Orders - Proposed Order Guidelines

Rev. 09/30/14



The Clerk’s Office reviews Proposed Orders which are uploaded to the docket with the pleading for acceptable format prior to routing or approval.

Chambers has directed the Clerk’s Office that Proposed Orders should be submitted following the below guidelines. If a proposed order received by the Clerk’s Office cannot be quickly revised to comply with these guidelines using Adobe Acrobat or WordPerfect X3 the Clerk’s Office has been directed to contact the submitting party for a new Proposed Order. This contact may be in the form of a phone call, email, or Notice to Filing Party.

  • DO NOT scan orders then submit them as Proposed Orders. Scanned documents are not revisable to the extent the court often needs.

  • DO use a word processing program such as WordPerfect or Microsoft Word and publish, or save as a PDF which will create a revisable PDF document. 

  • DO refrain from using elaborate formatting such as (but not limited to) special characters (see Fonts below), borders, graphics, special date codes, data merging, special colors, hyperlinks, and column formats.

    • DO try to use ½" margins (0.5") at the top and sides of the document.
      We understand some instances this will not be possible in order to create a nice appearing document. However, as a general rule ½" (0.5") margins are acceptable.
    • DO try to use the same font style and point size throughout the document.
    • ONLY USE Fonts from the list below:
      Arial (Regular)
      Arial (Bold)
      Arial (Italic)
      Arial (Bold Italic)
      Courier (Regular)
      Courier (Bold)
      Courier (Oblique)
      Courier (Bold Oblique)
      Helvetica (Regular)
      Helvetica (Bold)
      Helvetica (Oblique)
      Helvetica (Bold Oblique)
      Times (Regular)
      Times (Bold)
      Times (Italic)
      Times (Bold Italic)
      Times New Roman (Bold)
      Times New Roman (Italic)
      Times New Roman (Bold Italic)

  • Acceptable PDF levels:
    • 1.2       Adobe Acrobat Version 3
    • 1.3       Adobe Acrobat Version 4
    • 1.4       Adobe Acrobat Version 5
    • 1.5       Adobe Acrobat Version 6
    • 1.6       Adobe Acrobat Version 7
    • 1.7       Adobe Acrobat Versions 8, 9 or 10
    • DO start Orders with court information in CAPITAL LETTERS, centered at the ½" top margin.
    • DO NOT include wording such as “Southern Division”, or “Northern Tier”, or “Harrisburg Office”.
    • DO use the words “IN THE” and “FOR THE”.


  • CAPTION - Always:
    • Format using Party Names in ALL UPPERCASE LETTERS (i.e., JOHN DOE)
    • Format Party Designation in mix of Upper and Lower case letters. (i.e., Debtor, Respondent, Movant)
    • Include CHAPTER - Place above Case Number.
    • Include CASE NUMBER - Place below Chapter.

      Correct Case Number formatting:
      • Office Number - “1” for Harrisburg or “5” for Wilkes-Barre
      • Year of filing (2 digits)
      • Designation of case matter - BK for bankruptcy, AP for adversary
      • Case number
      • Judge Initials
    • Include the MATTER for which the order pertains. - Place below the case number.
    • When separating party information from Case/Chapter Number a SOLID LINE IS PREFERRED.
    • DEBTOR NAME(S) - Include names, alias(s) and Debtor designation.
      Place designation of Debtor on line below and to the right of the name.
    • PARTY NAME(S) - (if applicable) Include names, alias(s) and designation of Parties.
      Place below Debtor(s) name & designation.
    • DESIGNATION OF PARTY - Placed below, and to the right of their name.
    • MATTERS - “vs.” should be used between the opposing party names.
    • DO NOT use lines to separate the caption of the document from the body. Lines, due to the various methods in which they can be created, are frequently a problem to work with. They are frequently removed before orders are signed.
      Undesirable line separation example: 

    • LINE SPACING - Avoid compressing text at the top of the page.
    • DO adjust line spacing within the document so you utilize the page in creating a professional appearance. Generally, the caption area will be single spaced. The body of the order double spaced.
      • And now, this ______ day of ___________, 200x.
        Due to the method the court uses for signing orders, and the statement included at the bottom of all orders by that process, the above date line is never needed.
      • AND NOW, ..........
      • After notice and hearing .... (If there was not a hearing in the matter, then do not state in the order that there was.)
      • Upon consideration of ...... (This is the court’s preferred language for Orders.)
      • After notice and hearing ..... (Acceptable IF there actually was a notice and/or hearing on the matter.)
      • After notice and opportunity to be heard...
    • DO NOT use any kind of underscoring tool to create a blank within the body of the Order.
      (Example: A hearing will be held on ___________, 2008 at ________o’clock.)
    • DO leave a blank space without any underscoring for hearing information. Extra points if you leave the exact number of spaces necessary to spell the month in which the order is being signed.
      • DO NOT include a service list along with the order.
      • DO NOT include within the order.
      • DO NOT include as an additional page of the order.
    • DO leave at least 3" of space at the bottom of the page for the Judge’s signature. If there is not 3" of space left at the bottom of the page, DO NOT simply add another blank page. DO remove the last line from the preceding page onto the last page. The Judge will NOT sign a blank page.
    • SIGNATURE LINES - DO NOT include Judge signature lines, titles, or name.
      The court’s signature process includes all that is needed for signing. DO NOT put any text, underlines, title or Judge name where the Judge’s signature should be placed.
    • DO NOT include the text “By the Court,” or “Dated:”.
       The court’s signature process automatically includes all this information for dating and signing.
  • IF WE CANNOT WORK WITH WHAT IS SUBMITTED, you will receive notification requesting you submit the proposed document again until an acceptable document is received. This contact may be in the form of a phone call, email or a Notice to Filing Party.