records and/or other public records that are inclusive of all citizens, old and young, rich and poor.
An orientation will be provided advising you of the jury selection procedure. You may also view the orientation video. If you go into a courtroom for jury selection you will be told about the length of the trial. Any conflicts that you may have will be addressed during the jury selection.
If you are selected to sit on a jury, the average trial length is two to three days, although trials may be longer or shorter depending upon the facts of the case. If you are not chosen to serve on a trial your jury service is complete for three years.
The United States Constitution and the Pennsylvania State Constitution guarantee the right to a trial by jury. Failure to attend as directed may subject you to penalties provided by law. All Bucks County residents are obligated by state law to serve as a juror unless they:
The normal working hours for the court are 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. If you are seated on a trial you may serve later than 4:30 pm.
Jurors should dress comfortably, but properly for a courthouse. Business casual attire is appropriate. No shorts or tee shirts are permitted. Those who arrive inappropriately dressed will be required to return on a later occasion.
The jury process can require a juror to wait a considerable amount of time. For this reason, jurors are encouraged to bring a book or other form of reading material. Laptop computers may also be used (wireless is available). Cell phones must be turned off in the courtroom. Please note all visitors to the courthouse are screened for security purposes. Any articles which are deemed to be capable of being used as weapons will be confiscated, as will any other illegal items. This includes all e-cigarettes and vape pens.
A jury summons is a court order. Any juror who fails to appear when summoned may be fined and/or imprisoned for contempt of court. It is in your best interest to appear if you are summoned to avoid any future action.
Pennsylvania law does not exclude persons due to their age. However, if you are 70 years of age or older you may be excused without a doctor’s note.
The Jury Selection Commission realizes prospective jurors may have been summoned at an inconvenient time and is willing to defer service to a more convenient time in most instances. Jurors may request a first-time postponement in writing. Jurors may select a new date of their choice, with limitations. Subsequent postponements are not allowed unless it is an extreme emergency that was not anticipated when the first postponement was granted.
If you wish to be excused for the calendar year a note from your physician is required. A doctor’s note may be mailed or faxed to 215-340-8836. A note from the doctor’s office must include your name and juror number. If you have a mental or physical infirmity in which you will be able to serve at a later date in the year verification from your doctor is not required.
If you are a person with a disability and require reasonable accommodations please contact the ADA Coordinator at 215-348-6775, no later than 7 days prior to your report date.
A service animal (dog) may accompany you to jury duty if that service animal is trained for a specific task due to your disability. Emotional support animals are not permitted.
You will receive a notice in the mail stating your reporting status 4 weeks before your actual service date.
Pennsylvania law does not require an employer to compensate an employee for jury service. Check with your company’s human resources department for their policy.
No. Pennsylvania law prohibits an employer from terminating or otherwise penalizing an employee because the employee serves as a juror.
Pennsylvania law does not provide for an excuse from jury service for moral or religious beliefs. You are still required to appear for jury service when you get to a court room, the judge will make that decision.
Bucks County tries civil and criminal cases, both of which require jury trials. The random selection process prevents you from knowing in advance what type of trial for which you’ll be selected. The jury staff cannot excuse you as a potential juror because of what you do for a living.
The regular juror’s summons has a service date in which you must appear. A standby juror has a service week in which you have to call for five business days beginning the Friday before your service week to see if you are needed. If you have rescheduled your jury service you must report on the new assigned date. You will not call in; it does not matter what your status was previously.
If you have any questions regarding this please call the Jury Office at 215-348-6702.
Free parking is available in the Bucks County Parking Garage located on Broad and Union streets. It is a 4 tier garage with entrances on Doyle, Broad and Union streets.
The County runs a shuttle bus from the garage to the Justice Center between the hours of 7 to 10 am. and 3:30 to 5:30 pm. The shuttle bus stop is on Union Street, the top level of the garage. If you require handicap parking there are spots available in the parking garage on every level near the elevators. If you need further information regarding parking please call 215-348-6711.
Parking at a meter or other lot is not advised it may result in a parking ticket or your vehicle may be towed. Information regarding the parking garage may also be found in the link at the top of this page Jury information and overview. The short video will answer many of your questions regarding parking.
Call the Jury office at 215-348-6711 between 8 am and 4:30 pm. We are often checking in jurors or away from our desks, if we do not answer please leave a message we will return your call at our earliest convenience.
