The Lehigh County Clerk of Judicial Records maintains all of the records for the Civil, Criminal, Register of Wills and Recorder of Deeds Divisions. The Lehigh County Deed and Court records of the Thirty-first Judicial District, consisting of the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas, include civil, criminal and register of wills records from the County’s inception in 1812 to the present. All records are public records except when precluded by law, i.e., juvenile, child victim, mental health or closed to public inspection by Order of Court.
On January 1, 1978, in accordance with the newly established Home Rule Charter in Lehigh County, the Office of the Clerk of Quarter Sessions and the Office of the Prothonotary were merged as one and then known as the Clerk of Courts – Civil Division and Criminal Division. On January 7, 2008, as a result of an amendment to that Home Rule Charter in Lehigh County, the Office of the Clerk of Courts, Register of Wills and Recorder of Deeds were abolished and consolidated into one position known as the Clerk of Judicial Records.
The Clerk of Judicial Records is an independent, elected “public officer” whose duties and responsibilities are set forth in the law and Constitution of this Commonwealth. In January, 2008, Andrea E. Naugle took office as the first Lehigh County Clerk of Judicial Records. She started her county service in 1973 and was previously the elected Lehigh County Clerk of Courts from 1996 to 2007.
The four divisions of the Clerk of Judicial Records are located in Room 122 on the first floor of the Courthouse. In addition, a separate file review area is adjacent to the main office in Room 122.3.
As a result of the consolidation, the attorneys, title searchers, surveyors and the general public can now search all records of the Clerk of Judicial Records and file and record matters dealing with any of the four divisions in one central location.
In addition, technology advances with computerization, scanning, e-filing and internet access are all being applied to these various Divisions of the Clerk of Judicial Records. Access can be obtained to view certain records in each of the divisions over the internet.
Located in each division are public computer terminals which are available for use by the public to review. Civil Division computerized records date back to 1985. Criminal Division computerized records date back to 1990 and limited index information is available to 1962. Register of Wills Division records date back to 1812. Recorder of Deeds Division computerized image records date back to 1957 and limited index information is available to 1812. Non-computerized records are available for public inspection in each of the respective divisions.
The Clerk of Judicial Records has the power and duty to administer oaths, affirmations and acknowledgments pursuant to law, and the ability to affix and attest the seal of the Court to all processes thereof and to the certifications and exemplification of all records pertaining to the divisions and the business of the Court.
To fulfill the Clerk’s responsibility, the Clerk provides various services to the Court of Common Pleas; Commonwealth, Superior and Supreme Courts; Attorneys; Title Searchers; other Governmental Agencies; and the General Public. The Clerk also preserves appropriate file records, documents and docket books in accordance with the state records and retention schedule.