June 7, 1990 |
The Collingdale Magisterial District has been disbanded amid rumors that the entire regional court system in Delaware County might be abandoned. At Monday night's Collingdale Borough Council meeting, Mayor Frank C. Kelly read an order by President Judge William R. Toal Jr. disbanding the Collingdale district. "We have been fighting for years to have our own magistrate to hear our cases, and we finally won," Kelly said. "This is good news for all of us in Collingdale. " Up to this point, three district justices - Kenneth J. D. Boyden, Thomas J. Lacey and William J. Dittert Jr. - were elected by their municipalities, but would rotate to handle the caseload within the six communities they all served - Collingdale, Colwyn, Darby, East Lansdowne, Sharon Hill and Yeadon.
August 18, 2011 |
An investigation into an anonymous election mailing in May critical of an incumbent judicial candidate has resulted in criminal charges against a West Chester couple, the Chester County District Attorney's Office announced Thursday. Donald Skomsky, 57, of West Chester, was charged with forgery, false swearing, election law violations, and conspiracy, and his wife, Valerie Palfy, 46, was cited with forgery and conspiracy, all misdemeanors. The couple's attorney, Michael Noone, said his clients "intend to vigorously defend" themselves against the charges.
May 23, 2005
So-called leniency may be blind justice The May 15 Inquirer article "Phila. dismisses half of felony cases" points out that the magisterial district judges of the suburban counties are significantly more likely than their counterparts, Philadelphia municipal judges, to hold felonies over for trial in Common Pleas Court. I would venture to guess that the pro-prosecution pressures on these suburban judges may, in part, explain those statistics. The county district judge hears cases within a narrow geographic magisterial district, usually his or her township of residence.
October 4, 1992 |
At Haverford Regional Court, two district justices share staff, a courtroom and files and handle cases from each other's districts. Now that cooperative arrangement is about to change, because Delaware County's regional court system, which has consolidated 30 courts into 17 locations since 1974, will be dismantled, forcing judges to have separate staffs, files and jurisdictions. The change occurs because of a new $24.5 million state computer system and a 1990 Collingdale court case.
June 12, 2003 |
Tony Polito, the Republican candidate for a newly created Magisterial District here, said yesterday he would end his campaign for district justice because he had been diagnosed with diabetes. The move leaves Democrat Gwenn Knapp as the sole candidate for the district justice position and sends the party scrambling for a replacement. Polito, a well-known community servant, volunteer and activist in this town of about 18,000, made the announcement at the Republican Party's county headquarters.
May 11, 1999 |
District Justice Spencer B. Seaton Jr., 40, and William Rocky Brown, 43, grew up within a few blocks and a few years of each other. They attended the same church, and both are from old Chester families. Now they are squaring off in next Tuesday's primary in a magisterial district that comprises Chester's Ninth and Eleventh Wards. Each is running as a Republican and a Democrat, as is permitted in district justice races. Seaton, who is seeking his second six-year term, is the endorsed Republican candidate.
May 22, 2003 |
Local Republicans have their work cut out for them if they are going to keep their lock on district justice seats in Chester County. Tony Polito, the Republican candidate for West Chester's eastern Magisterial District, won his party's nomination handily in Tuesday's primary, but lost the overall vote to his Democratic opponent, Gwenn Knapp, by nearly 100 votes. Polito and West Chester Republican Party Chairman Shannon E. Royer discounted the result yesterday, but West Chester Democratic Party Chairman William Scott Jr. said the result made Knapp, a political neophyte, the front-runner.
October 26, 1993 |
District Justice John Anthony says he has the experience, but challenger Pearl Nudy says she has been priming herself for the job for 20 years. They are vying for the same position in Magisterial District 15-1-02, which will change its boundaries in January to encompass all of Easttown and the southeast portion of Tredyffrin. A second, newly created district - District 15-4-01 - will serve the northwest portion of Tredyffrin. Appointed to fill the seat of a retired justice in August 1992, Anthony said he has devoted his entire career to the criminal-justice system.
May 14, 2003 |
Voters could decide West Chester's newest district justice in Tuesday's primary, a contest in which the battle between this town's Republican landlords and local Democratic elected officials has flared again. The new Magisterial District covers the east side of High Street, which contains many student-rental properties. So the new district justice will likely hear cases regarding building code violations, rental permits, and students charged with underage drinking or disorderly conduct.
June 6, 2003 |
In Pennsylvania, district justices are the judiciary closest to the people, handling preliminary criminal hearings, summary trials, and small claims and landlord-tenant cases under $8,000. The problem is, sometimes they get a little too close. Consider the case of Michael C. Richman, a 19-year veteran of the bench whose magisterial district comprises Cheltenham and Jenkintown in Montgomery County. Just before the May 20 primary, in which he was seeking renomination for a six-year term, Richman sent a letter to lawyer Bruce Hanes and other supporters of Richman's Democratic opponent, Michael McHugh.