If there is inclement weather you may call the weather hotline at 215-340-8208 after 6: 30 am. If the court cancels or delays the reporting time for that day, the recorded message will indicate the updated status. You may also check weather updates on Facebook or Twitter. If the message has not changed, then your status remains the same.
Contact the following resources:
If you have appeared for jury service within the last 3 years answer questions 8 and 9 on your juror questionnaire. If you wish to be excused proof of service is required from the court that you appeared for jury service. If you appeared in Bucks County, The Office of jury Selection can obtain your date of service.
For your convenience, we have provided a list of phone numbers to local Pennsylvania Courts you can call to request proof of service.
Generally, they are not open to the public unless the juvenile was 14 years of age or older at the time of the alleged conduct and the alleged conduct would be considered a felony if committed by an adult. Or if they meet the criteria of 42 PA C.S. Sec. 6336 e (2).
It is recommended that people dress as formal as possible for Court. All clothing should be clean and free of rips or tears. Clothing must not be too tight or revealing. Clothing should not contain any obscenities or references to drugs or alcohol.
All juveniles are presumed indigent. If a juvenile appears at any hearing without counsel, the court shall appoint counsel for the juvenile prior to the commencement of the hearing.
Bucks County Juvenile Court Services receives referrals from four sources;
When the case is referred by a local police department, the officer completes a Juvenile Complaint and forwards it to the Juvenile Probation department to initiate the process. Once received, the referral is reviewed by the District Attorney's Office to ensure that the police are charging the juvenile correctly. An intake with the juvenile and his/her parent/guardian is then scheduled within three weeks of receiving the referral. The purpose of the intake interview is to begin the process of deciding how the case will be handled by gathering background information. This information will be used to determine the most appropriate disposition for the juvenile, the victim and the community.
The juvenile’s social security card, birth certificate and health insurance card.
Following the intake interview, if a determination is made that an out of court disposition is not appropriate, the case is scheduled for a Pre Adjudication hearing. At that time, the juvenile has the opportunity to admit or deny the charges as listed in the petition or admit to an amended petition as offered by the District Attorney's office.
If the juvenile denies the allegations, an Adjudicatory Hearing is scheduled. An Adjudicatory Hearing is a hearing to determine guilt or innocence on the alleged charges. If the juvenile is to have committed any Misdemeanor or Felony charges, the case will proceed to the Disposition which may occur at this hearing or at a later date.
The Disposition Hearing determines if the juvenile is in need of treatment, supervision, or rehabilitation. If the Court makes this finding, then the juvenile is adjudicated, delinquent. The Court must then decide if the juvenile can be supervised in the community on Probation or if the juvenile should be placed.
Payments can be made either in person at the Clerk of Courts office located on the first floor of the Justice Center located at 100 N. Main Street, or by mail. Please include the juvenile’s name and juvenile docket number (ex: CP-10-JV-01-2020).
All juveniles who have been arrested for Misdemeanor or Felony offenses may be fingerprinted or photographed. If it is found that they committed an offense and adjudicated delinquent, it is a requirement.
If a juvenile is detained (placed in a secure facility or a shelter care facility), they will have a detention hearing within 72 hours to review probable cause and decide whether the juvenile needs to remain in detention. If the juvenile remains in custody, they need to have a Pre Adjudication Conference or an Adjudicatory Hearing within 10 days. If they are released from custody, the case is scheduled for a Pre Adjudication Conference when the court schedule allows. Juveniles released on house arrest will be given priority, if applicable.
Disposition of a juvenile still in custody must take place within twenty days. If released from detention, they will return to court when the probation officer has all the evaluations or reports and when the court schedule permits. This usually occurs within 30 to 45 days but is not a mandatory time frame.
If the juvenile shall remain in detention due to their risk to the community or themselves.
Yes, the Court may determine the appropriateness of parents/guardians being responsible for payments of court costs and/or restitution.
Non-payment referrals are sent to the Juvenile Probation Department by the Magisterial District Judges when juveniles do not comply with a lawful sentence issued by a Judge for various summary offenses. The only exception would be for the offense of Truancy (Violation of Compulsory Attendance Required 24 PA.C.S 13-333(b)2).
