Current & Past County Judges, Court of Common Pleas for Greene County Government, Pennsylvania




BROWSE by SUBJECT
Court of Common Pleas

Greene County Courthouse

10 East High Street
Waynesburg, PA 15370
Click on Courthouse
for Map and Directions
    >> homepage >> government >> history >> past elected officials >> past judges
Court of Common Pleas Judges . . . 1796 — present day
Department of Law and Order for Greene County Government, Pennsylvania


Contact Persons: Sheila S. Rode, District Court Administrator

Greene County Courthouse, 2nd Floor
10 East High Street, Waynesburg, PA 15370
Phone: 724-852-5237 or 724-852-5312 / Fax: 724-627-4716
Office Hours: 8:30 a.m.—4:30 p.m., Monday—Friday

Greene County historical facts date back to 1796... until 1850, judges were appointed to office, but an Act passed in 1850 required judges to be elected by the people and would serve a 10-year term of office. The responsibilities of the President Judge are executive administrative head of the court, supervise the judicial business of the court, promulgate all administrative rules and regulations, make all judicial assignments and assign and re-assign among the personnel of the court available chambers and other physical facilities.


Overview:
Until 1850, judges were appointed to office, but an Act passed in 1850 required judges to be elected by the people and would serve a 10-year term of office. The responsibilities of the President Judge are executive administrative head of the court, supervise the judicial business of the court, promulgate all administrative rules and regulations, make all judicial assignments and assign and re-assign among the personnel of the court available chambers and other physical facilities.

In 1998 the Pennsylvania state General Assembly created a second judgeship to the County of Greene in order to handle the case workload; both judges preside over both criminal and civil cases.

"The First Court" ... Greene County was a part of the 5th Judicial District of the Commonwealth and the President Judge was Alexander Addison of Pittsburgh who continued to hold court here, with the help of associate justices. Click here to read more on the The First Court.

Waynesburg, the county seat for Greene County, is located in the 13th Judicial District of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; the 9th -- and -- 18th United States Congressional District, the 46th Pennsylvania Senate District and the 50th Pennsylvania House District. There are twenty townships and six boroughs and 44 polling precincts within the county.

Court of Common Pleas:
Court of Common Pleas is administered by Greene County. Each county has one or more judge(s) who is/are elected to sit on the bench and hear criminal and civil court cases. Counties support the courts with corrections and criminal justice programs such as the county prison, juvenile detention center, probation, and/or criminal investigation units. The Judges of the Civil Division are responsible for handling all civil matters, as well as family and orphans' court matters. Each judge is responsible for his or her inventory of cases from the filing of the complaint through disposition of the case.

The President Judge acts as the executive administrative head of the court. The President Judge is responsible for supervising the judicial business of the court, promulgating all administrative rules and regulations, making all judicial assignments, and assigning and re-assigning among the personnel of the court available chambers and other physical facilities.

The term for a Court of Common Pleas judge is 10 years, and Pennsylvania law states that judges must retire at the end of the year in which they turn 70 years old.

Court of Common Pleas — Past and present County Judges:
Following is a listing of those who have held the position of County Judge in the past (Listed current to past by date):

JUDGES & DATES BRIEF BIOGRAPHY of GREENE COUNTY JUDGES


Louis Dayich

2016—present
2nd Judge
January 2016 — the Honorable Dayich who was sworn-in for a 10-year term of office. The seat opened up when the seat was vacated by former judge William Nalitz retired, and with the promotion of the 2nd Judge Farley Toothman to President Judge. The race was so close that it took until the day after the election for Dayich to be declared the winner when the elections office counted all provisional and absentee ballots.

Lou Dayich served as a district magistrate in Greene County's western magistrial district for nearly 15 years.

Dayich worked as a public defender for four years following law school, and then spent the next decade as a private attorney before being elected magistrate in 2000.


Farley Toothman

2015—present
President Judge
(2009—2015)
2nd Judge
January 2015 — upon the retirement of the Honorable William Nalitz, Judge Farley Toothman became the new president judge for the Greene County Court of Common Pleas.

December 29, 2011 — the Honorable Judge William Nalitz, President Judge of Greene County, administered the Oath of Office Judge Farley Toothman, who was elected to a full 10-year term after winning the November 2011 election.

July 10, 2009 — Honorable Judge Farley Toothman was sworn in as Judge of the Greene County Court of Common Pleas on Friday, July 10, 2009, accepting the robe and the gavel of his late father, Greene County Judge Glenn R. Toothman Jr.

