Pennsylvania Public Records

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About Pennsylvania Open Public Records
In 1998, Pennsylvania's right to know law was adopted by the state legislature. The name of this law reveals its purpose, which is to mandate transparency in Pennsylvania government. In Pennsylvania, as in many other states, the law is also referred to as The Sunshine Law and defines what information is available and sets parameters for requests and maintenance of information. This law also provides for the creation of the Office of Open Records, whose function it is to assist the public in obtaining government records. Pennsylvania was admitted to the union on the 21st of December 1787; the state's population is 12.75 million people, divided into 67 counties. The state capital is Harrisburg but the two most populous and well known cities are Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The University of Pennsylvania is the state's second largest private employer. However, several nationally known companies are located in Pittsburgh, including steel companies and various consumer goods. Search for state property records online through the Pennsylvania Recorder of Deeds database, listed by individual counties. Search for Pennsylvania open public records online. Link to all levels of Pennsylvania government for information on services which provide public records. Solicit vital, criminal, court and land records. See crime statistics and well as crime reports and state news. Find information on census data, vital statistics, economy data, education and background history of Pennsylvania. You can also browse current housing and real estate data, property and land values. Connect with municipalities and law enforcement for the most up to date local information. This site is updated regularly to bring you the newest services and records.
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  • How can I view a specific criminal complaint in Pennsylvania?
    Go directly to that court's website. Allegheny county, for example, has a page with a case search of both civil and criminal cases filed. Cases can be searched by participant name, case number, police incident, offense tracking number, complaint number, or an organization's name or state ID number.
  • How can I determine if my ex-wife has been arrested on criminal charges in the past month in Pennsylvania?
    There's a link to an inmate search for the state of Pennsylvania below in the public records directory. You can search by the committing county, inmate name, or facility where the person may be currently held in custody. If you know the county, you can go directly to its web searches, for example, Philadelphia, which has its inmate search.
  • How can I find out on line, if someone has a warrant for their arrest in Pennsylvania?
    You need to mention where the warrant is out of, some areas' police websites make their arrest warrants public online. You can search freely as with Bucks county bench warrant search online. Lancaster County Sheriff’s webpage on warrants shows you how to use the "The Unified JUDICIAL SYSTEM of PENNSYLVANIA WEB PORTAL" to search for more warrants, including the ones outside the county.
  • Where do I find in Pennsylvania, a criminal background check?
    You can either conduct your search or order one from the Pennsylvania State Police (the first link will take you there). If you conduct your search, you can choose what to look into. Some of the records, court filing, for example, may have a fee, but they are relatively low. The state police only charge eight dollars for a standard criminal check. You can also go to the state's judiciary site and look up criminal and civil dockets for free online. Some cases go back years; I've seen a case from 1970 that may go back even further.
  • Where can I find in Pennsylvania, all the public sources of my criminal records and opt out of having them available to view?
    Whether criminal or civil public information, there's usually one supplier and thereafter, it can take a life of its own by many other sites/sources also showing them online. There is no one step available for taking yourself off from ever showing up online. Public records are created by a variety of entities, from real estate recording, court records and more. Many have taken upon themselves to search the internet and request to be taken off from appearing on search engine results. However, it is not a simple and easy task to accomplish for various reasons. A major obstacle is the right to access records which are deemed as public information under the law. Privacy laws are also in effect to protect individual's private personal information. Many individuals are not clear as to which is private or public information. The statutes in place cover most records requested on a daily basis. Government agencies can place restrictions or access requirements under certain guidelines. Courts are the source of many records most individuals would like to be kept private such as past criminal offenses, bankruptcies, divorces and other lawsuits. The entire record may not be open, such as personal sensitive information, however, the data regarding a person's filings are deemed public and open for anyone to obtain. When the access to an individual's information is publically available, any person or entity can obtain and make them available to others. Others can include other entities which in turn once again make them available in other sites. As long as the source of the information is still providing the record, it can appear anywhere online. Some sites will remove the information from appearing online they've acquired lawfully as a courtesy and policy. Persons looking to conceal the information can request an opt out from each site and source individually. The original source of the information, usually a government agency, may not conceal the record without proper cause.
