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Erie County

Erie County was created on March 12, 1800 from part of Allegheny County, which absorbed the lands of the disputed Erie Triangle in 1792.  Before 1792, both New York and Pennsylvania claimed this area, so no firm county borders existed until the federal government stepped in.  Erie County and its newly-formed neighbors, Crawford, Mercer, Venango, and Warren Counties could not separately sustain themselves, a five-county administrative organization was formed at Crawford County’s Meadville to manage government affairs in the region on a temporary basis.  Finally, in 1803, Erie elected its own county officials.  Its county seat is Erie.

Pennsylvania lawyers practicing law in Erie County specialize in various niches of the law, including areas like bankruptcy law, employment law, personal injury law, immigration, family law, medical malpractice law, workers compensation law, and even criminal law.  Criminal law involves, logically enough, crimes committed by one party against another and are broken up into two subsets:  felonies and misdemeanors.  Felonies are larger offenses that typically result in harsher punishments.  Misdemeanors are smaller offenses that yield sentences that are not quite as harsh.  It is recommended that defendants retain one of the many experienced Pennsylvania lawyers practicing criminal law to represent them no matter which type of crime they have been accused of committing.

One common area of law for which Pennsylvania residents in Erie County often need the assistance of a good Pennsylvania lawyer is that of obtaining restraining orders.  Pennsylvania residents can file for a protection from abuse order (“PFA“) if the person who has or is trying to harm you:   1. is or was your spouse; 2. is or was living with you in a common-law marriage; 3. is the parent of your child; 4. is your child; 5. is your parent; 6. is your sexual intimate partner; 7. is directly related to you by blood.  If the abused person is a minor, then a parent, adult household member or guardian can file on behalf of the child.

Those who are represented by Pennsylvania lawyers in any domestic relations matter (i.e. divorce, custody, support), should contact their attorney for legal advice if they desire to obtain a protection from abuse order.  Those do not have a Pennsylvania lawyer representing them must appear in person at the Chester County Justice Center but should keep in mind that there is no staff on hand to provide legal advice.  The PFA Coordinator will assist with filling out the necessary paperwork but may not give legal advice–one reason it is important to consult with a Pennsylvania lawyer if at all possible.

For those wishing to obtain a final protection from abuse order, a hearing will be held in front of a judge within ten days of filing the petition with the court, at which time the judge will listen to the facts of the case.  In cases where a judge finds that abuse has occurred, a final protection from abuse order will be issued.  The length of the order can be from one (1) to eighteen (18) months.

Pennsylvania law provides for four types of incorporated municipalities:  cities, boroughs, townships, and, rarer cases, towns.  Below are listed the cities, boroughs and townships located in Erie County:



  • Albion
  • Cranesville
  • Edinboro
  • Elgin
  • Girard
  • Lake City
  • McKean
  • Mill Village
  • North East
  • Platea
  • Union City
  • Waterford
  • Wattsburg
  • Wesleyville


Census-designated places

Census-designated places are not actual jurisdictions under Pennsylvania law, but are compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau in order to compile demographic data.  Other unincorporated communities, such as villages, are sometimes categorized here as well.

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