Prothonotary Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Where is the Prothonotary's Office located?
A: On the Main Floor of the Somerset County Courthouse, 111 East Union Street, Suite 165. It is the first office on the left after going through security.

Q: What is the mailing address for the Prothonotary's office?
A: 111 East Union Street, Suite 165, Somerset, PA 15501

Q: Does the Prothonotary's office take personal checks?
A: For passport applications this office will accept personal checks. For all other filings, fees are paid for by business check, money order or cash.

Q: How do I appeal a District Justice Judgment for money?
A: Individuals and business have 30 days from the date the judgment is entered to appeal. The appeal from can be obtained through this office with basic instructions. A filing fee is required at the time the appeal is filed. Once the appeal is filed, please seek legal counsel.

Q: How do I appeal a District Justice Judgment for a Landlord/Tenant Judgment for Possession?
A: Individuals have 10 days from the date the Judgment was entered to file an appeal if they wish to stay in the at the property. A filing fee is required at the time the appeal is filed. A bond, in the form of either cash or money order, is required at the time of filing the appeal, which consists of the money amount in arrears or three months rent, whichever is less. This bond must be paid at the time appeal is filed. Once the appeal is filed, seek legal counsel.

Q: How do I appeal a Driver's License or Vehicle Registration suspension?
A: Individuals have 30 days from the date of the letter from PennDOT to appeal. Appeal forms are available at this office with basic instructions. A filing fee is required at the time of filing the appeals. Once the appeal is filed, please seek legal counsel.

Q: How do I get a satisfied judgment/lien off of my credit report?
A: Upon request this office will prepare a certificate of satisfaction for you to take to the reporting/credit agencies. These certificates are only issued if the judgment/lien is marked satisfied on the official court record.

Q: How do I get a lien/judgment off my credit report that is not mine?
A: Request a copy of the lien/judgment from our office and take it to the reporting agency along with any documentation that they may require to prove that you are not this person.

Q: What types of liens and judgments are filed in the Prothonotary's office?
A: The following liens and judgments are filed in the Prothonotary's office: Lien Types: Federal Tax Lien – State Tax Lien - Municipal Lien Judgment Types: Confessions of Judgments – Default Judgments – District Justice Judgments

Q: How do I change my child's last name?
A: If the biological father’s name is on the original birth certificate and the child is under the age of 5, you can complete The information on the back of the birth certificate and send it to the Office of Vital Statistics. (724)656-3126.

Q: How do I retake my maiden name?
A: You may retake your maiden name through this office if a divorce action is filed within this County. You may also retake your maiden name if your divorce action was filed in another county or state. If your divorce was either out of county or out of state you will need to obtain a certified copy of the divorce decree from that jurisdiction and file it with this office. After filing this certified decree then you can file the form to retake your maiden name. The maiden name form is available at the Prothonotary’s office. A filing fee is required at the time of filing these documents.

Q: How do I change my name?
A: To change your name, you must Petition the Court. Contact legal counsel or research the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure in the law library, located in the basement of the courthouse to prepare your documents. A filing fee is required. Please keep in mind that the personnel working the law library are employees of the court and cannot give legal advise.

Q: How do I apply for a Passport?
A: Applications are available at the Prothonotarys office or maybe accessed at http://www.travel.state.gov/passport. Our Office hours are M-F 8:30 am to 4 pm and we are open during the lunch hour. Additional passport information available on the Somerset County Webpage under “Passport Information”. The Prothonotary’s office is also open two Tuesdays a month until 5 pm. See Prothonotary webpage for actual dates.


Q: What year do the Naturalization Records start in you office?
A: Beginning 1795 to approximately 1945.

Q: Are there any forms for filing for you own divorce or custody action?
A: Yes, forms have now been offered by the Administrative Offices of the Pennsylvania Courts. Please refer to the SELF HELP section under pages of interest for link to access forms or click here. A filing fee is required. Contact Prothonotary’s office for current fees.

Q: When is Motions Court?
A: Civil Motions court is every Wednesday at 9:00 am. Family motions court is the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month beginning at 9:00. Your original motion and a copy must be filed with the Prothonotary’s office prior to the motions court that you choose. According to the local rules, you must give five days notice to opposing and non-represented parties prior to the motions court that you choose. Please call this office at 814-445-1428 if you have any questions.

County Annex Office Building
300 North Center Avenue
Somerset, PA 15501
Somerset County Courthouse
111 East Union St.
Somerset, PA 15501