A sentence imposed by a Magisterial District Judge may include court costs, fines, and community service. If a sentence is not fulfilled, the Magisterial District Court will forward a Juvenile Certification Form to Juvenile Court Services. Juvenile Court Services will then send a notification to the juvenile informing them of their options to either pay the amount in full or complete a specific amount of community service. If the juvenile fails to complete either of those options, a petition may be filed with the Juvenile Court as per 42 PA C.S. 6301 which may result in an adjudication of delinquency.
In order to expunge or destroy records, a motion must be initiated, which is to take the form of a proposed Court Order, and then approved by the Court. Contact the Bucks County Clerk of Courts Office for information regarding expungements.
Our records are by names, not locations. Our records will list all the ground owned by an individual, but if you want to know who owns a certain lot, go to the Board of Assessment office at 55 E Court Street and locate the lot on the tax map. They can tell you the owner, as well as our book and page reference.
Recording documents is a two step process.
Except mortgages, most liens are filed in the Prothonotary’s office, not in the Recorder of Deeds Office. You can check with them for liens filed against you there.
Your deed will give you the legal description but a surveyor is needed to use this information to actually locate your property lines, and place stakes or other markers.
Come into the office at 55 E Court Street, on the 6th floor. Deed restrictions do not necessarily have to be spelled out in each new deed. If it’s not on a deed it doesn’t mean a restriction doesn’t exist. A restriction could be in a deed ten owners back and still be in effect. When a title company makes a search prior to granting title insurance, these restrictions are reported. Check with a title company for accurate information.
Come into the Recorder’s Office and checking the records. We will be glad to help you, or contact your attorney or title company.
This information is not included in a deed but can be found by referring to a United States Coast and Geodetic Survey Map of your area which is available via the Planning Commission.
This can be checked on a United States Coast and Geodetic Survey Map of your area via the Planning Commission.
This information is not recorded in our office. Records in the municipality in which your property is located may give you this information. If they do not have it, have a plumber trace your lines.
No. A deed to a cemetery lot only gives you permission to use the ground. The cemetery still retains title to the ground. Such "deeds" or "titles" are maintained in the office of the cemetery company.
You will find the cost of recording on the Fee Schedule page.
By calling the office at 215-348-6209 or sending a request to the Recorder of Deeds Office, you can request a copy of your deed. The charge is $1 per page; there is an additional fee of $1.50 if you would like the copy certified. Enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope. We must have your full name, location of property and what year you purchased it. It helps if you have the County Tax Parcel Number.
Submit requests to:Bucks County Recorder of Deeds55 E Court StreetDoylestown, PA 18901
View the Recording Requirements page to learn more about what specific information needs to be on your deed.
Once a document is recorded and verified in the Recorder of Deeds Office, a document is returned to the submitter. We do not hold original documents.
This can only be done by recording a new deed showing the change. Many people think they can simply come into the office and change the present deed on record. However, once a paper is recorded, it cannot be changed. The new deed can be prepared by your attorney, title insurance company or a real estate office.
Generally, no, if the property was held jointly by husband and wife as tenants by entireties removing a deceased spouse's name is not necessary. If or when the survivor sells or mortgages the property, the new deed would simply explain that the other spouse is deceased. You should consult your attorney.
It is not legally required, but again because of a particular situation it might be desirable. Consult your attorney.
No. Records in the Courthouse show your original deed and the deed(s) for portions sold. Anyone searching records simply deducts the land you sold from the original deed.
No. The original deed usually covers any buildings erected on the lot at a later date. Check your deed for exceptions.
Usually, the same way you change a name: by recording a new deed. In this case, it is known as a Deed of Correction. You should contact your attorney or title insurance company.
The Recorder of Deeds office does not handle deeds or titles for a mobile home/trailer. Anything involving a mobile home/trailer would be through the PA Department of Transportation.
Ownership of a property can be traced by looking at the Recital or "Being Clause" which is found after the legal description in a deed.
The Recital or "Being Clause" will list the name of the persons who sold the property to the persons that sold the property to the current owner, as well as the deed book and page number or instrument number where the transaction can be found. You can continue the process, deed book to deed book, back to the original owners.
It is difficult to determine the age of the house, or any buildings on a property strictly by looking at a deed. A deed is for land, not the buildings on the land, and may simply state, "and the buildings thereon," or it may state nothing about buildings at all. Looking up the architectural style may help you determine the time period it was built.
Genealogy searches can be done by checking past deeds and mortgages. By checking the index books to see if their name appears in either the deed or mortgage books back over the years, you can determine if relatives lived in Bucks County years ago.
