MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT JUDGES
The Administrative Office for Magisterial District Judges, under the direction of Ward T. Williams, Administrator, and Beth A. Rolette, First Assistant Administrator, is responsible for implementing the Orders of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and the Orders of the President Judge. The Administrative Office also is responsible for supervising the operations of 34 Magisterial District Courts and their staffs.
The Administrative Office coordinates the continuing education of Magisterial District Judges with the Pennsylvania Minor Judiciary Education Board and develops and implements educational programs for all district court employees. Regional Assistant Administrators provide hands-on training, guidance and supervision to the district courts. Cases entering the system are monitored to ensure that they are processed in accordance with mandated office clerical procedures. As part of this effort, the office continually updates the office instructional manuals previously developed by the Regional Assistant Administrators to train employees.
The Administrative Office Accounting Department oversees the bank accounts of 34 district courts. Daily receipts, credit card transactions, cash deposits and other financial records are examined and are verified for accuracy. Statistical data is analyzed to ensure that each district court is adequately staffed.
Newly-elected Magisterial District Judges participated in an orientation program given by Magisterial District Judges and Administrators, which included representatives of the offices of the District Attorney, Public Defender, Domestic Abuse Project and Bail Agency/Pre-Trial Services. The purpose of the program was to acquaint the new Judges with information regarding preliminary arraignments, preliminary hearings and civil and landlord/tenant matters.
In September 2008, with the help of the County IT Department, all Magisterial District Judges were provided access to e-mail. This has proven to be very beneficial in communicating with the Judges and staff.
Magisterial District Judges continue to utilize videoconferencing as a means to allow preliminary arraignments and bail interviews of defendants located at the George W. Hill Correctional Facility, state correctional institutions, state police and local police stations. In February 2009 , the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's Administrative Office for Pennsylvania Courts provided the Magisterial District Judges with 25 new videoconferencing units, which allowed us to expand the video capability to all Magisterial District Court offices. We also were able to replace the older equipment in eight locations. The Bail Office can now access all District Courts to conduct bail interviews. We are in the process of providing video equipment to all police departments so that they will be connected with the courts. Videoconferencing has proven to be an efficient and cost-saving way to enhance the safety of Magisterial District Judges, bail interviewers and police departments.
The Fugitive Safe Surrender Program was conducted in Delaware County from September 30, 2009 through October 3, 2009 at the White Rock Baptist Church in Chester, PA. Thirteen Magisterial District Judges participated over the four days. The Judges and staff processed a total of 293 defendants with 1,200 warrants of which approximately 20 were criminal warrants. In the end, all but three of the 34 district courts had defendants come in and address their outstanding warrants.
In November 2009, Philip S. Turner, Jr. was elected to a six-year term as Magisterial District Judge for Ridley Township, Wards 1, 4 6 & 9 and the Boroughs of Eddystone and Rutledge. The following Magisterial District Judges were re-elected to a six-year term: David H. Lang, Esquire, Marple Township, Wards 2, 5 6 & 7 and Radnor Township, Wards 4, 5 & 7; Vincent D. Gallagher, Jr., Ridley Township, Wards 2, 3, 5, 7 & 8; Andrea B. Puppio, Esquire, Springfield Township, Wards 2-2, 3, 4 & 7 and the Borough of Morton; Harry J. Karapalides, Esquire, Upper Darby Township, Ward 4, Precinct 1, Ward 6, Precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 10 & 12, Ward 7, Precincts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 & 11 and the Borough of Millbourne; David J. Murphy, Esquire, Upper Chichester Township, Wards 3 & 4, Aston Township and the Borough of Chester Heights; C. Walter McCray, III, Boroughs of Brookhaven, Parkside and Upland, and Chester Township; Steven A. Sandone, Esquire, Darby Township; Christopher R. Mattox, Esquire, Upper Darby Township, Ward 5, Precincts 2, 4, 5, 6 & 9, Ward 6, Precincts 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13 & 14, and Ward 7, Precincts 1, 7 & 9; Elisa C. Lacianca, Esquire, Haverford Township, Wards 4, 5, 6 & 8; and Anthony D. Scanlon, Esquire, Springfield Township, Wards 1, 2-1, 2-3, 5 & 6.
Seminars on Consumer Credit Card Debt and Landlord Tenant Law were co-sponsored by the District Judges' Association of Delaware County and the Delaware County Bar Association in 2009. The Pennsylvania Veterans Museum also was a co-sponsor for the Landlord Tenant Law seminar. Officers of the District Judges' Association of Delaware County include Magisterial District Judges Harry J. Karapalides, Esquire, President in 2008; David R. Griffin, Vice President in 2008; Vincent D. Gallagher, Jr., President in 2009; John P. Capuzzi, Esquire, Vice President in 2009; Edward J. Gannon, Jr., Treasurer in 2008 and 2009; and Ann Berardocco, Secretary in 2008 and 2009.
Delaware County Magisterial District Judges are very active on a statewide level. The following Magisterial District Judges held offices in the Special Court Judges' Association of Pennsylvania, District 11, during the years 2008 and 2009: Richard M. Cappelli, Esquire, Director of District 11; Christopher R. Mattox, Esquire, President of District 11; David H. Lang, Esquire, Treasurer of District 11; and Laurence J. McKeon, Secretary of District 11. The following Magisterial District Judges also held positions on various committees: Anthony D. Scanlon, Esquire, Kelly A. Micozzie-Aguirre, Jack D. Lippart, Laurence J. McKeon, Christopher R. Mattox, Esquire, Edward J. Gannon, Jr., John P. Capuzzi, Esquire, Richard M. Cappelli, Esquire, and Senior Magisterial District Judge Kenneth N. Miller. Special Liaisons included Laurence J. McKeon, Historian, Spencer B. Seaton, Chaplain and Richard M. Cappelli, Esquire, Pennsylvania Bar.