Philadelphia County Arrest, Court, and Public Records
There were 273 murders, 1,259 rapes, 6,199 robberies, and 7,803 assaults in Philadelphia county in 2016, the last year with a complete set of crime data. Property crime figures for the city and county include 6,985 burglaries, 36,856 thefts, 5,493 auto thefts, and 416 arsons. Compared to 2015 figures, assault (0.5%), theft (1.7%), auto theft (9.1%), and arson (26.1%) rates increased in the county. During the same period, there were lower incidences of murder (2.5%), rape (4.8%), robbery (8.4%), and burglary (13.6%).
The Department of Records of the City of Philadelphia also maintains certain police records and makes these available to the public upon request. Citizens can request for police records in person and by mail. To initiate a police record check, start by downloading and completing the request form. Bring this to Room 168 of City Hall. The office remains open between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday. Mail requests should go to:
Department of Records
Police Records Unit
Room 168, City Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19107
The fee for a police record report is $35 payable in cash, money order, or business check to the City of Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania laws empower the State Police to maintain an up-to-date registry of sex offenders living in the state and make this database publicly available. To fulfil this mandate, the State Police maintains a searchable registry on Pennsylvania's Megan's Law website. Use the provided name search tool to find specific registered sex offenders living in any of the counties in the state. To see a complete list of registered sex offenders residing in Philadelphia county, head to the County Search page. Select Philadelphia from the drop-down list of Pennsylvania counties or click Philadelphia on the county map supplied on the page.
The Philadelphia Prison System provides a handy search tool to help the public find inmates booked into county and city correctional facilities. Search for an inmate by name to see information such as inmate's detention facility, booking number, and date of birth. For more help locating an inmate, call one of the following numbers: (215) 685-8434, (215) 685-7957, (215) 685-7958, and (215) 685-8692 (Spanish). To obtain more inmate records, contact the Office of Community Justice and Outreach at any of these numbers: (215) 685-7093, (215) 685-7080, and (215) 685-7711.
The Philadelphia County Court System makes up the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania. It has two courts: the Criminal Court of Common Pleas and the Municipal Court. The Office of Judicial Records is responsible for maintaining case records for both courts. Philadelphia County Municipal Court provides public access to its records via an online electronic filing system. Users need to register on the website to access civil court case dockets from the Municipal Court.
The Office of Judicial Records also requires citizens to fill request forms when requesting for electronic case records maintained by the Court of Common Pleas and the Municipal Court. For a one-time request, download the non-recurring application form. Citizens and agencies planning on regularly requesting court records should download the recurring application form. The Office of Judicial Records charges 25 cents per page for copies of case records obtained through non-recurring requests. Recurring reports of court records have flat-rate fees. The charge for recurring reports is $300 per month. There is an addition $85 per week/day for recurring reports requested weekly and daily.
The Division of Vital Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health is the office responsible for issuing copies of birth and death records for all of the state's counties. Its records extend back to 1906. To request for copies of a birth or death certificate, start by downloading the Application for a Birth Certificate (also available in Spanish) or Application for a Death Certificate (Spanish). Bring the completed application to the office of Philadelphia Division of Vital Records located at 110 N. 8th Street, #108, Philadelphia, PA. Alternatively, send the application by mail to:
Department of Health
Division of Vital Records
P.O. Box 1528
New Castle, PA 16103
The fee for each certified copy of a birth or death certificate is $20. Check and money order are acceptable forms of payment. Make payable to Vital Records.
The Marriage License Bureau is in charge of issuing certified and exemplified copies of marriage records in Philadelphia County. The office accepts mail requests that contain the names on marriage licenses, marriage dates, and self-addressed stamped envelopes. Send a mail request for marriage record to:
Marriage License Bureau
Room 415 City Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Include two checks in the mail. Make a $15 check payable to "The Clerk of Orphan's Court" to cover searching the county's marriage records. The second check covers copy cost and is payable to the same official. Make it a $25 check when requesting for a certified copy of a marriage license. The fee for an exemplified copy is $50.