(a) Powers and duties.–Subject to any inconsistent general rules and to the supervision and direction of the court, the domestic relations section shall have the power and duty to:
(1) Process all complaints received under Parts VIII (relating to uniform interstate family support) and VIII-A (relating to intrastate family support).
(2) Make such investigation as may be necessary.
(3) Take charge of any obligor before or after hearing, as may be directed by the court.
(4) Collect and pay over to the persons entitled thereto moneys received pursuant to support proceedings.
(5) Keep a full and complete record of all support proceedings, including orders of the court.
(6) Keep account of all payments made under order of court and promptly bring to the attention of the court and the district attorney any default in compliance with any order of court.
(6.1) In the case of a dispute as to the amount of an order of support proposed by the domestic relations section, issue a temporary order of support pending judicial determination. A temporary order of support under this paragraph may not be for less than the full amount of the proposed order of support being disputed.
(7) Make effective the orders of support entered.
(8) Furnish the court with such information and assistance as it may require and generally perform such services as it may direct relating to support proceedings.
(9) Inform both parties to a support action that guidelines as specified in section 4322 (relating to support guidelines) are available in the domestic relations section.
(10) Implement safeguards applicable to all confidential information received by the domestic relations section in order to protect the privacy rights of the parties, including:
(i) safeguards against unauthorized use or disclosure of information relating to proceedings or actions to establish paternity or to establish, modify or enforce support or to make or enforce a child custody determination;
(ii) prohibitions against the release of information on the whereabouts of one party or the child to another party against whom a protective order with respect to the former party or the child has been entered; and
(iii) prohibitions against the release of information on the whereabouts of one party or the child to another person if the domestic relations section has reason to believe that the release of the information may result in physical or emotional harm to the party or the child.
(11) Initiate judicial proceedings to void a fraudulent transfer or obtain a settlement from the transferee in the best interests of the child support obligee.
(b) Additional powers.–Subject to the supervision and direction of the court but without the need for prior judicial order, the domestic relations section shall have the power to expedite the establishment and enforcement of support to:
(1) Order genetic testing for the purpose of paternity establishment pursuant to section 4343 (relating to paternity).
(2) Issue subpoenas against any entity within this Commonwealth, including for-profit, not-for-profit and governmental employers, to require production of information regarding the employment, compensation and benefits of any individual employed by the entity as an employee or contractor.
(3) Access records of all State and local government agencies, including the following:
(i) vital statistic records, including records of marriage, birth and divorce;
(ii) State and local tax and revenue records, including information on residence address, employer, income and assets;
(iii) records of real and titled personal property;
(iv) records of occupational and professional licenses;
(v) records of the ownership and control of corporations, partnerships and other business entities;
(vi) employment security records;
(vii) records of agencies administering public assistance programs;
(viii) motor vehicle registration and operator licensing records;
(ix) probation and parole records; and
(x) corrections records.
(4) Issue subpoenas for the records of public utilities and cable television companies with respect to individuals who are owed support or against whom or with respect to whom a support obligation is sought, consisting of the names and addresses of the individuals or of their employers.
(5) Issue subpoenas for the records held by financial institutions with respect to individuals who are owed support or against whom or with respect to whom a support obligation is sought.
(6) Issue subpoenas for financial or other information needed to establish, modify or enforce a support order.
(7) Issue orders directing an obligor or other payor to change the payee of a support order.
(8) Order income withholding pursuant to section 4348 (relating to attachment of income).
(9) Increase the amount of monthly support payments for the payment of arrearages as may be provided by general rule or previous court order.
(10) Issue orders in cases where there is a support arrearage to secure assets to satisfy current support obligation and the arrearage by:
(i) Intercepting or seizing periodic or lump sum payments from a government agency, including unemployment compensation, workers’ compensation and other benefits.
(ii) Intercepting or seizing judgments or settlements.
(iii) Attaching and seizing assets of the obligor held in financial institutions.
(iv) Attaching public and private retirement funds.
(v) Imposing liens on property.
(vi) Directing the sheriff to levy and sell other real or personal property.
(11) Transmit to another state a request for assistance in a case involving the enforcement of a support order and sufficient information to enable the state to which the request is transmitted to compare the information to the information in the data bases of the state. The transmittal shall serve as a certification of arrears and a certification that the state has complied with all procedural due process requirements applicable to the case.
(12) Respond to a request for assistance received from another state. The response shall confirm the receipt of the request, the action taken and the amount of support collected and specify any additional information or action required of the requesting tribunal to obtain enforcement of the child support obligation.
(c) Civil penalty.–In addition to initiating contempt proceedings, the domestic relations section may assess a civil administrative penalty of up to $1,000 per violation upon any person or entity which fails to comply with a subpoena or request for information under subsection (b)(2).
(d) Due process and judicial review procedures.–Subject to general rules which may be promulgated by the Supreme Court, each court shall establish due process and judicial review procedures for domestic relations sections exercising powers under this section.
(e) Transmission of information.–All information transmitted to this Commonwealth from another state for purposes of establishing or enforcing an order of support under this chapter may be transmitted electronically or by other methods.
(Mar. 25, 1988, P.L.296, No.35, eff. imd.; Dec. 16, 1997, P.L.549, No.58, eff. Jan. 1, 1998)
1997 Amendment. Act 58 of 1997 was suspended by Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure No. 1910.50(3), as amended May 31, 2000, insofar as it is inconsistent with Rule No.1910.20 relating to the availability of remedies for collection of past due and overdue support.