Civil | Arbitration
The compulsory arbitration system in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County is the oldest of its kind in the country, and its success has resulted in its being the model for similar systems throughout the Commonwealth and in other states. The arbitration system provides for simple and concise pleadings and a trial of the issues within a short time of filing of suit, enabling the parties to fairly resolve the claim with a minimum of expense and time.
The arbitration system in Allegheny County is compulsory non-binding arbitration, with a ceiling of $35,000 on civil damage awards. The arbitration hearing rooms are located on the seventh floor of the City-County Building, 414 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. The arbitration office is located in room 702 of the City-County Building.
In accordance with the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Western District Emergency Order of Statewide Judicial Administration applicable from May 1, 2020, through June 1, 2020, dated April 28, 2020, the Compulsory Arbitration Section, Civil Division will resume in person operations on June 2, 2020 taking into consideration the new requirements for social distancing, use of PPE, crowd size, and sanitation as follows:
Mandatory Covid-19 Protocols upon arrival on the 7th Floor City County Building:
- You must wear a mask inside the City County Building;
- If you testify at the arbitration, you may be asked to remove your mask while testifying;
- Follow signage to check in with arbitration clerk;
- Maintain 6-foot social distancing using floor marks while in line;
- You will be directed to social distanced seating within waiting area(s) and hallway(s);
- Remain seated or socially distanced until your case is called;
- Common surface areas will be sanitized regularly throughout the day.
Rescheduling of Arbitration Hearings:
- All Arbitration and Landlord-Tenant hearings originally scheduled between March 17, 2020 through June 30, 2020 will be rescheduled to new hearing dates;
- Hearings will be rescheduled on a rolling basis, attempting where possible to schedule in consequential order according to their original hearing dates;
- Arbitration hearings will resume June 16, 2020 and continue throughout the summer;
- Landlord-Tenant cases will be rescheduled to begin following July 10, 2020;
- A reduced number of cases will be scheduled each day;
- All parties will receive a copy of a “Notice of Rescheduled Hearing” indicating the new hearing date with procedures and protocols explained;
- The “Notice of Rescheduled Hearing” will be filed and docketed with the Department of Court Records (DCR) and hearing dates may be confirmed by checking the docket;
- Notice of the rescheduled hearing date will appear in the Pittsburgh Legal Journal;
- If you anticipate that more than 4 persons total will attend the hearing in person or that it may take longer than 2 hours to complete, you must advise the Arbitration Office in advance by calling 412-350-5625;
- If all parties consent to appearing for the arbitration using Advanced Communication Technology (“ACT”) to reduce/avoid person to person contact, please follow the instructions set forth below:
If all parties agree to having the arbitration conducted using ACT, and all parties have access to a computer with both audio and camera capabilities, notify the Arbitration Office by sending an email to:
You must notify the Arbitration Office at least 14 days in advance of your hearing. Include the docket number, date of arbitration, and copy the opposing party when sending your email. If the opposing party is not copied, the Arbitration Office cannot coordinate a remote hearing request.
- If you filed a new complaint during the Emergency Order and were not issued a hearing date, once your case is ready for hearing you should file a Praecipe to Schedule an Arbitration Hearing. Blank Praecipes are also available at the Department of Court Records.
- If you require a continuance of your Arbitration hearing, please follow the Procedure for Obtaining a Continuance. If the continuance is uncontested, you must file an Adjournment of Hearing Form; if the continuance is contested you must follow the instructions relating to filing contested Motions before the Calendar Control Judge, the Honorable Alan Hertzberg.
PA Supreme Court Coversheet
Civil Division Coversheet
Notice to Defend
Small Claims Notice to Defend
Certificate of Compliance
Small Claims Complaint
Notice of Intention to Appear
Praecipe for Hearing
Procedure for Obtaining Continuance of Arbitration Hearing
Adjournment of Hearing
Stipulation to Limitation of Monetary Recovery
Notice of Intent to Offer Documentary Evidence
Praecipe for Judgement on the Arbitration Award
Notice of Order, Decree or Judgement