A total of 411 cases were started in December in the office of Carbon County Prothonotary Joann M. Behrens, according to a monthly statistical report released by the officeholder. A breakdown of the cases is as follows:
Assessment appeals, 12; civil actions, 66; custody complaints, 19; district justice appeals, 7; divorce complaints, 13; ejectments, 4; license appeal, 1; mortgage foreclosure complaints, 47; protection from abuse petitions, 24; zoning appeal, 1; replevin complaint, 1; court appointment, 1; judgments, 206; miscellaneous, 1; and stipulations/waivers of liens, 8. The office staff also received and processed 49 applications for U.S. Passports.
Behrens reported she turned over to the Carbon County General Fund on Jan. 4 the sum of $36,079.88, representing receipts generated in the office last month. The breakdown of that funding include: prothonotary's fees, $29,393.77; PFA Surcharge, courts, $25; PFA Surcharge, Sheriff, $50; custody fees, $650; data processing charges, $5,958.23; and interest income, $2.88.
The prothonotary also remitted $4,021.91 to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Revenue, representing state fees collected locally, and $56 to the Administrative Offices of the Pennsylvania Courts, this being surcharges on new custody cases in accordance with Act 119 of 1996. Another $1,744.93 was deposited in the Prothonotary's Automation Fund for future automation needs in the office.
Revenue from deeds
Carbon County Recorder of Deeds Emmett P. McCall reported his office recorded 231 deeds, 251 mortgages and 457 other writs during the month of December.
As a result of those transactions, McCall turned over to the Carbon County General Fund the sum of $32,417.06. A breakdown of that revenue includes: transfer fees, $25,908.50; data processing fees, $2,153.27; notaries, $90; commission on transfers and writs, $3,059.59; and Affordable Housing administrative fee, $1,205.70.
McCall remitted $469.50 in state writ taxes to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, while Carbon County municipalities and school districts shared realty transfer tax disbursements totaling $152,139.87, the same amount that was forwarded to the state in realty transfer taxes.
McCall deposited $2,628 in the Recorder of Deeds Record Improvement Fund and $1,752 in the Carbon County Records Improvement Fund, these being fees assessed by state law on each transaction for records management needs. An additional $15,779.50 was collected and remitted to the state for its Judicial Computer System program.
Also, $6,832.50 was collected last month for the Affordable Housing Program in Carbon County.
In all, funds collected in the Recorder's office last month amounted to $364,158.30.
Township files suit
Penn Forest Township, 2010 State Rt. 903, Jim Thorpe, has filed a civil action in equity against Bridge Associates of Albrightsville, LLC, 2014 State Rt. 534, Albrightsville, claiming toxic waste/environmental concerns over the status of the defendant's property in the township.
The township claims Bridge Associates owns real estate along Rt. 534 in which large quantities of junk and refuse, including used lumber and building supplies, broken pallets, work tires, rusted metal, and the like, have been allowed to accumulate in violation of the township's ordinance regulating such refuse.
The suit contends the real estate is easily accessible and is not surrounded by a fence or any other type of barrier; the refuse presents a danger to the health, safety and welfare of the public; the condition of the real estate constitutes a continuing sanitation hazard, is an eyesore and fire hazard; and the situation is a public nuisance.
The township is seeking the court to order the defendant to abate the problem within 14 days, or, in the alternative, allow the township to do so at the expense of the defendant. The plaintiff asks the court to enjoin the defendant from storing junk on the property.