United States District Court Western Pennsylvania United States District Court Western Pennsylvania
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Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL

Q:  What are the clerk's office hours?
Monday-Friday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM (except for legal holidays)

Q:  What is needed to file a civil complaint?
(1) An original copy of the signed complaint.
(2) A completed JS-44 Civil Cover Sheet, as modified by the Western District of Pennsylvania.
(3) A $350 Filing Fee.

Q:  What counties are included in each division for purposes of district court case assignment, venue and petit jury service?

                                                     (click here)

Q:  How many copies of a pleading do I need to file?
Only the original copy.

Q:  What are the witness fees for a court hearing, trial or deposition?
The witness attendance fee is $40.00 per day plus reimbursement for mileage at the current government rate. [See 28 U.S.C. § 1821(b) and (c)(2)]

Q:  What if the case file I am interested in has been archived?
To retrieve District Court files from the Regional Archives & Records Center in Philadelphia there is a $53.00 retrieval fee per file. The fee must be paid in advance. Please provide the Clerk's Office with the case number and case caption when presenting the retrieval fee. The files are generally sent to the Clerk's Office within five to seven days of receipt of the retrieval fee and are held for a period of 30 days.

Q:  How do I become a member of the bar of this court?
In order to be admitted generally to the bar of the Western District of Pennsylvania, one must obtain a movant who is admitted to practice before the Western District of Pennsylvania. The admittee and movant must be present in court. The movant will orally move your admission before a United States District Judge. There is a $186.00 admission fee. Those who want to be admitted generally must call (412) 208-7500 to make an appointment.

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FINANCE

How do I get a surety bond released?
What is the per diem and mileage rate for a witness?

Where do I find the post judgment interest rates?

Q:  How do I get a surety bond released?
This is between the surety company and the attorney, the court does not get involved. Counsel might mail a copy of the Stipulation for Dismissal, sometime this will satisfy a surety company. A Certificate of Satisfaction or a Judgment Roll (ordered through the intake section) may need to be mailed to the surety company to release the bond. A motion with a proposed order may be filed - stating the case is closed and the surety company is no longer liable. The attorney must first find out what the surety company requirements are before they will release a bond.

Q:  What is the per diem and mileage rate for a witness?
The U.S. Marshal Service pays witness fees, not the Clerk's Office.

Q:  Where do I find the post judgment interest rates?
Click here for rates.

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Community Outreach
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E - Discovery / Special Masters
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Judicial Policies / Misconduct & Disability
Pro Bono / Prisoner Civil Rights Cases

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