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NEWS
May 19, 1997
Have no fear that you'll be the only voter in tomorrow's Pennsylvania primary with little or no idea whom to nominate for county court. But you can fortify yourself, at least, with advice from folks who know these candidates best - area lawyers. In Philadelphia, the bar association has rated as "recommended" 14 candidates vying for seven vacancies on Common Pleas Court, and six for three Municipal Court seats. For Common Pleas, they are Alexis L. Barbieri, Gary F. DiVito, Joseph A. Dych, Richard J. Gordon Jr., Barbara Joseph, Benjamin Lerner, Richard B. Moore, Joyce S. Mozenter, Doris A. Pechkurow, Shelley Robins New, Rosalyn K. Robinson, Peter F. Rogers, M. Teresa Sarmina and John Paul Simpkins.
NEWS
January 13, 1988 | By Thomas Turcol, Inquirer Staff Writer
Despite winning a lengthy, often bitter state Supreme Court test of his budget powers last year, Camden County's assignment court judge has decided not to provoke the county freeholders into waging the same battle in 1988. Indications that the yearlong feud between Judge I.V. DiMartino and the Democratic-controlled county administration may be ending surfaced yesterday, when DiMartino submitted a proposed 1988 budget that was far less than what the freeholders had expected. The proposed $9.95 million spending plan, nearly $1.4 million larger than last year's budget, includes only two new employees, no unscheduled pay raises and a minimum of the various other appropriations the judge had sought to run the county court system in 1987.
NEWS
April 24, 1997 | By Allie Shah, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Juan R. Sanchez, a veteran public defender and candidate for Chester County judge, has resigned in order to devote all of his time to getting elected. Sanchez, 41, submitted his letter of resignation to the head of the Public Defender's Office on Friday. He had considered seeking a temporary leave of absence, said John R. Merrick, Sanchez's supervisor, but then decided to quit so that he could access his retirement pension. Merrick said Sanchez told him the money would be used in Sanchez's campaign for one of two available seats on the county's Common Pleas Court.
NEWS
January 8, 2015 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman announced Tuesday that she will not seek a third term and instead will run for a seat on County Court. Ferman said her decision had been "an evolution over some time. " "After eight years constantly being in the eye of the storm, it wouldn't be such a terrible thing to slow down for a little bit," she said. "But I think it will present a different set of challenges. I'm looking forward to the intellectual aspects of the bench, analyzing and making decisions.
NEWS
August 11, 1997
A long-awaited report offers a blueprint for a better court system for Pennsylvania - one that reduces the role of patronage, encourages fiscal accountability, and makes it far less likely that local budget squeezes will cost some people a fair crack at justice. It's the work of former state Supreme Court Justice Frank J. Montemuro Jr., who details his recommendations for shifting the cost of county courts to Harrisburg. What's clear from this report ordered up by the state Supreme Court is that such a shift isn't going to be anything remotely as simple as passing the dinner check to the guy next to you in a restaurant.
NEWS
August 4, 1996
The first shoe has dropped. Now that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has told the state to take over financing the county court systems, will political leaders in Harrisburg insist on waiting for the second shoe to fall before facing reality? The second shoe is a major court suit on school finance. And the reality is the state must tackle tax reform if it is to have any hope of paying equitably for courts and schools. Gov. Ridge should take advantage of the moment to show leadership in moving the state to a fairer tax system, which he expressed interest in doing during his 1994 campaign.
NEWS
February 15, 2001 | By Nancy Petersen, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Members of the Chester County Republican Committee could be in for a long evening at tonight's nominating convention at West Chester East High School. The main event is a six-way contest for two openings on the county court. Veteran Judges Lawrence E. Wood and M. Joseph Melody decided not to run for new 10-year terms. Seeking to replace them are Edward "Rusty" Griffith, 53, a partner in the law firm of Duane, Morris & Heckscher; John L. Hall, 44, a partner in Unruh, Turner, Burke & Frees; Richard "Buzz" Hannum, 56, a lawyer and East Marlborough Township supervisor; Thomas E. Martin Jr., 53, a district justice in Avondale; District Attorney Anthony Sarcione, 47; and Phyllis Streitel, 49, a senior master for the county's courts.
NEWS
December 12, 1999 | By Juan C. Rodriguez, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Maybe they skipped school too often, or were caught shoplifting. Still, their records have yet to be marred with serious juvenile offenses. These are the teens the Burlington County courts are trying to turn around with a one-on-one mentoring program scheduled to begin next month at Burlington City High School. Program organizers are seeking as many as 20 local professionals who can spend an hour a week with a young person who may be having a difficult time in school. "The problem is that juveniles are not receiving enough support," said Frank Carr, director of the county Court Resource Center, an administrative office of the Burlington County Superior Court.
NEWS
September 24, 2015 | By Jessica Parks and Laura McCrystal, Inquirer Staff Writers
After a two-year pilot program that segregated DUI cases into a separate court, Montgomery County is reverting to the previous system because of a heavy caseload, court administrator Michael Kehs said. DUI cases in Montgomery County "are between a quarter and a third of our inventory each year," Kehs said. "It simply became too much for one judge to handle. " The county's DUI court was not a treatment court, unlike its drug court and the treatment-based DUI courts in Philadelphia and 12 other Pennsylvania counties.
