Pennsylvania Constitution Web Page [Duquesne Univ. Law Sch.] — “This site is meant to be a primary source of information about the: text, history, and meaning of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Lawyers, journalists, and members of the public are welcome to start here when beginning research about the Pennsylvania Constitution, Pennsylvania constitutional law cases pending in various courts, and current public policy debates concerning the State Constitution.”
Laws of Pennsylvania (Pa. Laws)
Note—The legislature’s web site provides links to the texts of enacted bills that were approved (and so became session laws), from 1975 to the present. Alternatively, those bills are presented as pamphlet laws, from 1980 to the present, on the web site of the Legislative Reference Bureau.
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes
Note—The official codification, Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, is not currently available on the legislature’s web site. The principal unofficial codification, known as Purdon’s Pennsylvania Statutes, is available free on the internet at the Thomson/West web site.
Orphans’ Court Rules [Daniel B. Evans, Esq. (Pa.)] ¶
Selected rules of practice and procedure [District Court 15-4-04 (Chester County)] — Incomplete collections of the rules of civil and criminal procedure. ¶
Summary of district court procedure [District Court 15-4-04 (Chester County)] — A fairly comprehensive summary of procedure (and jurisdiction and venue) as well as a brief history of Pennsylvania district justice Courts (located at the end of a home page; scroll down the page to find this).
Ordinances are local laws, commonly organized into codes, that have been enacted by municipalities — cities, towns, etc. — and counties. Charters are organic laws (similar in function to a constitution) of those local government entities for which “home rule” is authorized by state law. For local laws not found through the links given here, try the county web sites and municipality web sites at “State and Local Government on the Net” by Piper Resources, or a publisher’s web site:
Philadelphia Charter and Municipal Code — Amendments [LocalLaw Publications, Inc. (Pa.)] — Find amendments since 1997 by entering a keyword, or an ordinance number, or a code section number, in a search form.
Newspaper Handbook [Pennsylvania Newspaper Publishers’ Ass’n] — A legal reference tool for newspaper publishers, editors, reporters, and business personnel. It contains summaries of laws that affect the editorial, operational, and advertising functions of a newspaper (but are generally useful beyond the scope of a newspaper business).
The Pennsylvania Manual [Pennsylvania Dep't of Gen. Servs.] — Information presented in nine sections with these titles: Pennsylvania Past and Present; Constitution of Pennsylvania; General Assembly; Executive; Judiciary; Local Government; Elections; The Federal Government. Includes an appendix (miscellaneous information) and two indexes.
Each county is assigned to a numbered judicial district. There are 67 counties and 60 judicial districts (some districts comprise more than one county). See also links to state court web sites, maintained by the National Center for State Courts. Additionally, see Judgepedia, a Wikipedia-style web site, self-described as “an encyclopedia about judges and courts,” which is maintained by the Sam Adams Alliance (Illinois).
Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts — Forms
State Agency Forms
Department of Transportation
Bankruptcy Law and Procedures for Pennsylvania Residents [Calicchia & Kinast LLP (Ohio)] — This web site, presented by a Cleveland bankruptcy law firm, covers basic information about the bankruptcy process, describes debt consolidation and credit counseling as alternatives to bankruptcy, lists the property that an individual is allowed to keep (with citations to governing provisions of Pennsylvania law), and gives information about the bankruptcy courts and how to contact bankruptcy attorneys in Pennsylvania.
WomensLaw.org — Sources of Legal Help [WomensLaw.org (N.Y.)] — Sources of legal help (not limited to legal help for women) include statewide domestic-violence resources, local domestic-violence resources listed by city or town, free or low-cost legal services, and lawyer referral services.
“The essence of legal research in two words . . . see ALSO!”