The Supreme Court has approved a new public access policy for case records filed in and maintained by the appellate and trial courts. The policy's adoption marks the Court's continued commitment to making case records open and accessible to the public while safeguarding sensitive, private information contained in those records. The policy becomes effective January 6, 2018, allowing a one-year implementation period for the courts, lawyers and court users to prepare for the transition.
The Court's policy, explanatory report, and a chart entitled Limits on Public Access to the Unified Judicial System of Case Records of the Appellate and Trial Courts (listing restrictions imposed by existing legal authority) are available on the UJS website.
Read the full story in the Board newsletter.
Westmoreland County's Day Reporting Center will close Sept. 1, putting an end to the prison diversionary program that has been marred by criticism and controversy since its inception in 2010.
Court officials announced Friday the center that provided drug treatment and other counseling and training programs at one location for up to eight hours a day would be replaced by a yet undisclosed effort to improve care for addicts.
“This is not indicative of a failure. The treatment of drug addiction is constantly evolving,” said Common Pleas Court President Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr
Read more in Tribune Live.
Two Philadelphia police officers injured in a 2013 elevator accident at the city’s Criminal Justice Center — three years before an elevator crash there paralyzed a sheriff’s deputy — have settled their lawsuit against the company that maintains city buildings and its elevator subcontractor.
The lawsuit by Grace Gardner and Robert Lucini against U.S. Facilities Inc. and Schindler Elevator Corp. was supposed to have gone to trial before a jury on Wednesday before Common Pleas Court Judge Linda Carpenter.
Read more from Philly.com.
More judges are carrying weapons than most people realize, even though attacks on judges remain rare, surveys and experts say.
The question of whether judges should be armed got renewed attention this week after an Ohio judge who was carrying a gun was shot outside his courthouse and fired back.
Jefferson County Judge Joseph Bruzzese is recovering from the shooting Monday in Steubenville, along the Ohio River roughly 30 miles west of Pittsburgh.
Read more in Philly.com.
Crawford County Court of Common Pleas has entered into a new era with the opening of the county's new judicial center in downtown Meadville.
The four-story building, housing the county's court system and many court-related offices, formally was dedicated in a special session of court Tuesday morning with more than 150 people in attendance, including judges from neighboring counties and Justice Debra McCloskey Todd of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
The formal ceremony marked the conclusion of about 20 months construction and years of planning and study to make the new judicial center a reality.
Read more in The Meadville Tribune.
Luzerne County’s new central court is still on track to open Oct. 1 in a building next to the prison on Water Street, the county’s president judge said Friday.
The county Veteran Affairs Office, which currently occupies this building, announced it is moving next week into another county-owned property in Forty Fort.
Read more in The Times Leader.
The Lackawanna County Salary Board approved raises for several positions on judges’ staffs.
Each year, the county’s judges receive budgeted money for staff salaries, which the judges allocate as they see fit based on the employees’ duties and tenures. Outside of President Judge Michael J. Barrasse and former President Judge Thomas Munley, who receive slightly more, the majority of the county’s judges receive about $155,000 annually to pay staff, county Chief Financial Officer Tom Durkin said.
Read more in the Times-Tribune.
After months of telling her story over and over to police officers and lawyers, it was finally time for the 12-year-old Bucks County girl to walk into the courtroom and testify against her rapist.
She was petrified.
While she waited to be called into court, the girl curled up on a chair and hugged her knees. Then Bud, a greyhound from Roxy Therapy Dogs, was brought to her side.
“She started petting Bud and you could just see the tension draining out of her face,” said Sharon Fleck, executive director of the nonprofit that brings dogs to the Bucks County Justice Center and other locations. “I don't think she took her hands off him the entire time we were there.”
Read more in the Morning Call.
It is an issue that human resources professionals frequently face. An employee is discharged. The employee, or the employee's attorney, demands the opportunity to inspect the employee's personnel file to determine whether the file contains documentation supporting the reason for the employee's discharge. Do you, as a human resources professional, have a legal obligation to allow the former employee, or his or her representative, to review the employee's personnel file?
Read more in JD Supra.
Someone stole a candy bar worth less than $2 and then missed a court hearing on the theft charge, resulting in a bench warrant that landed the accused in the Luzerne County prison for a night of lodging that cost taxpayers $110.
“It would have been cheaper for the county to buy this person the candy bar instead of paying for jail,” said Jacob Sills, who cited the case as one of the most frustrating he’s found in county case files.
Sills, head of Uptrust Inc., is dissecting the records as part of his company’s pilot program using text message reminders of court dates and other outreach to reduce the number of offenders who land in prison for failure to appear.
Read more in The Times Leader.
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Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts is a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to ensuring that all Pennsylvanians can come to our courts with confidence that they will be heard by qualified, fair, and impartial judges
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