The Honorable Toothman was appointed by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell to fill the vacancy created by the Honorable Terry Grimes's retirement in January 2009; the nomination was confirmed by the Senate July 2009. The Honorable Toothman will serve on the bench until January 2012.


William R. Nalitz

(Jan. 2009—Dec. 2014)
President Judge
(1998—2009)
2nd Judge
January 5, 2009 — Honorable Judge William Nalitz became the first new president judge of Greene County Court in 23 years; with the retirement of the Honorable Judge H. Terry Grimes.

The Honorable William R. Nalitz joined Judge Grimes on the bench in 1998 (elected to the bench in 1997) when the state General Assembly created a second judgeship to the County of Greene. Mr. Nalitz was the first "2nd judge" to be elected to serve in the Court of Common Please of Greene County. He presides over most of the civil cases as well as some criminal cases. He was retained in 2007 for a ten-year term and took office in January 2008.

Before taking the bench, Judge Nalitz practiced law from 1973 to 1997 in Waynesburg with the firm of Sayers, King, Keener and Nalitz (later King and Nalitz). During that time, he served as solicitor for several townships and from 1992 to 1996 as solicitor for Greene County.

He is a graduate of Georgetown University in Washington, DC and Duquesne University of Law; Honorable Nalitz served as Lieutenant in the U.S. Army from 1966-1968 in Vietnam, Fourth Infantry Division. Judge Naltiz regularly has taken classes on various judicial topics sponsored by the Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges. Click here to read more.


H. Terry Grimes

(1986—2009)
1985—January 5, 2009 — Honorable Judge H. Terry Grimes retired as the President Judge of Greene County Court after holding that position for 23 years. Grimes will remain working at the courthouse parttime as a senior judge until a successor is appointed.

The Honorable H. Terry Grimes was elected President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Greene County in 1985 for a ten-year term and took office in January 1986. He was retained (re-elected) in 1995 for a ten-year term and took office in January 1996. In November 2005, he was again retained for an additional term presiding over the 13th Judicial Court of Greene County, Pennsylvania.

A graduate of West Greene High School, Judge Grimes earned his bachelorís degree from California University of Pennsylvania and his law degree from Ohio Northern University. When he retired, he was a member of the Greene County Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges. A member of the Valley Chapel United Methodist Church in Holbrook, Cornerstone Genealogical Society, the Greene County Gideons Society, and the Knights of Pythias, Graysville Lodge in Pennsylvania. He also has served as treasurer of the Sons of the American Revolution and the secretary for Waynesburg Prosperous & Beautiful. He served in the United States Army from 1966 to 1969 and the Army Reserves where he attained the rank of Major in the Artillery Division.

As a youth, Judge Grimes earned the rank of Eagle Scout and was recently (April 2004) presented with the District Award of Merit by the Greene District of Greater Pittsburgh Council, Boy Scouts of America. He has served Scouting for more than 15 years, including assistant vice chairman from 1987-2002, Greene district chairman from 2002-2004 and currently as district member at-large. He graduated from West Greene High School, California University (PA), and Ohio Northern University Claude W. Pettit School of Law.

Mr. Grimes was born on September 2, 1942. The son of Halfred and Fay Stockdale Grimes.


Glenn R. Toothman, Jr.

(1966—1985)
Photo courtesy of Judge Grimes
Honorable Glenn R. Toothman, Jr., 1985—1966 — was born August 9, 1920 in Clarksburg, West Virginia and received his education at Washington and Lee University in Virginia. He met and married Greene County native Katherine Throckmorton and relocated to the county. He and Katherine are the parents of four children; Harry, Glenn R. III, Farley, and Ellan. A prolific artist and lover of poetry, he served as Vice President of the Greene Academy of Art and was extremely active in the Greene County Historical Society. He was instrumental in the placement of the monument along Route 21 at the site of the first court in Greene County. He taught classes at Waynesburg University and was a published author. He actively practiced law in the Greene County until 1999.


John Inghram Hook

(1946—1965)
Photo courtesy of Judge Grimes
Honorable John Inghram Hook — 1946-1965 — was in charge of the Pennsylvania Council of National Defense; President of the Greene County Bar Association; Director of the First National Bank & Trust Company; a member of the Greene County Emergency Relief Board; County Solicitor; member of the State Democratic Committee; and Chairman of the American War Relief Drive. He was also a member of the 1st Board of Directors of the Greene County Country Club, and the men's champion at the Greene County Country Club 36 hold annual competition. Hook also coached the Waynesburg High School basketball team.


