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Harrisburg Courthouses

Last updated: October 17, 2013

Over half a million residents call the capital of Pennsylvania their home. Although Harrisburg is best known for its heavy manufacturing and steel industry, you just can’t beat the chocolate. But many residents’ favorite part of Harrisburg is the renovated downtown nightlife, especially the vibrant jazz scene. Far removed from this scene, but similarly bustling, are Harrisburg’s courts.

The Pennsylvania court system is divided into layers that handle specific aspects of the law. If you have any doubts as to which court to visit, the Dauphin County Courthouse is probably your best bet. The biggest distinction is between the big-time Court of Common Pleas and the small-time Magisterial District Judges, though there are also specialized appellate courts. Knowing which court is appropriate for your particular issue is critical to your success, so here is a useful guide to some of the key courthouses in Harrisburg.

State Courts

  • Dauphin County Courthouse

    101 Market St.
    PA 17101

    Tel: (717) 780-6670

    The Dauphin County Courthouse houses the Court of Common Pleas, which has jurisdiction over almost all criminal and civil legal matters. They handle civil and criminal cases, adoption, divorce, child custody, abuse, juvenile delinquency, estates, guardianships and many other matters. Check out their Self-Help Center on the fourth floor if you are representing yourself, but get there early because it closes at 1 p.m. every weekday. But beware, the Center charges a small fee for forms and instructions, usually $5 or $10.

  • Dauphin County Central Court

    501 Mall Rd.
    PA 17111

    Tel: (717) 780-6800

    The Dauphin County Central Court is located inside the Dauphin County Prison to facilitate prisoner transport. They handle exclusively criminal matters, especially pretrial matters and preliminary hearings. Be sure to read up on prison dress code in the Prison Handbook before you visit, as is strictly enforced (hint: don’t wear shorts or sandals). If you bring change you can store your valuables in lockers.

  • Pennsylvania Judicial Center

    601 Commonwealth Ave.
    Suite 1500

    PA 17120

    Tel: (717) 720-5000

    The Pennsylvania Judicial Center houses the Commonwealth Court, which is an appellate court. The Commonwealth Court is primarily responsible for matters involving state and local governments and regulatory agencies, but also acts as a trial court when lawsuits are filed by or against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

  • Magisterial District Courts

    Magisterial District 12-1-01
    2125 Paxton Church Rd.
    Harrisburg, PA 17110

    Magisterial District 12-1-02
    2967-A North 7th St.
    Harrisburg, PA 17110

    Magisterial District 12-1-04
    1520 Walnut St.
    Harrisburg, PA 17103

    Magisterial District 12-1-05
    538 South 29th St.
    Harrisburg, PA 17104

    Magisterial District 12-1-06
    5201 Jonestown Rd.
    Harrisburg, PA 17112

    Magisterial District 12-2-01
    1281 South 28th St.
    Harrisburg, PA 17111

    Magisterial District 12-2-02
    102 Agnes St.
    Harrisburg, PA 17104

    Magisterial District 12-2-03
    50 Canal St.
    Royalton, PA 17057

    Magisterial District 12-2-04
    1805 North Cameron St.
    Harrisburg, PA 17103

    Magisterial District 12-2-05
    1300 Rolleston St.
    Harrisburg, PA 17104

    Magisterial District 12-3-02
    1025 Peters Mountain Rd.
    Dauphin, PA 17018

    Magisterial District 12-3-03
    5925 Stevenson Ave., Suite B
    Harrisburg, PA 17112

    Magisterial District 12-3-04
    576 East Main St.
    Hummelstown, PA 17036

    Magisterial District 12-3-05
    7810 Allentown Blvd.
    Harrisburg, PA 17112

    Magisterial Night Court, District 12-0-0
    123 Walnut St.
    Harrisburg, PA 17101

    Good to know: The Magisterial District Judges, or MDJs, handle small-time cases such as traffic violations, minor criminal matters, landlords-tenants disputes and small claims involving $12,000 in damages or less. Read their concise small claims pamphlet before bring a lawsuit. The Magisterial District Judges are scattered throughout Dauphin County, just find the most convenient location from the list above.

Federal Courts

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