Receive a copy of your mortgage by calling the office at 215-348-6209 or sending a request to the Recorder of Deeds office. The charge is $1 per page and there is an additional fee of $1.50 if you would like the copy certified. Enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
Submit requests to:Bucks County Recorder of Deeds55 E Court StreetDoylestown, PA 18901
Many mortgage companies submit your mortgage satisfaction papers to us to be recorded. Before submitting the papers to us for recording, check with our office to see if it has been submitted and recorded.
If it has not been recorded, please bring or mail the original Mortgage Satisfaction Piece to our office with the proper fee at:Bucks County Administration Building55 E Court Street6th FloorDoylestown, PA 18901
All mortgages must use a Mortgage Satisfaction Piece. Call the office to verify if a Mortgage Satisfaction is recorded at 215-348-6209.
This action must be initiated by the mortgagee (lender). They may however, send the actual forms to you. Upon making the final payment, contact your lender to see how it will be handled. Call the office at 215-348-6209 to verify a Mortgage Satisfaction has been recorded.
No, but it is to your benefit. It will establish a clear title to your property. Call the office at 215-348-6209 to verify your Mortgage Satisfaction has been recorded.
No. However, there is a legal procedure to have a mortgage satisfied if it appears to be stale.
Subdivision plans must be no longer than 24 by 36 inches to be accepted for recording. We need the original on linen or Mylar. The plans must be signed by the local governing body and its planning commission, the Bucks County Planning Commission, the owner, and a Notary. If the plans were signed more than 90 days prior to submission, we cannot accept them by state law.
Most municipalities in the county have subdivision ordinances. Check with your local officials.
No. The location of buildings might be on plans kept in your township building or borough hall for zoning or permit purposes.
Inheritance Tax is imposed on the value of a decedent’s estate transferred to beneficiaries by Will or intestacy. It is calculated at a percentage of the value of the assets transferred, which is determined by the relationship of the heir to the decedent and the decedent’s date of death.
For more information, view the PA Inheritance Tax Return Filing Instructions (PDF).
The tax rate for Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax is 4.5% for transfers to direct descendants (lineal heirs), 12% for transfers to siblings and 15% for transfers to other heirs (except charitable organizations, exempt institutions and governmental entities which are exempt from tax). Property owned jointly between husband and wife is exempt from Inheritance Tax. Since 1995, property inherited by a surviving spouse, or from a child aged 21 or younger by a parent, is taxed at a rate of 0%.
Lineal heirs are grandfathers, grandmothers, fathers, mothers and their children. "Children" included are: natural children (whether or not they have been adopted by others), adopted children and step-children.
Lineal descendants include all children of the natural parents and their descendants (whether or not they have been adopted by others), adopted descendants and their descendants and step-descendants.
The tax is due at the date of death and becomes delinquent 9 months after the date of death. There is a discount of 5% of the tax paid or the tax due, whichever is less, when the payment is made within 3 months of the date of death.
All real property and all tangible personal property of a resident decedent, located in Pennsylvania at the time of the decedent’s death is taxable, including but not limited to:
All intangible property of a resident decedent, including stocks, bonds, bank accounts, loans receivable, etc., is also taxable regardless of where it is located at the time of the decedent’s death.
In the case of a nonresident decedent, all real property and tangible personal property located in Pennsylvania at the time of the decedent’s death is taxable. Intangible personal property of a nonresident decedent is not taxable.
Jointly-owned property with right of survivorship, except between husband and wife, including but not limited to real estate, securities, bank accounts, etc., is taxable to the extent of the decedent’s fractional interest in the joint property (calculated by dividing the value of the joint property by the number of joint owners at the time of the decedent’s death). Joint property is taxable even though the decedent’s name was added as a matter of convenience.
Further, if the decedent created the joint interest in the property within a year of his/her death, the full value of the property is taxable in the decedent’s estate.
Yes. Unsatisfied liabilities incurred by the decedent prior to his/her death are deductible against his/her taxable estate. In addition to debts incurred by the decedent or the estate, the cost of administration of the estate, attorney fees, and fiduciary fees incurred to administer the estate, funeral and burial expenses including the cost of a burial lot, tombstone or grave marker, and other related burial expenses, are deductible.
Under the Inheritance Tax law, the account was jointly owned because you and your mother had equal access to the account. Therefore, in this example, the survivor is taxed on one-half of the amount in the account.