P.J. Waychoff

(1936—1945)
Photo courtesy of Judge Grimes
Honorable Judge P.J. Waychoff — 1936-1945 — No information available.


A. H. Sayers

(1926—1935)
Photo courtesy of Judge Grimes
Honorable A. H. Sayers — 1926—1935 — was an East Waynesburg Borough member. Among his many accomplishments were: Secretary of Legal Advisory Board of Greene County; President of the Greene County Bar Association; Director of the First National Bank & Trust Company, County District Attorney, and Director of the Home Building & Loan Association of Greene County. Perhaps his biggest accomplishment was being elected to judgeship in 1925 as a Republican, which marked the first time in the history of the county that a Republican had been elected to judgeship in a partisan contest.


J. Warren Ray

(1916—1925)
Photo courtesy of Judge Grimes
Honorable J. Warren Ray — 1916—1925 — was a graduate of Waynesburg College, and often referred to as the "favorite son" of Greene County Republicans. Ray was a Waynesburg attorney who was former Chairman of the Greene County Republican Committee and a member of the 51st Congress (1889-1891). Among his other positions and accomplishments were: Waynesburg College Board of Trustees, President of the Waynesburg Building & Loan Association, founding member of the Greene County Historical Society (November 16, 1925).


James Inghram

(1906—1915)
Photo courtesy of Judge Grimes
Honorable James Inghram — 1906—1915 — was born in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania on September 12, 1842. James attended Waynesburg High School; he then entered Waynesburg College at the age of 12 and graduated in 1859. Immediately after graduating from college, he began teaching but soon gave it up to study law in the office of J.A.J. Buchanan and Judge James Lindsey. In 1863, he was admitted to the Bar; and in 1883 was elected judge. Running as an independent under the heading "True Democrat" in 1895, he lost the primary to R.L. Crawford. In 1905, James was elected president judge of Greene County Courts, serving from 1906-1915. The Honorable Judge Inghram died on October 29, 1927.


R. L. Crawford

(1896—1905)
Photo courtesy of Judge Grimes
Honorable R. L. Crawford — 1896—1905 — took office in 1896; he was a member of the Citizens National Bank of Waynesburg Board; Union Deposit & Trust Company at Waynesburg Board; President and Director of the Waynesburg Chamber of Commerce; Waynesburg College Board of Trustees. He also greatly enjoyed hunting.


Judge Dickey

(1895)
Photo courtesy of Judge Grimes
Honorable P.J. Dickey — 1895 — No information available.


Stephen Leslie Mestrezat

(1893—1895)
Photo courtesy of Judge Grimes
Honorable Stephen Leslie Mestezat — 1893—1895 — attended Waynesburg College and Washington & Lee Law School; served on the Waynesburg College Board of Trustees and was Fayette County's District Attorney. In 1900, he assumed the seat of Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. He was also one of the Pallbearer for General Robert E. Lee. His father was a merchant of Mapletown, PA.


James Inghram

(1883—1892)
Photo courtesy of Judge Grimes
Honorable James Inghram — 1883—1892 — was born in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania on September 12, 1842. James attended Waynesburg High School; he then entered Waynesburg College at the age of 12 and graduated in 1859. Immediately after graduating from college, he began teaching but soon gave it up to study law in the office of J.A.J. Buchanan and Judge James Lindsey. In 1863, he was admitted to the Bar; and in 1883 was elected judge. Running as an independent under the heading "True Democrat" in 1895, he lost the primary to R.L. Crawford. In 1905, James was elected president judge of Greene County Courts. The Honorable Judge Inghram died on October 29, 1927.


Alpheus Wilson
(1874—1883)
No Photo Available
Honorable Alpheus Wilson — 1874—1883 — was elected in 1874 and described as "a lawyer of acumen and served with credit to himself and advantage to this constituents".


Samuel A. Gilmore
(1866—1874)
No Photo Available
Honorable Samuel A. Gilmore — 1866—1874 — was the son of John Gilmore, a lawyer in Butler. Gilmore was appointed President Judge in 1848, which marked the last of the appointed judges due to an Act passed in 1850 that required judges to be elected by the people. Gilmore succeeded himself by election on November 6, 1851 and was re-elected in 1865, but presided only over Fayette and Greene Counties (a legislature had split the District).


