A total of 3,370 were started in 2012 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.
A breakdown of the 2012 cases is as follows:
Assessment appeals, 16; civil actions, 389; custody cases, 248; D.J. appeals, 79; declaratory judgments, 10; divorce complaints, 191; ejectment complaints, 27; eminent domainpetitions/ declarations of taking, 9; eminent domain petition/ board of view, 1; license appeals, 22; mandamus action, 1; mortgage foreclosure complaints, 337; name change petitions, 5; partition complaints, 4; protection from abuse petitions, 338; quiet titleactions, 4; replevin complaints, 4; tax sales, 4; zoning appeals, 3; audits/financial reports, 4; court rules, 2; court appointments, 10; judgments, 1,550; judicial tax sales, 3; miscellaneous cases, 29; paternity suits, 5; stipulations/waivers of liens, 66; and writs of execution, 9.
Behrens reported the Prothonotary's Office continues to serve as the sole receiver of passport applications for the U.S. Department of State. In 2012, there were a total of 939 applications that were processed by the office. The number of applicatons for passports that were received last year remained steady with prior years. In 2011, 891 persons sought the legal document that allows persons to leave the country, while there were 1,076 in 2010.
Behrens' financial report for the past 12 months shows that $341,675.88 was generated as follows:
Prothonotary's fees, $279,538.20; interest income, $51.87; PFA Surcharge, courts, $690; PFA Surcharge, Sheriff, $761.30; custody fees, $7,600; and data processing fees, $53,034.51.
The report points out department operational expenses for the last year amounted to $251,921.33, meaning the prothonotary's office generated a profit of $89,754.55 for the county in 2012.
The prothonotary also remitted $40,080 to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Revenue, representing state fees collected locally, and $774 to the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, this being surcharges on new custody cases in accordance with Act 119 of 1996. Another $12,868.62 was deposited in the Prothonotary's Automation Fund for future use in automating the office.