Judicial District Judge Information & Qualifications:
Minor Courts, or special courts, are the first level of Pennsylvania's judiciary. These courts are presided over by magisterial judges (MDJs). MDJs do not have to be lawyers, but they are required to pass a qualifying exam. Each court has its own elected judges.
Magisterial District Judges are elected by the citizens of the magisterial district in which they serve. The term of a District Judge is six years. In order to become a District Judge, individuals must possess the following qualifications:
21 years of age
Resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Resident of his/her magisterial district for a one-year period prior to election
Certified by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts as successfully completing a rigorous training and education program administered by the Minor Judiciary Education Board
Attorney admitted to the Bar in Pennsylvania
Once elected, District Judges must complete an initial practicum course. Thereafter, every District Judge is required to attend and successfully complete thirty-two hours of continuing education each year.
Greene County has three District Judges, covering western, central and eastern Greene County. District Judges have jurisdiction over the following items: summary cases; landlord/tenant cases; civil cases up to $12,000; vehicle code violations; and criminal code violations. They preside over arraignments and preliminary hearings; set and accept bail; issue search and arrest warrants; and preside over dog, fish and game violations.
The MDJs are responsible for:
Whether serious criminal cases go to the Court of Common Pleas
Preliminary arraignments and preliminary hearings
Setting and accepting bail, except in murder or voluntary manslaughter cases
The District Judges decide whether the defendant is guilty or innocent in all cases except criminal cases. In criminal cases, the District Judges hold preliminary hearings and determine whether there is sufficient evidence to hold the case for further proceedings at the trial court.
The Magisterial District Judge in District 13-3-02 handles civil and criminal matters arising in the following municipalities: Clarksville Borough, Franklin Township, Jefferson Borough, Jefferson Township, & Morgan Township.
(Note: Perry, Washington Township & Whiteley Townships originally included within the Central Magisterial District 13-3-02, was shifted to be included in the Western Magisterial District 13-3-01, effective August 1, 2013 according to the Supreme Court order read more here).
Helpful Links and Information:
When a person dies suddenly or unexpectedly, your first responsibility is to Call 9-1-1 for medical assistance and guidance. If possible, have the following information available:
Click here to make a payment online (securely pay fines, costs, and restitution) if a warrant has been issued the balance may be greater than is reflected online. If in doubt, please contact the appropriate magisterial district judge by telephone to confirm the balance due.
The Unified Judicial System provides forms for citizens, the judiciary and law enforcement. Click here to access these Common Forms provided by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.
If you have a complaint about a Magisterial District Judge, contact the Court Administrator's Office. The complaint must be in written form that includes your name, address, and telephone number in the letter and forwarded to:
Sheila Rode, Court Administrator
Greene County Courthouse, 2nd Floor
10 East High Street
Waynesburg, PA 15370
Please note that the Court Administrator cannot change the decision of the Magisterial District Judge and that a letter of complaint to the Court Administrator does not stop the appearl process of your case.
Sharon Eddy, Magisterial Assistant
Mary Ann Fuller, Magisterial Assistant
Sandra Tarasi, Magisterial Assistant 2
For general information, please contact the Information Services at 724-852-5399 / Toll Free: 1-888-852-5399 Greene County Office Building, 93 E. High Street, Waynesburg, PA 15370