Nathaniel Ewing
(1864—1865)
No Photo Available
Honorable Nathaniel Ewing — 1864—1865 — was born on July 18, 1794. He read law with Thomas McGiffin and was educated at Washington College. On February 22, 1838, Ewing was appointed President Judge (at this time, the term of a law judge was set at 10 years). In 1964, he stepped in as judge for a short period of time (until the next election) due to the sudden death of James Lindsey. The Judicial District was allotted an additional judge in 1887 and Ewing was first appointed, later elected to this position. He had the reputation of being an able jurist and a just judge.


James Lindsey

(1861—1864)
Photo courtesy of Judge Grimes
Honorable James Lindsey — 1861—1864 — was born on November 21, 1827, a descendant of the 1st settlers of Greene County. Lindsey attended the Greene Academy in Carmichaels for his education. He was the first Judge of this judicial district born in Greene County. In 1861, he was elected at the age of 34. James became suddenly ill with bilious fever (a fever caused by liver disorder) in August of 1864 and died on September 1 that year.

Samuel A. Gilmore
(1848—1861)
(1865-1874)
No Photo Available
Honorable Samuel A. Gilmore — 1848—1861, 1865-1874 — was the son of John Gilmore, a lawyer in Butler. Gilmore was appointed President Judge in 1848, which marked the last of the appointed judges due to an Act passed in 1850 that required judges to be elected by the people. Gilmore succeeded himself by election on November 6, 1851 and was re-elected in 1865, but presided only over Fayette and Greene Counties (a legislature had split the District).

Nathaniel Ewing
(1838-1848)
(1864—1865)
Honorable Nathaniel Ewing — 1838—1848, 1864—1865 — was born on July 18, 1794. He read law with Thomas McGiffin and was educated at Washington College. On February 22, 1838, Ewing was appointed President Judge (at this time, the term of a law judge was set at 10 years). In 1964, he stepped in as judge for a short period of time (until the next election) due to the sudden death of James Lindsey. The Judicial District was allotted an additional judge in 1887 and Ewing was first appointed, later elected to this position. He had the reputation of being an able jurist and a just judge.


Thomas H. Baird

(1818—1838)
Honorable Thomas H. Baird — 1818—1838 — was born November 15, 1787, Washington, PA; died November 22, 1866: Son of former state Senator Dr. Absalom Baird of Uniontown and the former Susannah Harlan Brown; attended Latin school in Brooke Co., Va. (WVa), receiving classical education; studied law; admitted to the Washington County bar, July 1808; member of the Pennsylvania state Senate, 1811-1815; President Judge of Washington, Fayette, Greene, and Somerset counties, 1818; served in that capacity through 1838 (he studied law with Joseph Pentecost before being appointed President Judge of the 14th Judicial District on October 19, 1818. Judge Baird resigned on February 22, 1838); classical Hebrew scholar, translated the Psalms of David; private practice, Pittsburgh; retired to his home in 1848 in Harlem on the Monongahela River; married Nancy McCullough of Washington County. The Honorable Thomas Harlan Baird passed away at home, Nov. 22, 1866. His nephew, Major General Absalom Baird, received the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Civil War.

Photo and bio courtesy of Bill Shufflebarger, Historian - Senate of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA (May 2008)

Samuel Roberts
(1803—1818)
No Photo Available
Honorable Samuel Roberts — 1803—1818 — was born in Philadelphia on September 10, 1761. He was practicing law in Sunbury when he was appointed Judge on April 30, 1803. He was then commissioned on June 2, 1803.

Alexander Addison
(1796—1803)
No Photo Available
Honorable Alexander Addison — 1796—1803 — was born in Ireland in 1759. He received his education in Edinburgh, Scotland and immigrated to America as a boy. Addison settled in Pittsburgh and preached in Washington, before deciding to study law. He became President Judge of the Fifth Judicial District at the formation of Greene County. Addison was impeached and removed from office on January 7, 1803 (in a jury trial for slander he instructed the jury to disregard the remarks of Judge Lucas, an associate lay judge).
(Partial Data Source: History of Greene County by Samuel P. Bates, 1888; Reproduction sponsored by John Corbly Chapter, DAR, Waynesburg, PA -- Ms. Nancy Huffman, Regent (p. 459))

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


Today's date is: