A total of 4,432 cases were started in 2010 in the office of Carbon County Prothonotary Joann M. Behrens, according to an annual statistical report released by the officeholder.

The office serves as the headquarters for filing civil legal documents in the Court of Common Pleas, 56th Judicial District.

The number of new cases is a decrease over the 4,663 new cases were started in the office in 2010, and is 32 cases less than the 4,464 cases that were initiated in 2009.

A breakdown of the 2010 cases is as follows:

Assessment appeals, 43; civil actions, 759; custody, 272; district justice appeals, 71; declaratory judgments, 4; divorce complaints, 219; ejectment complaints, 41; eminent domain/declaration of taking, 5; license appeals, 26; mortgage foreclosure complaints, 421; municipal appeal, 1; name change petitions, 2; protection from abuse petitions, 366; quiet title actions, 17; replevin complaints, 5; tax sales, 7; zoning appeals, 4; auditor/financial reports, 4; court appointments, 9; judgments, 2,026; miscellaneous, 28; paternity complaints, 3; stipulations/waivers of liens, 95; and writs of execution, 4.

Behrens reported the Prothonotary's Office continues to serve as the sole receiver of Passport applications for the U.S. Department of State. In 2010, there were a total of 1,038 applications that were processed by the office.

The number of applications for passports that were received last year remained steady with prior years. In 2010, 1,076 persons sought the legal document that allows persons to leave the country, while there were 1,339) applications in 2009.

Behrens' financial report for tyhe past 12 months shows that $434,884.80, was generated as follows:

Prothonotary's fees, $359,428.66, PFA Surcharge, courts, $539; PFA Surcharge Sheriff, $575; custody fees, $8,100; data processing charges, $66,071.61; and interest income, $170.53.

The report points out departmental operational expenses for the last year amounted to $225,361.13, meaning the prothonotary's office generated a profit of $209,523.67 for the county in 2010.

The prothonotary also remitted $53,306.68 to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Revenue, representing state fees collected locally, and $901.60 to the Administrative Offices of the Pennsylvania Courts, this being surcharges on new custody cases in accordance with Act 119 of 1996. Another $24,291.14 was deposited in the Prothonotary's Automation Fund for future use in automating the office.