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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 12-2190


Title 255—LOCAL


Rule 205.4 Authorizing the Tax Assessment Appeals Optional E-Filing Program; No. 2012-J-56

[42 Pa.B. 7010]
[Saturday, November 10, 2012]

Administrative Order

And Now, this 9th day of October 2012, It Is Hereby Ordered That the following Lehigh County Rule authorizing the Optional E-Filing Program for Tax Assessment Appeals be and the same is hereby Adopted, effective upon publication of this rule on the Pennsylvania Judiciary's Web Application Portal (

It Is Further Ordered That the Court Administrator of Lehigh County shall file: one (1) certified copy of this Order and the Lehigh County Rule authorizing the Optional E-Filing Program for Tax Assessment Appeals with the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts; two (2) certified copies and a computer diskette or CD-ROM copy that complies with the requirement of 1 Pa. Code Section 13.11(b) with the Legislative Reference Bureau for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin; one (1) certified copy with the Civil Procedural Rules Committee, and publish a copy on the Pennsylvania Judiciary's Web Application Portal (

By the Court

President Judge

Rule 205.4. Electronic Filing of Tax Assessment Appeals Filed in the Clerk of Judicial Records—Civil Division.

 (a)(1) Authorization for Electronic Filing

 As required by Pa.R.C.P. No. 239.8, upon publication by the President Judge of Lehigh County on the Pennsylvania Judiciary's Web Application Portal ( of a Lehigh County local rule authorizing the electronic filing of tax assessment appeals, parties may electronically file all tax assessment appeal papers and exhibits with the Clerk of Judicial Records—Civil Division.

Note: Electronic filing of tax assessment appeal papers is optional. Tax assessment appeal filers may still file paper tax assessment appeals with the Clerk of Judicial Records—Civil Division in accordance with the rules of court. Instructions for filing paper tax assessment appeals can be found on the Court's website:

 (b)(1) Authorized Electronic Format of Legal Papers Electronically Filed. All tax assessment appeal papers that are to be filed electronically shall be filed in Portable Document Format (PDF (c)(1) Reserved

 (c)(1) Reserved

 (c)(2) Website—Access to the Website

 (i) Website. If a filing party elects to commence an appeal by electronic filing, the tax assessment appeal papers shall be filed electronically through the Clerk of Judicial Records—Civil Division's Electronic Filing System ''Odyssey File and Serve'' (OFS) which shall be accessible through the Lehigh County Website,

 (ii) Access to the Website. To obtain access to the Electronic Filing System, counsel and any unrepresented party must apply for and receive a User Name and Password.

 (d)(1) Payment of Filing Fees

 (i) The Clerk of Judicial Records—Civil Division will accept for payment of all filing fees cash, checks, and the following credit and debit cards: American Express (AMEX), Discover, MasterCard, and Visa.

 (ii) The credit or debit card will be charged with the convenience fee dictated by the credit card vendor for fees other than those charged for electronic filing.

 (e) Reserved

 (f) Local Procedures

 As authorized by Pa.R.C.P.No. 205.4(f), the following local administrative procedures are adopted:

 (i) As provided by Pa.R.C.P.No. 1023.1, the required signature on an electronic filing of legal papers is established by submission of a filing and the application of a digitized signature or the name of the filer proceeded by /s/ accompanied by the attorney's printed name or a scanned document with an original signature. Verification shall be achieved through the use of an email address and a password obtained from the OFS System. The OFS system will verify the user ID against the state ID number. Verification for parties other than attorneys will be verified through the user ID.

 (ii) The legal paper must include a signature block, and the name of the filing party under whose user name and password the legal filing is submitted.

 (iii) The Clerk of Judicial Records—Civil Division shall provide to all email addresses registered by the submitting party a Courtesy Email acknowledging that the legal paper was received. An Official Notification will be displayed in the Electronic Filing System, which includes the time and date, as a pending filing awaiting the clerk's approval. Within six (6) business hours of the receipt of the legal paper, the Clerk shall provide the filing party with notification through the Electronic Filing System that the legal paper has been either accepted or rejected.

 (iv) If a legal paper is accepted, it shall be deemed to have been filed as of the date and time it was received by the Electronic Filing System; however, if a legal paper is submitted without the requisite filing fee, the legal document shall be deemed to have been accepted for filing as of the date payment is received. The Clerk of Judicial Records—Civil Division is authorized to refuse for filing a legal document submitted without the requisite payment pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. § 1725(c)(2)(xix).

Note: As required by Pa.R.C.P. No. 205.4(c)(1) access to the Electronic Filing System shall be available at all times, except for routine maintenance. Legal documents can only be reviewed by the Clerk of Judicial Records staff during normal court hours. Therefore, parties are cautioned to file required legal documents well in advance of any filing deadlines to enable timely correction and re-submission in the event a legal document is not accepted or is refused for filing.

 (v) If a legal paper is refused for filing, the Clerk of Judicial Records shall notify the filing party and shall specify a reason for the refusal. Subject to the Rule 205.4 (e)(1)(i), a legal paper refused for filing shall be deemed as not having been filed.

 (vi) Pa.R.C.P. No. 204.1(3) requires that the first sheet of all pleadings, motions and other legal filings shall contain a 3-inch space from the top of the paper. This space shall be reserved solely for the use of the Clerk of Judicial Records—Civil Division for the electronic date and time stamp, and other official use.

 (vii) In the event any legal paper or exhibit is submitted for filing to the Clerk of Judicial Records—Civil Division in hard copy format/ paper for a case that had been initiated by electronic filing, the Clerk of Judicial Records shall convert the legal paper to a portable document format (pdf) and maintain such legal paper or exhibit in the electronic form. The Clerk of Judicial Records shall return the hard copy legal paper or exhibit to the filing party for retention as required by Pa.R.C.P.No. 205.4(b)(4) and Pa.R.C.P.No. 205.4(b)(5).

 (viii) When an electronic filing for a new action has been accepted, the Clerk of Judicial Records shall electronically return a time-stamped copy to the filing party, who shall serve copies to all parties by regular mail. The filing party shall file with the Clerk of Judicial Records the Certificate of Service no later than thirty (30) days after the initial filing of the court papers.

Note: A copy of the Certificate of Service Form can be found on the Court's website:

 (ix) When filing electronically, the filing party shall provide an electronic copy to the Court Administrator's Office in accordance with the instructions contained in the Electronic Filing Users' Manual.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 12-2190. Filed for public inspection November 9, 2012, 9:00 a.m.]

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