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Office of the Prothonotary and Office of Hearing Examiners

The Office of the Prothonotary receives for filing the documents in the Department of State’s cases. If you have a licensing case with the Department of State, you file your documents with our office. The Hearing Examiners hear your cases and make recommendations or decisions.

Office of the Prothonotary

The Prothonotary staff file documents in the Department’s cases.  If you have a licensing case with the Department of State, you file your documents here.

Contact Information 

Linda L. Dodson, Prothonotary
P.O. Box 2649
Harrisburg, PA 17120
717-772-2686 / 717-772-1892 fax

If you are in need of an interpreter, please print this form and mail a completed copy to the address listed above.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I file a document in a case?

There are three ways to file a document.

  1. It can be sent by regular mail.  In such a case, it is filed when received.
    The address is:
    P.O. Box 2649
    Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649 
  2. It can be faxed.  In such a case, it is filed when received.  The fax number for the Prothonotary’s Office is (717) 772-1892.
  3. It can be emailed.  In such a case, it is filed when it is sent.  The email address is 

Important Note: Emailing a document to the email address of a specific employee does not constitute the filing of a document and that employee has no responsibility to print it out or docket/file it.

Is there a filing fee?


How many copies of a document sent by regular mail do I need to send?

One. It will be scanned into the electronic docketing system. 

Does the Prothonotary's Office have pre-written forms or templates for motions or subpoenas?


Can I get a free attorney?

No. These matters are civil, not criminal, and the right to a free attorney does not apply to them.

Can you recommend an attorney?

The Prothonotary’s staff and hearing examiners are not permitted to make this type of recommendation. You can contact your local bar association and they may be able to do so.

What if I need a sign language or foreign language interpreter for the hearing?

One will be provided free of charge. You must advise the Prothonotary of this need well ahead of the hearing so that arrangements can be made.

Is there free parking near the hearing room facilities?

Yes. In addition, persons with mobility issues who have a handicap placard can park in designated handicapped spots.

Where are hearings held?

AS OF JANUARY 22, 2024: In-person hearings will be held at The Keystone Building, 400 North Street, Harrisburg, PA.

Can a hearing be conducted remotely? 

Yes and the Notice of Hearing tells you how to request that.  It is discretionary with the hearing examiner.

Why can't I talk to the Hearing Examiner?

Although not “judges,” hearing examiners serve that basic function. This means that they cannot speak with a party in a case or that party’s attorney about the case unless the other party or attorney is also present.  That is why hearing examiners will communicate using email or by setting up a conference where all participants or their attorneys are present. 

Office of Hearing Examiners

Hearing Examiners hear your cases and make recommendations or decisions. The Hearing Examiners hear cases for other agencies, as well.  If you have a question about a case from another agency, you should contact that agency.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please note: The following is ​not t​o be construed as legal advice, and may be subject to change pursuant to an order of a hearing examiner.

Will I need an attorney?  

You have the right to have an attorney represent you at your own expense.  In these matters you do not have a right to an attorney free of charge.  You will need to hire and pay those costs on you own.

You are also permitted to represent yourself (“pro se”) in the hearing.  Parties are to be cautioned that even though they are proceeding pro se, they  are still required to follow applicable procedural rules and applicable law.

Are these hearings formal?  

Yes.  Courtroom attire is expected.   Witnesses will be sworn in under oath to tell the truth under penalty of perjury.  Both parties will be able to ask questions of all witnesses as well as inspect exhibits.

Am I permitted to introduce exhibits at the hearing?

Yes, assuming any such exhibit is legally admissible.  All exhibits must be marked in the lower right-hand corner for identification.  For example: Exhibit 1, 2, 3 or Exhibit A, B, C, and so on.  

If I do not have an attorney and I will be my own witness, will I have to ask myself questions and then answer those questions?  

No.  You may testify in narrative form and do not need to ask yourself questions and then provide an answer.  Note that opposing counsel may cross-examine you when your testimony concludes.

Will the hearing be transcribed?  

Yes. A court reporter will transcribe the entire proceeding.

How do I obtain a copy of the transcript?  

You have the right to purchase a copy of the transcript through the court reporter at your own expense.   

Do I have the right to submit a legal brief or document after the hearing?  

Yes. The Hearing Examiner will always ask the parties if they desire to file a legal brief, and you are free to choose to do so or to waive that right.  In certain instances, a brief will be required by the Hearing Examiner even if waived and/or not requested by the parties.

What if I disagree with the Hearing Examiner’s decision?  

The Hearing Examiner’s decision will come to you with information about your appeal rights.