  • Where can I find in Pennsylvania, if 911 logs are public records?
    Pennsylvania general assembly's webpage under "Section 708. Exceptions for public records." will be able to give you the answer. The page is long, but if you do a page search of 911, you will be able to find it and go directly to what you're looking for. There is a concern with personal information being opened to the public during emergency calls, such as the mental condition of the individual.
  • Where can I find in Pennsylvania, arrest records and would I start with the state police?
    Most of Pennsylvania's state trooper police reports have to do with accidents. Most of the arrests are made by local police departments, which you will have to request the specific arrest report from. This is because they're the ones making the arrest and fill out the report. If you need a full arrest report from the past, there's a process from each department to request them. Background checks are offered from the state troopers for the entire state. If the arrests have resulted in a conviction, the state trooper is the central depository for the criminal records. However, when troopers make the initial arrests, where are the records, which could be for a routine DUI? The PA state troopers provide arrest and conviction reports for education employment, a form for the search is on their website, but no sign of other services for arrests were found.
  • A slow economy has more people desperately trying to find new ways to get a job and keep it. The impact to employers is that while more applicants are applying, so are the people willing to file lawsuits out of desperation, fear and anger. The employee or applicant is well aware of the unemployment environment which has plagued everyone for years with no relief in sight. The effect is the greater tendency for lawsuits claiming unlawful termination or hiring practices. When conducting a background check, the laws which apply to employers can vary from one state to another. So it is a good idea to get familiar before hiring from the general public. Some of the rules which apply to employers are specific and their violation will not be easily defeated, in other words, you're in trouble if you're not careful. In Pennsylvania, the law restricts certain type of offenses that can not be a reason for eliminating the applicant. Laws change, there are ongoing efforts to eliminate employee background checks altogether in order to help people with convictions have a better chance at getting hired. More laws for employers on the horizon There are several groups with political clout that are determined to restrict and eventually eliminate the ability for employers to conduct background checks. Small businesses are the ones which would suffer the consequences the most as they do not have the same funds in order to defend and/or pay fines resulting from a lawsuit being filed. Small businesses are not had as strongly represented, hence the probability of new laws being passed in the future.
  • Where can I find in Pennsylvania, an accident report?
    Accident, incident and arrest reports are usually requested from the department which created the report. It is then requested by persons involved in the case, such as attorneys, investigators, person in the report and others related to the accident. If you know where the accident is, refer to the department's website which services that area. You will then see what needs to be done to obtain the accident report online. If you mention the area or department, other visitors can share their similar experiences. On a side note, if you are not sure of the area, you can use crime mapping to pinpoint the accident's location and department.
  • Where can I find in Pennsylvania if I can access detailed records from an old case?
    The article could be accessed with the local library archives if the case made it to the news, even in a small town paper. The story itself may not be readily available online; however, the services that the library offers the public can be looked over to see where to get it. This is not the only way; it provides another method when other methods have been tried.
  • Where can I find in Pennsylvania, a person who has been arrested in the last three weeks?
    Police logs, crime maps and custody-inmate/jail lists can show arrests, even some periodicals will show its local arrests. Helpful to know which area as arrests are mostly made at the local level. The Pennsylvania State Police offers a criminal check service named "patch", but it's not the same as looking up arrests as they don't always lead to convictions to show up as criminal records.
  • Where can I find in Pennsylvania, access and contact information for who owned a specific property?
    Counties are in charge or recording deeds, depending on the county the property is in, the database can be open to the public.
  • Where can I find in Pennsylvania a law that says police must give crime information to the public promptly?
    You can check the laws on the state's PA open records RTKL (Right To Know Law) faqs under If our local or state agency receives a right-to-know request, what must we do to comply with the new law? [Section 502, 703, 901]. Some exceptions are specific to certain records.
Pennsylvania Free Public Records Directory