Previously, transfers to surviving spouses were taxed at a rate of 6%, commonly known as the "widows’ tax". Since January 1, 1995, the tax rate for transfers to a surviving spouse is 0%. A Pennsylvania widow or widower pays no tax on assets inherited from a deceased spouse.
The family exemption is a right given to specific individuals to retain or claim certain types of decedent’s property in accordance with Section 3121 of the Probate, Estate and Fiduciaries Code. For decedents who died after January 29, 1995, the family exemption is $3,500.
The family exemption may be claimed by a spouse of a decedent who was a resident of Pennsylvania. If there is no spouse, or if the spouse has forfeited his/her rights, then any child of the decedent, who is a member of the same household as the decedent may claim the exemption.
In the event there is no spouse or child, the exemption may be claimed by a parent or parents who are members of the same household as the decedent. The family exemption is allowable against assets which are passed on with or without a will.
No, the amount of an inheritance is not taxable for PA Personal Income Tax purposes. However, if you qualify for Tax Forgiveness on your income tax return, you will need to include the value of your inheritance as income on PA Schedule SP.
IRA’s are not subject to Inheritance Tax when the decedent is under the age of 59 ½ at the time of death. For 401K’s, the same provision applies unless the owner of the plan could have closed out the plan during his/her lifetime. In most plans, the right does not accrue until the "normal retirement age" is reached, which is usually 62 or 65 years of age.
Inheritance Tax returns are due 9 months after a person’s death. The responsible party is the person named in the will as executor, or if the person dies without a will, the individual who is approved as administrator by the Register of Wills after a petition is filed. If no executor or administrator is named, and property or transfers exist, then the person receiving the property is required to file a return and pay the tax.
If the decedent was a resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania at the time of his/her death, the Inheritance Tax return is to be filed in duplicate with the Register of Wills in the county where the decedent was a resident at the time of his/her death.
If the decedent was a nonresident of Pennsylvania, the Inheritance Tax return is to be filed in duplicate with the Register of Wills that issues Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration, if any. Otherwise, the Inheritance Tax return is to be filed with the PA Department of Revenue, Bureau of Individual Taxes.
All information in these FAQs is to inform/is intended to be of assistance by providing basic information relating to Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax, and not to advise. It is based upon Pennsylvania law. All statements are general, and individual facts in a given case may alter their application or involve other laws not referred to here.
All questions regarding your Inheritance Tax Return should be directed to the PA Department of Revenue. The Register of Wills Office is a filing office for your tax return and cannot give advice or assistance in completing your return. The PA Department of Revenue is striving to serve you better by offering a variety of ways to get tax information.
For additional information, contact:Inheritance Tax DivisionPA Department of RevenueBureau of Individual TaxesDepartment 280601Harrisburg, PA 17128-0601Office Phone: 717-787-8327Fax: 717-772-0412PA Department of Revenue WebsiteEmail the PA Department of Revenue
A Will is any written document which directs the manner of distribution of anything owned by the writer at the time of death. It should name an executor whose job is to probate the Will after death and carry out its instructions. A Will may also appoint guardians of the estates of minors who receive property under the Will.
To make a Will in Pennsylvania, the person making the Will must be of sound mind and 18 years of age or older. Everyone, whether wealthy or of modest means, should have a Will. This guarantees that your lifetime accumulations are given to those persons or institution whom you wish to benefit.
If there is no Will, the Pennsylvania Intestate Law directs who will be the beneficiaries of your estate regardless of any special needs of persons you might like to benefit. Furthermore, you have no choice over who will settle your estate or serve as guardian of minors. Under the law the Register of Wills and Orphans’ Court must make these choices for you, and your estate may have to post a bond thus incurring additional expense.
The last Will of a deceased person is valid no matter how old it is. But good planning requires periodic review and revision of a Will to reflect changes which occur during the lifetime of the testator, in the nature and size of his estate, and in the provisions of the law controlling the settlement of estates.
No, but 2 witnesses, subscribing or non-subscribing, must appear at the Register of Wills’ office at the time of probate to prove and identify the testator’s signature. Subscribing witnesses may appear before a notary. A Will witnessed by subscribing witnesses can better survive a Will contest because the testator’s legal capacity to make a Will is presumed. When a self-proving affidavit accompanies the original Will, it is not necessary for the original witnesses to appear before the Register of Wills.
