Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

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Allegheny County Court Filing Fee Increases: More than Might Meet The Eye.

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | February 3, 2009

Posted by Cliff Tuttle

Fees increased in the Allegheny Department of Court Records and Department of Real Estate on February 2, 2009. As a public service, Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk hereby publishes the fee change notices for the Department of Real Estate ( its still “Recorder of Deeds” everywhere outside Allegheny County). Last week, it cost $45.00 to record a deed with 4 pages and no extra names. Take $65.00 with you next time.

Across Ross Street, the same situation holds in the Department of Court Records. But the increases, at least this time, are not quite so steep. The Civil/Family Division will only charge $114.50 to file a Complaint. This is just six dollars more than the $108.50 it cost in January.

In 1973, when I filed my first Complaint at the Prothonotary (they called it Prothonotary until 2008) I paid $15.50. I distinctly remember that the impecunious I could afford to advance that trifling cost, and the sheriff’s service fee, too. Now, 36 years later, it costs almost ten times more. For a comparison, this is just about double the increase in the price of residential real estate during the same period. Last summer, Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk reported that a fifty thousand dollar sales price in 1973 translates into $217,837.00 in 2008. Filing fees rose twice that. Too bad you can’t invest in court filing fees futures.

However, a word of caution: most of the Department of Court Records hasn’t increased the fees on its posted fee schedule yet. Be sure to click on the pdf file above the fee schedule to get the correct fee. Better yet, bring an extra check to the counter.

Same story with Criminal Division. Use the numbers in the pdf, not the chart.

However, Orphans Court and Estate Administration filing fee changes have been incorporated into the posted fee schedule.



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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