Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck said Monday he will not pursue a formal complaint with the state Judicial Conduct Board against a Latrobe district judge who he alleged in court was unfairly biased against local prosecutors.
Following a hearing on Peck's allegations, Common Pleas Court President Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr. last week removed District Judge Michael Mahady from presiding over a preliminary hearing for a 17-year Latrobe teen charged with fatally shooting a 15-year-old friend last month.
Read more in Trib Live.
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.
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.
Lori A. Dumas, a judge with the First Judicial District, Court of Common Pleas, Family Division in Philadelphia, Pa., was named to the Board of Directors for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) in Reno.
Dumas has participated in and facilitated many panels and trainings on human trafficking.
Read more from Northern Nevada Business Weekly.
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.
Former Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judge Mark Ciavarella, currently serving a 28-year sentence for his role in the "kids-for-cash" scandal, is seeking to invoke in his bid for freedom the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that made it harder for public officials to be prosecuted for bribery.
The decision in McDonnell v. United States, in which the high court overturned former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell's bribery conviction, was handed down while Ciavarella was in his fifth year of federal incarceration. The changes that McDonnell brought to prosecuting bribery cases could affect his case, the ex-Luzerne County judge claimed in court papers.
McDonnell narrowed the definition of an "official act" done for payment or a favor. Ciavarella was convicted of accepting $2.8 million in kickbacks, along with fellow Judge Michael Conahan, from the builder and former co-owner of a private juvenile detention facility. Ciavarella was sent to prison in 2011.
Read more in the Legal Intelligencer.
Brief ceremonies marking a moment in history became the last official action in Crawford County Court of Common Pleas' Motions Court Monday as the the county's court system transitions to the new county judicial center today.
"We want to make sure of some record in the future," President Judge Anthony Vardaro said to the more than 50 lawyers and court staff in attendance in Courtroom No. 1 where Motions Court was held. Motions Court accepts requests for a judge to issue a ruling or order on a legal matter.
Judges Vardaro, John Spataro and Mark Stevens all said they were looking forward to the new judicial center, but they also noted the history of Courtroom No. 1.
Read more from The Meadville Tribune.
Judge Michael Barrasse to Chair the National Association of Drug Court Professionals Board of Directors
The National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) announced President Judge Michael J. Barrasse of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas has been unanimously chosen by the board of directors to serve as its chairman. Judge Barrasse will serve a term of two years.
Read more in The Abington Journal.
What you'll find
PMC press releases, statements, and news coverage of our work, in addition to the latest news on Pennsylvania's courts, judicial elections, ethics, discipline and more.
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
1500 John F. Kennedy Blvd., 2 Penn Center, Suite 1140, Philadelphia, PA 19102