Fifth Judicial District of Pennsylvania
County of Allegheny
Adult | Pro Se Motions

Pro Se Motions (for persons not represented by an attorney)
  1. People who represent themselves are said to be “pro se”, or for themselves. If you do not have a lawyer and you are not financially eligible for the Pro Se Assistance program, you can prepare a motion to present to the court yourself. The Court has set aside a special time each day to hear such motions so that there is adequate time.
  2. If you are unable to locate the appropriate form in the Court Manual and intend to prepare one yourself, it must be properly prepared and meet all applicable legal requirements. Each motion must be typed or legibly written and contain the following:
    • A cover sheet.
    • A separate page containing a Notice or Presentation and Certificate of Service (These are obtained from the Pro Se Clerk on the 1st floor of the Family Law Facility.)
    • The body of the motion set forth in numbered paragraphs.
    • A copy of the current order (if any).
    • The last page should be a proposed order.
  3. After you have prepared your motion you must:
    • Take it to the Pro Se Clerk on the 1st floor of the Family Court Facility to obtain a Notice of Presentation/ Certificate of Service and a date and time for the presentation of the motion. (Motions are accepted for scheduling M-W-F 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. and T-TH 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm.)
    • This must be done a minimum of 10 days before you would like to present the motion (to allow time for mailing) and so as to give the opposing party a minimum of 7 days notice. A shorter notice is permitted only in a true emergency (as determined by the Pro Se office) or with the consent of the opposing party.
    • Cases previously assigned to a judge must be scheduled before that judge, which can result in a longer wait before the motion can be presented.
    • You are responsible for serving a copy of any Pro Se motion you prepare on the opposing party.
    • Under no circumstances will the Judge consider any motion unless you have obtained from the Pro Se Clerk the required Notice of Presentation/Certificate of Service and been assigned the date, time and Judge to whom the motion will be presented.
  4. If a respondent to a pro se motion is represented by counsel, counsel may appear at pro se motions court to contest the motion. If the person presenting the motion obtains counsel after having given notice of presentation of the motion, counsel may appear at pro se motions to present the motion or, if all parties agree, may reschedule the motion to regular motions court.
  5. The Court shall retain the original of all denied motions, and shall file the original motion and order with the Department of Court Records, Civil Division/Family Division. Copies of the order will be provided to the parties after the motion/petition is denied, if requested by the parties.
  6. If the order allows for a hearing or conciliation date, the party must obtain the date from the docket clerk in Room 3024.2, the same day the order is signed, pursuant to the procedures in Paragraphs E. 5 through 7 above.
  7. Litigants may be required to file the original documents with the Generations Office, deliver it to the Pro Se clerk or file with the Department of Court Records, Civil/Family Division, 1st floor, City-County Building, depending on the nature of the pleading. Instructions will be provided to the party.
  8. Department of Court Records, Civil/Family Division and Generations fees must be paid at the time documents are filed, unless a fee waiver has been granted by the Court. To ask the court to waive your fees you must prepare a Petition for Leave In Forma Pauperis, which can be found in the miscellaneous form section. A schedule of court costs and fees is available from the Pro Se motions office or by accessing the Department of Court Records webpage