Common Pleas


Courts of Common Pleas are Pennsylvania's courts of general trial jurisdiction. They have existed in Pennsylvania at least since the Constitution of 1776, under which they were given constitutional status.

Prior to the Commonwealth's Constitution of 1968 there existed in addition to Courts of Common Pleas - Courts of Oyer and Terminer and General Jail Delivery, Quarter Sessions of the Peace and Orphans' Courts. The new constitution abolished these latter separate courts and incorporated them into existing Common Pleas Courts.


The Common Pleas Courts are organized into 60 judicial districts which generally follow the geographic boundaries of the Commonwealth's counties; however, seven of the districts are comprised of two counties. Each district has from one to 95 judges. Judges are elected to ten-year terms.


Common Pleas Courts have original jurisdiction over all cases not exclusively assigned to another court and appellate jurisdiction over judgments from the special courts (also referred to as minor courts, presided over by Magisterial District Judges). They also hear appeals from certain state and most local government agencies.

Bucks County Court of Common Pleas

The Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, a class 2A county, is the 7th Judicial District of Pennsylvania. First established in 1683, it hears all Criminal, Civil, Family, and Orphan's (Probate) matters. The Court consists of 15 judges, and is located in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. It supervises all Adult Probation, Juvenile Probation (including the Bucks County Youth Center), and Domestic Relations services, the Law Library, and provides administrative services for an 18-court magisterial district court system. These courts serve as the issuing authority in all felony and misdemeanor cases and hear all traffic and summary cases. They also have concurrent jurisdiction in civil cases where the amount in controversy is less than $12,000.