Common Pleas

COVID-19 Notice

All jury trials, whether criminal or civil in nature and without regard to the number of jurors required, are suspended through March 31, 2021. Courts and Court departments may elect to conduct proceedings via advanced communications technology. The monthly Sheriff Sales scheduled for January, February and March have been postponed and rescheduled until April 9, 2021.

All visitors to the Bucks County Justice Center or any Magisterial District Court office are required to wear a protective face mask or covering, maintain social distancing, and comply with any other Court safety directives. All of the Court's Orders entered in response to the COVID-19 emergency may be viewed on the Emergency Orders page.

History

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.

Composition

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.

Jurisdiction

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 a twenty court system of limited jurisdiction courts (special courts) - issuing authority in all felony and misdemeanor cases, and hears all traffic and summary cases. It has concurrent jurisdiction in civil cases where the amount in controversy is less than $12,000.

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