FAQs

Frequently asked questions

ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can you give me legal advice on what I should do?

No, Court employees are not permitted to give legal advice on any topic.  Please consult a private attorney or, if you are unable to afford your own attorney, contact:

- The York County Bar Association at 717-854-8755, or use their lawyer referral program

- The York County Bar Association's Modest Means Program

- Mid Penn Legal Services at 717-848-3605

- In criminal matters, the York County Public Defender's Office at 717-771-9217 or view their website for more information

How do I respond to a Citation I received?

You have 10 days after receiving a citation from an officer or summons from the Court to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.  Failure to respond will result in the issuance of an Arrest Warrant.  (Please see the reverse side of your citation.)

Will I get any points on my driver's license for the traffic citation I received?

For information on points assigned by PennDOT for traffic violations, see The Pennsylvania Point System.

How do I present a case before the Magisterial District Judge?

If you are attending or participating in Court, proper attire is recommended and respectful conduct is expected.

When presenting a case in court, the Affiant (Criminal) or Plaintiff (Civil) always proceeds first.  This is done by means of testimony, presenting evidence and/or witnesses.  The Defendant always proceeds second and may present testimony, evidence and/or witnesses.  Witness testimony is subject to cross examination by the opposing party.  All parties are subject to the PA Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure as well as the PA Rules of Evidence.

It is the obligation of the Affiant or Plaintiff to prove their case (the burden in Criminal cases is beyond a reasonable doubt, and in Civil cases by a preponderance of evidence.)

Your success depends on doing your homework!  It is important to bring all relevant documentation and persons with knowledge to testify to prove or defend your case.

How do I respond to a Civil Complaint I received?

Carefully read and follow all the instructions sent to you from the Court.  Please respond in writing if you intend to defend.  If you wish to file a counter-claim, you must do so within the time frames permitted.  For legal questions, please consult a private attorney or, if you are unable to afford your own attorney, contact:

- The York County Bar Association at 717-854-8755, or use their lawyer referral program

- The York County Bar Association's Modest Means Program

Do I need an Attorney?

It is not required that you be represented by an attorney.  However, if you are facing imprisonment for a summary offense or if you are accused of a Misdemeanor or Felony OR if you feel it is in your best interest to be represented, you should obtain or at the very least consult an attorney.

How do I request a continuance?

All continuance requests are subject to approval at the discretion of the Court.  Continuance requests must be in writing and must state the reason for the continuance request.  All continuances must be received at least two (2) business days prior to the Trial or Hearing. 

What holidays does the court observe?

In 2022, District Court 19-3-04 will be closed on the following holidays:

  • December 31st, 2021 - New Year's Day
  • January 17th - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • February 21st - President's Day
  • April 15th - Good Friday
  • May 30th - Memorial Day
  • July 4th - Independence Day
  • September 5th - Labor Day
  • October 10th - Columbus Day
  • November 8th - Election Day
  • November 11th - Veteran's Day
  • November 24th - Thanksgiving Day
  • November 25th - Day after Thanksgiving
  • December 26th - Christmas Day

When a holiday falls on a Saturday, it will be observed on the preceding Friday. When a holiday falls on a Sunday, it will be observed the following Monday (unless defined otherwise by bargaining unit agreement or operations of a department).