Bucks Writs - Fall 2017 - 18
- By Nancy Larkin Taylor
he Family Law Section was recently treated to one
of its favorite lunch events: the Domestic Relations
Section Annual Update, with Laura LoBianco, Director;
Gina Grisafi, Supervisor; Jan Fly, Supervisor; Frank Filipovits,
Supervisor; Mike Cianfichi, PACSES Administrator/Training
Supervisor; and Karen Winkler, Deputy Director.
as an inpatient to prevent Bench Warrants. Similar to
a Physician's Verification Form, the form verifies the
time period of inpatient placement. No confidential
information is provided.
* Laura told us that Bucks County DRS is ranked fifth in
Pennsylvania for collection of Monthly Support Owed,
collecting $81 million in 2016; and has 11,300 active
cases and only 280 outstanding bench warrants.
Each of the 18 officers has an average caseload of
627. New officers include DRS Lauren Berke and Tom
Smith. Patricia Gretzinger and Melissa Lombardo were
promoted to Supervisor and Fiscal Manager, respectively.
* When a language interpreter is needed, DRS now uses
Propio Language Services via telephone. However, if an
interpreter or hearing impaired help is needed in the
courtroom, the attorney must make the arrangement
through Court Administration.
* Gina Grisafi discussed the "First Time Payment
Program," which requests defendants make a payment
at the conferences. Since its inception in 2007, this
program has collected $1.3 million. All defendants
now meet with caseworkers who explain how to make
payments, that they are due on the first and how a
wage attachment works. The payment window is open
8:00 am to 4:45 pm every day.
* Frank Filipovits announced the elimination of Relist
Days since conferences are listed within 3 to 4 weeks.
DRS is piloting extended hours on the third Wednesday
of each month, August through December, when
clients and attorneys can file complaints and modifications, speak with the Officer of the Day, and make
payments until 7:00 pm.
* Gina shared good news for payors: Employers can
now only charge a one-time $50 wage attachment
fee, instead of a 2% per pay fee. Gina said the Judges
approved Qualified Domestic Relations Order payments
as an enforcement tool. Gina stressed that all stipulations
must be on a PACSES-generated 4-page order. DRS can
attach savings, checking and money market accounts,
but not investment accounts without a court order.
* DRS now uses texts to alert clients of upcoming events
and emails client and attorney correspondence. DRS
encourages clients and attorneys to communicate
and E-file. Remember that DRS and Prothonotary are
separate entities. Include copies of Divorce Decrees,
MSAs with support filings to expedite processing. Also,
both parties must be represented for an agreement to
be entered without a conference. If one party or neither
is represented, a conference must be held.
* Jan Fly shared that video conferences now allow DRS
Officers to hold conferences, court settlements, and bench
warrants with incarcerated parties while the parties are in
the holding cell, which saves money since Sheriff Deputies
no longer need to bring incarcerated parties to DRS.
Eventually, they will be held from the Bucks County Prison.
DRS Bench Warrant hearings are heard every Wednesday
by the PFA Judge in Courtroom #560 at 11 am.
* Mike Cianfichi shared that the new PACSES Statewide
Imaging links all 65 county DROs for full staff access.
Attorneys can access child support dockets via www.
childsupport.state.pa.us. For more detailed dockets,
email email@example.com. Mike touched on the
upcoming Public Access Policy effective January 1,
2018. Complaints can no longer include confidential
information (minor' names and dates of birth). The
options available are to file a complaint with an accompanying Confidential Information Sheet, or file two
* DRS now accepts Inpatient Release Forms from several
rehabilitation centers to confirm a party's admission
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