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Parents May Gain Access to Criminal Information of Other Parent

PA Statute now permits parents to obtain information about other parent's criminal activity when enumerated offenses have been committed.

As I had previously reported in my article about Section 5329 (Risk Assessments) blog link, parents that have been charged or convicted of certain enumerated offense will have to undergo a "Risk Assessment" before they are permitted to have custodial arrangements with the child(ren). This also applies to persons residing with them.

Title 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 1904 provides also for the "Availability of criminal charge information in child custody proceedings." As of January 24, 2011, a parent may file a request with the prothonotary of the court of common pleas to have access to information about the criminal charges filed against the other parent to the custody proceeding or order.

To obtain information about charges covered in Section 5329 (blog link), a parent who has been awarded custody or partial custody or who is a party to a custody proceeding must file an application for access to the information with the office of the prothonotary in the county where the proceeding or order was filed.

The application must be filed with the prothonotary by one of the following methods:

(i) In person, at the office of the prothonotary, by the parent who is filing the application. The applicant must have a valid form of photo identification available for the inspection of the prothonotary.

(ii) By mailing a notarized application using first class mail.

(iii) By including the application with the original complaint, initial response or any other pleading or motion filed with the prothonotary.

If you are involved in a custody matter with a parent that has a criminal record or if you have a record yourself and are seeking custody, contact an experienced family law attorney at Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC at (717) 268-4287.