Contrary to what some believe, a Will does not get registered in Pennsylvania during the lifetime of the maker. It is recorded or probated by the Register of Wills only after death occurs. A Will becomes a public record only upon death and probate in the Register of Wills Office. This permits the maker to change or rewrite his Will as circumstance require and to keep its terms confidential during his lifetime. A decedent’s "last" Will automatically revokes all prior Wills and is the only one which is valid.
The disposition of one’s property is determined by many personal factors including family, personal relationships, and interests in charities. A Will should be changed when those relationships, including divorce and death, occur. For example, Wills executed before marriage or the birth of a child are not binding on either. Spouses or children can receive what they would have received in the absence of a Will. Changes to a Will may be made by writing a new Will or a Codicil conforming to the requirements for a valid Will.
If you have a simple Will drafted by an attorney, the cost is usually modest. You can write your own Will, however, it must conform to Pennsylvania statutes in order to be valid.
No, a well-drawn Will may save expense. A Will appointing a Pennsylvania resident or which waives bond saves the estate an annual bond premium. Specific instructions in the Will may spare the estate the expense of obtaining special court orders.
No, life insurance is just one kind of property that you may own. You need a Will to give away your other assets.
Most assets held in joint names pass automatically to the survivor upon the death of one of them. There are advantages and disadvantages in holding assets jointly depending upon your particular circumstances. Your attorney can best advise you in this respect.
Yes, Pennsylvania Inheritance Taxes are payable on the value of most assets owned by the descendant at the time of death and are due within 9 months after date of death. The Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax Rate is 0% on assets passing to the spouse and those passing from children under 21 to their parents. Assets passing to lineal descendants (children, grandchildren, parents, and grandparents) are taxed at a rate of 4.5%. The tax rate is 12% on assets passing between siblings and 15% to all other beneficiaries except bequests to charities and governmental entities which are exempt from taxes. The tax applies to the net estate after deductions.
A Federal Estate Tax Return is due when the gross estate exceeds 2 million dollars.
On the first day of your placement, report on time and to the location directed by the Student Intern Coordinator. The Student Intern Coordinator will establish an ongoing schedule introducing you to a variety of the day-to-day activities of the Probation Officer.
The Student Intern Coordinator is responsible for providing an overview of the Department and its process. He/she will be available to answer questions regarding your internship with the Department and will be responsible for the overall coordination of the placement experience.
The normal workday is from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, although variations of these hours are frequently necessary to accommodate the needs of a particular case or caseload. At times, the officer to whom you are assigned may work other than normal work hours. These changes may be unexpected, particularly in an emergency or crisis. The student must be flexible for it may not be feasible to transport the student back to the office or meeting location at the planned time.
Projecting a professional image is essential. While in the office, males are expected to wear a coat and tie, while females should be neatly attired in a skirt and blouse, dress, or slacks. Extremes should be avoided. In the field, casual attire is permitted but should be neat, clean, and in good repair. Shorts are not appropriate for office or field.
The student should immediately contact the Probation/Parole Officer Mentor to cancel any arrangements for that particular day. If unable to contact the Officer, the student should contact the office. Failure to do this can result in a great deal of wasted time for an officer who is waiting for a student to appear before proceeding with scheduled activities.
All students accepted for placement should have transportation available because it may be necessary for the student to meet the officer at predetermined locations away from the office. The Student Intern Coordinator should be consulted regarding specific expectations in this regard.
The Department welcomes the objective examination of its efforts and is continually trying to find ways to improve its operations. The student is asked to follow Departmental policy and procedure in doing projects. The Student Intern Coordinator should be consulted before the initiation of any research or study.
The Department normally may assign a research project to a student during the internship. Such projects will be governed by the needs of the Department and capabilities of the student. All projects will be approved by the Deputy Chief Adult Probation and Parole Officer.
While case files and other client-related records are available for review by the student, they are to be used only for educational purposes. The Department is bound by strict rules of confidentiality and no information, written or verbal, may leave the Department without the specific approval of the Mentor or Coordinator. Additionally, the student should not discuss specific cases and identifying data with anyone outside the Department, for such discussion could be damaging to the client.
The Student Intern Coordinator and the Mentor will be responsible for completing all evaluations on your performance as required by your school.
