The Office of the Prothonotary
Main - Prothonotary Forms - Genealogical & Historical Archives - Passports - Birth Certificates - Fee Schedule - Minor Passports - Passport Renewals - Passport Cards - Where to Apply - What to Bring - In A Hurry?
Patricia L. Bachtle
The Office of the Prothonotary
The office of the Prothonotary is the Clerk of the Civil Division of the Court of Common Pleas. This elected row officer has administrative control over and responsibility for all official documents and records of the civil and family divisions. It is the duty of the office to record such legal documents as Appeals, Assignments, Commencement of Actions, Equity, Divorce, Complaints, Executions, Final Orders, Judgments, Liens, Name Change Petitions, Signatures of Notaries Public, Satisfactions, Subpoena's, Exceptions to Judicial or Tax Sales, Revivals and Minor's Compromise. Additionally, the Office of the Prothonotary initiates judgments entered by magisterial district justices to the Court of Common Pleas. The prothonotary also processes appeals from the magisterial district justices to the Court of Common Pleas as well as appeals from the Court of Common Pleas to the Superior, Supreme and Commonwealth Courts.
The mission of the Office is to see that these documents are docketed, microfilmed and processed timely and in accordance with State requirements.
Click here to view Prothonotary Forms available on line.
Click here for the Prothonotary's Public Access System.
Please note: To access case searches for the Prothonotary Office and Family Court (excluding Support), please use the web link: http://propublic.co.bucks.pa.us/psi. Please be advised: All documents purchased through the Bucks County Web Viewer will be charged $0.10 for each page, plus a Technology Fee of $1.00 per Cart. A convenience fee of either 2.39%, or $1.50 (minimum) will be charged by Value Payment Systems for the processing of all transactions. No Family Court documents are available on-line. Instructions for the new system can be accessed by clicking this link.
Please note that we have upgraded our Web Viewer with expanded Search parameters. To view detailed case information from your Search results, click the Blue, underlined text.
Click here for the Prothonotary's E-File System
The Prothonotary also serves as an Agent for the Federal Government for the purpose of processing Passport applications. Click here to see the requirements for applying for a Passport.
For information on current warnings and travel updates log onto www.travel.state.gov .
History of the Office
The Prothonotary is an elected Constitutional office in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The word "Prothonotary" is a Greek and Latin term meaning "First Scribe."
In Bucks County, the office predates the founding of the Commonwealth. The first Prothonotary, Phineas Pemberton, was appointed by William Penn in 1683.
In addition to serving as Prothonotary, Pemberton was also Recorder of Deeds and Clerk of Courts. He operated out of his house, which he named after his hometown in England, Bolton Mansion. It still stands in what is now Levittown.
The present Prothonotary, Patricia L. Bachtle, is the 59th person to hold that position in the history of the county.
Over the years the office recorded documents including a list of stallions, doctors and dentists, slaves and their respective markings and brands, and also Lunacy Dockets. The records date back to 1684 and are preserved in northern Pennsylvania.