Departments which record, maintain and provide official documents, certificates or information requested by the general public.

Pennsylvania Latest Crime Records (Updated 12/08/2022)
  • Total Violent Crime:
    39,228
  • Murder And Nonnegligent Manslaughter:
    669
  • Rape:
    4,351
  • Robbery:
    9,743
  • Aggravated Assault:
    24,465
  • Total Property Crime:
    179,665
  • Burglary:
    23,354
  • Larceny Theft:
    143,921
  • Motor Vehicle Theft:
    12,390
Pennsylvania Census Data
  • Information About People and Demographics

  • Total population of persons residing within the state
    12,702,379
  • Estimate of the state's total residency
    12,281,071
  • Percentage change of the total resident population
    3%
  • Net change of residents' total population
    421,325
  • Complete count of statewide resident population
    12,281,054
  • Population estimate of residents less than 5 years of age
    746,813
  • Estimated percentage of residents that are less than 5 years of age
    6%
  • Estimate of residents that are less than 18 years of age
    2,775,132
  • Estimated percentage of residents that are less than 18 years of age
    22%
  • Percentage estimate of residents that are 65 years of age and older
    15%
  • Estimate of residents that are 65 years of age and older
    1,946,266
  • Total estimate percentage of female residents
    51%
  • State's white resident population
    10,406,288
  • State's black resident population
    1,377,689
  • State's American Indian and Alaska Native resident populations
    26,843
  • State's Asian resident population
    349,088
  • State's Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander resident population
    3,653
  • Statewide resident population of two or more races
    237,835
  • Statewide resident population of Hispanic or Latino origin
    719,660
  • Non Hispanic white resident population
    10,094,652
  • Statewide percentage of white residents
    82%
  • Statewide percentage of black residents
    11%
  • Statewide percentage of American Indian and Alaska Native residents
    0%
  • Statewide percentage of Asian residents
    3%
  • Statewide percentage of Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander
    0%
  • Statewide percentage of Two or more races
    2%
  • Statewide percentage of Hispanic or Latino Origin
    6%
  • Statewide percentage of non Hispanic white
    80%
  • Vital Statistics

    Births and deaths occurring in Pennsylvania
  • Births
    150,713
  • Deaths
    125,104
  • Infant death occurring within the state of persons one year of age or less
    1,139
  • Percentage of persons with the same residence of one year or more
    87%
  • Resident Background Information

    Education and background history of Pennsylvania Residents
  • Percentage of foreign born population in the state
    5%
  • Percentage of residents 5 years of age and older that speak languages other than English at home
    9%
  • Percentage of persons from 25 years of age and older with high a school education or higher
    87%
  • Percentage of persons from 25 years of age and older with bachelor's degree or higher
    26%
  • Total number of Veterans
    1,049,923
  • Current Housing and Real Estate Data

    Households located in Pennsylvania
  • Average time spent commuting to work for person 16 years and over not working from their personal residence
    25 Min
  • Housing unit estimates
    5,518,558
  • Net change of housing units estimates
    268,794
  • Housing unit estimates - percentage change
    5%
  • Percentage of the state's housing units being occupied by owners
    72%
  • Median value of the state's housing units being occupied by owners
    $152,300
  • Percentage of housing in structure of multi dwelling units
    20%
  • Total number of households
    4,893,127
  • Average size of households
    2
  • Pennsylvania Employment Data

    Income, earnings and payrolls of people residing within the State
  • Per capita income in the past 12 months in dollars adjusted to inflation
    $26,678
  • Statewide income of median households in Pennsylvania
    $49,501
  • Percentage of persons living in poverty
    13%
  • The personal income of persons employed
    $481,806
  • Per capita income of persons employed
    $38,793
  • Labor force of civilian workers
    6,414,162
  • The unemployment of the civilian labor force
    519,440
  • The rate of unemployed civilian labor force
    8%
  • Employment of person relating to all industries
    7,304,947
  • Net change of employment in all industries
    331,776
  • People employed by the government
    811,853
  • Earnings by persons working in all industries
    355,275,307
  • Average earnings per job in all industries
    48,635
  • Number of private non farm establishments
    303,115
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