NEWS
May 5, 1991 | By John P. Martin, Special to The Inquirer
The Falls Township police chief and a lieutenant have challenged a $300,000 defamation judgment against them, asking a county court judge to overturn the award, reduce it or order a new trial. On April 17, a county court jury ordered Chief James Kettler and Lt. David Clark to pay the amount for defaming District Justice Joseph F. Basile in 1987. The jury decided that the pair acted maliciously when they told a Bucks County Courier Times reporter that Basile was being investigated for improperly dismissing or reducing charges in some cases.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
November 3, 2015 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Howard Paul Kester, 85, of Newtown, a former Bucks County Court administrator and a longtime Quaker, died Saturday, Oct. 10, of congestive heart failure at Pennswood Village. Born in Abington, he lived his entire life in Newtown, where he was a respected member of Newtown Monthly Meeting, part of the Religious Society of Friends. He graduated from George School and in 1951 earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Earlham College in Richmond, Ind. Mr. Kester served three years in the Army before returning to school to earn a degree from Temple University School of Law in 1959.
NEWS
September 24, 2015 | By Jessica Parks and Laura McCrystal, Inquirer Staff Writers
After a two-year pilot program that segregated DUI cases into a separate court, Montgomery County is reverting to the previous system because of a heavy caseload, court administrator Michael Kehs said. DUI cases in Montgomery County "are between a quarter and a third of our inventory each year," Kehs said. "It simply became too much for one judge to handle. " The county's DUI court was not a treatment court, unlike its drug court and the treatment-based DUI courts in Philadelphia and 12 other Pennsylvania counties.
NEWS
August 6, 2015 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
BELLEFONTE, Pa. - Every few years, a case shakes Centre County to its core and reverberates across the state: The still-unsolved disappearance of District Attorney Ray Gricar in 2005. The 2012 trial of Jerry Sandusky for child molestation at Pennsylvania State University. Now, it's a web of allegations including forgery by the current district attorney, improper relationships among judges and prosecutors, and conspiracy by the county's top elected officials. Battle lines have been drawn for nearly a year, and a grand jury report Friday clearing District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller of forgery has done little to ease tensions in the county seat of Bellefonte.
NEWS
June 18, 2015 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
There's little doubt where Risa Vetri Ferman will be in January: The longtime Montgomery County district attorney is a strong candidate to win a seat on the County Court bench. But as the clock ticks down on her career as a local prosecutor, the larger question is if, or when, she will charge the state's top prosecutor with a crime. The same week that Ferman announced her run for the bench, she was handed a grand jury recommendation to charge Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane in the alleged leaking of secret information to a newspaper, then trying to cover it up. Kane, a Democrat, has denied any wrongdoing and called the investigation a partisan attack ordered by a Republican judge.
NEWS
February 11, 2015 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
Montgomery County Republican leaders have narrowed a wide field of would-be candidates to challenge a growing Democratic majority in county government. The GOP's executive committee on Thursday endorsed Steve Tolbert and Scott Zelov to lead the ticket in running for county commissioner. Tolbert is a West Norriton commissioner, professor, and Iraq war veteran. Zelov is a Lower Merion commissioner. One of them is guaranteed a seat. As a duo they will face an uphill battle against incumbent Josh Shapiro and his recently appointed running mate, Val Arkoosh.
NEWS
January 8, 2015 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman announced Tuesday that she will not seek a third term and instead will run for a seat on County Court. Ferman said her decision had been "an evolution over some time. " "After eight years constantly being in the eye of the storm, it wouldn't be such a terrible thing to slow down for a little bit," she said. "But I think it will present a different set of challenges. I'm looking forward to the intellectual aspects of the bench, analyzing and making decisions.
NEWS
December 11, 2014 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
Michelle Kichline, a former Tredyffrin Township supervisor, will be Chester County's newest commissioner. Chester County judges selected Kichline on Tuesday to replace Ryan Costello, who is scheduled to be sworn in as Sixth District congressman on Jan. 6. Costello, the board chairman, will formally resign Monday. Kichline and the judges will determine when she will join the board. She will finish Costello's term, which expires in early 2016. Since the outgoing commissioner is a Republican, replacement candidates also had to be Republicans, according to Pennsylvania law. After Kichline joins the board, she and Commissioners Terence Farrell and Kathi Cozzone will vote to determine the chairman.
NEWS
June 23, 2014 | By Jennifer Lin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Gov. Corbett announced five nominations Friday to fill vacancies in Common Pleas Court in Philadelphia and Delaware County. The governor also recommended two replacements for openings in Philadelphia Municipal Court and one nomination for district judge in Bucks County. The nominees will fill vacancies and must be approved by the Senate within 25 session days. They will serve until the next election cycle in 2015. In Philadelphia, Corbett nominated for Common Pleas Court Abbe F. Fletman, Kenneth J. Powell Jr., Michael Fanning, and Vincent N. Melchiorre.
NEWS
March 1, 2014 | By Carolyn Davis, Inquirer Staff Writer
Chester County Court Senior Judge Thomas G. Gavin will preside over the trial of former Montgomery County Republican Committee Chairman Robert J. Kerns. No trial date has been set. Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille signed off last Friday on Gavin's assignment and gave him "the same power and authority as the judges of the requesting district," the order said. It came after Montgomery County Court President Judge William J. Furber Jr. advised the Supreme Court of a "full-bench recusal," according to a state document.
NEWS
December 6, 2013 | By Julie Zauzmer, Inquirer Staff Writer
A former Delaware County public defender contends that he was fired for bringing too many cases to trial rather than accepting plea deals for clients. Joseph De Ritis of Broomall says in a lawsuit that his reluctance to accept plea deals led to his June 2012 demotion from a trial team in the county defender's office to Juvenile Court. He is seeking $2 million in damages and reinstatement to his old job. In his complaint, filed in federal court in Philadelphia in October, De Ritis says the demotion came after he had worked for more than six years as an attorney in the defender office, which represents criminal defendants who cannot afford lawyers.
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