If problems are encountered in a particular placement, which cannot be resolved with the Student Intern Coordinator, these matters should be brought to the attention of the Chief or Deputy Chief Probation Officer. There will be an attempt to resolve the problem and/or bring the matter to the attention of the involved parties and make appropriate program modifications so future problems can be averted.
If you are a victim or witness to a crime or the parent or guardian of a child victim, you may have received a subpoena to appear in court. A subpoena is a court order directing you to appear as a witness. If your child is a victim or witness, you must bring your child to court with you. You may not ignore this court order. You are required to appear at the time and place stated on the subpoena. You may receive a subpoena by mail or in person. Please be sure to save your subpoena and bring it to court with you, as it contains important information about your case.
If you are a victim or witness to a crime, or the parent or guardian of a child victim, you may receive a “stand-by” notice. The “stand-by” system has been established by the District Attorney’s Office for the convenience of all witnesses to remain at home, school or work until they are actually needed to testify in a criminal trial. It is important that you telephone the District Attorney’s Office immediately upon receiving your notice to leave a telephone number where you can be reached on the day of the trial. If on the date of trial you are called to testify, you will need to proceed directly to the Bucks County Courthouse and check in at the District Attorney’s booth on the fourth floor. From the District Attorney’s Booth, you will be directed to the appropriate courtroom.
If you were subpoenaed to appear on the trial date (or any other court date), then you must appear and be present on the date and time reflected on the subpoena. If you received a “stand-by” notice, then you are on telephone alert but must appear if called by the District Attorney’s Office to do so. Many victims and witnesses receive a “stand-by” notice, which is explained above. If you are a victim you have the right to be present, whether you will be needed to testify or not. Moreover, most criminal court hearings are open to the public.
Bail is used to ensure the defendant’s appearance in court. Bail is set by the Judge. The seriousness of the offense is only one of the factors the judge considers when setting the amount of bail. The Judge also considers the defendant’s employment status, family ties in the community, past history of court appearances, and any other factors that may indicate whether or not the defendant is likely to flee or leave the area.
No. The Assistant District Attorney (ADA) represents the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in prosecuting the defendant at no cost to you throughout the entire criminal process. The only time you would need an attorney is if you were to file a civil lawsuit against the offender.
No. It’s important to understand that it is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that has brought the charges against the offender. You do, however, have the right to speak to the Assistant District Attorney assigned to your case regarding disposition. However, the decision whether to pursue charges or not belongs solely to the District Attorney.
It is very important to keep the District Attorney’s office aware of any changes in your contact information so we can keep you informed of the status of the case. Please call the Victim/Witness Unit at 215-348-6292 or 215-348-6305 to report any changes.
It is a crime for the defendant to harass, threaten or intimidate a victim or a witness in a criminal case. It is also a crime for the defendant or another person acting on behalf of the defendant to offer you money or some other benefit to alter your testimony or keep you from testifying. Should this occur, please contact the police department who brought the criminal charges or call the Victim/Witness Unit at 215-348-6292 or 215-348-6305 for assistance.
If the defendant is sent to prison, you may not receive any payments until after he/she is released. Once on probation or parole, the defendant will be put on a payment schedule by the Probation and Parole Department. Payments are made to the Clerk of Courts’ office by the defendant and the Clerk of Courts distributes the money to the victim(s). When the defendant begins to make a payment, a certain amount of money is taken out for court costs, and the remaining money is applied to pay restitution amounts until they are completely paid off. Generally, the defendant has the entire length of his/her sentence to repay the monies owed.
Parking is provided for you free of charge. The new county parking garage is located behind the Justice Center at the corner of Broad Street and Union Street. There is a shuttle that operates from 7 to 9:30 am. Monday through Friday, with the exception of county holidays. The shuttle picks up/drops off passengers at the garage top-level entrance on Union Street and between the Justice Center and the Administration Building (old Courthouse) on Main Street. There is also limited handicap parking around the Courthouse. For assistance with locating a space near the courthouse, call the “Parking Accommodation Hotline” at 215-348-6600.
If you have a complaint or grievance regarding rights or services provided during the prosecution of a criminal case, you can call the Victim/Witness Assistance Unit at 215-348-6292 or 215-348-6305 for assistance. You will be contacted by an Assistant District Attorney and may be asked to put your complaint in writing.
If there is a closing or a delay in opening, it will be updated by 6:30 am on the Bucks County weather hotline at 215-340-8208.