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Philadelphia Municipal Court

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NEWS
January 14, 2003
RE the letter to the editor from Brian Davies of Paoli (Jan. 9): Please be advised that Mr. Davies mistakenly identified me as the presiding judge in landlord-tenant court the day of his hearing. While I do not know which judge presided, I can tell you with certainty that it was not I. Louis J. Presenza President Judge Philadelphia Municipal Court
NEWS
January 24, 2010 | By Nancy Phillips and Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writers
State Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery has begun meeting with top Philadelphia judges, court administrators, and the district attorney to implement an ambitious reform agenda for the city's troubled criminal justice system. McCaffery, acting at the behest of Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille, said the Supreme Court would require more accountability from the city courts, including new and detailed analysis of conviction rates, and an explanation of why so many cases collapse.
NEWS
August 3, 2011
IN LIGHT OF RECENT articles like William Bender's July 8 front-page story ( "DA: Philly's New Pot Policy Just Makes Sense . . . and Saves Dollars" ) surrounding the creation of the Small Amount of Marijuana (SAM) program, I believe the entire initiative should not be credited to any one entity within the criminal-justice system, including the repeated, striking omission of the Philadelphia Municipal Court's involvement in the creation, operation and management of the program. District Attorney Seth Williams approached Municipal Court in early 2010 and asked the court to create a diversion program to handle these marijuana cases that he no longer wished to bring to trial.
NEWS
November 4, 2011 | By Nathan Gorenstein, Inquirer Staff Writer
It looked like an open-and-shut case. A cop pulls over a car, walks up to the driver's door, and sees a plastic baggy of marijuana. He brings in a drug-sniffing dog to prove probable cause for a search, gets a warrant, and finds a kilo of weed in the trunk. That's what Officer Steven Lupo put in his report and testified to in Philadelphia Municipal Court. Then defense attorney Michael Diamondstein produced the video. Turned out reality was different. The video taken from nearby surveillance cameras contradicted key facts in Lupo's report and sworn testimony.
NEWS
March 3, 2010 | By MENSAH M. DEAN, deanm@phillynews.com 215-854-5949
This morning, a several judges and other dignitaries were scheduled to attend the formal launching of Philadelphia Veterans Court. The court - the first of its kind here - will provide qualified veterans in the criminal-justice system with a range of services, including linking them with representatives from the Veterans Administration who will determine benefits eligibility, as well as veterans' suitability for an array of VA programs dealing with...
NEWS
February 25, 1993 | BY MORTON KRASE
The year 1993 is a very special year for the Philadelphia Municipal Court, as it marks the 25th Anniversary of its existence. Out of the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention, which met in Harrisburg in December 1967, came the redrafting of the Judiciary Article of the Pennsylvania Constitution. The results of the convention were submitted to the voters of the Commonwealth and became effective Jan. 1, 1969. The new Judiciary Article abolished the Magistrate Courts by establishing a Municipal Court, which assumed all responsibilities of the old County Court that had not been assigned to the new Common Pleas Court.
NEWS
September 9, 2005 | By Jacqueline Soteropoulos INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The state Judicial Conduct Board is seeking the removal of a Philadelphia Municipal Court judge because of the jurist's 1984 felony conviction. Judge Deborah Shelton Griffin, who presides over misdemeanor criminal matters and minor civil cases, was elected to the bench in 2001. The Judicial Conduct Board believes the state constitution prohibits Griffin from being a judge because she committed a crime involving falsehoods, according to a complaint filed Wednesday with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
NEWS
July 13, 1993 | By William H. Sokolic, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT Inquirer Staff Writer Linda Loyd contributed to this article
The son of Philadelphia Common Pleas Court President Judge Edward Blake drowned early Sunday morning in the bay near the Avalon house in Cape May County that he shared with friends. The body of Edward J. Blake Jr., a law clerk in Philadelphia Municipal Court and a bail commissioner with the city Police Department, was discovered face down in the water behind a row of houses on the 2800 block of Ocean Drive. Emily Matt, of Ocean Drive, said she heard the victim and others swimming in the bay about 2:30 a.m. Sunday when she went to bed. Blake was last seen about 4:45 a.m. sitting on a dock at his house, smoking a cigarette, Avalon police said.
NEWS
October 7, 2006 | By Kristin E. Holmes INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Adele Eskin Greene, 90, of Sebring, Fla., a research bacteriologist who enrolled in law school at age 65 and who later worked as a Philadelphia Municipal Court mediator, died Sept. 4 of complications after a stroke. She died at her daughter Hinda's home in Sebring. She was a longtime resident of the South Jersey communities of Clayton and Washington Township before moving to Society Hill in 1982, and to Florida in 2001. Mrs. Greene was born in Perth Amboy, N.J., and earned bachelor's degrees in biology and sociology from Cedar Crest College in Allentown in 1936.
NEWS
May 12, 1987
Five candidates are seeking nomination for three seats on the Philadelphia Municipal Court in the primary election May 19. Two currently are sitting there, having been appointed last year to fill unexpired terms and now are seeking full six-year terms. The Inquirer endorses Judges William A. King Jr., 61, a former federal bankruptcy judge, and Harvey W. Robbins, 43, a former Municipal Court law clerk. Both have demonstrated their willingness and ability to carry the heavy workload of the court and do so in a fair and independent manner.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
April 18, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
William J. Brady Jr., 91, of Chestnut Hill, a Philadelphia Municipal Court judge for three decades, died Monday, April 7, of kidney failure at Good Shepherd Penn Partners. Judge Brady was the son of William John Brady, also a lawyer and judge in Philadelphia. Between the judge and his father, there was a William J. Brady working in Center City for the better part of a century before the judge's health failed in December 2013, said his son, William J. III, a venture capitalist for the technology industry.
NEWS
November 4, 2011 | By Nathan Gorenstein, Inquirer Staff Writer
It looked like an open-and-shut case. A cop pulls over a car, walks up to the driver's door, and sees a plastic baggy of marijuana. He brings in a drug-sniffing dog to prove probable cause for a search, gets a warrant, and finds a kilo of weed in the trunk. That's what Officer Steven Lupo put in his report and testified to in Philadelphia Municipal Court. Then defense attorney Michael Diamondstein produced the video. Turned out reality was different. The video taken from nearby surveillance cameras contradicted key facts in Lupo's report and sworn testimony.
NEWS
August 3, 2011
IN LIGHT OF RECENT articles like William Bender's July 8 front-page story ( "DA: Philly's New Pot Policy Just Makes Sense . . . and Saves Dollars" ) surrounding the creation of the Small Amount of Marijuana (SAM) program, I believe the entire initiative should not be credited to any one entity within the criminal-justice system, including the repeated, striking omission of the Philadelphia Municipal Court's involvement in the creation, operation and management of the program. District Attorney Seth Williams approached Municipal Court in early 2010 and asked the court to create a diversion program to handle these marijuana cases that he no longer wished to bring to trial.
NEWS
June 4, 2011 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
After a dozen years as a Philadelphia Municipal Court judge, Jimmie Moore has called it a career. Moore, 60, spent Friday in his 13th-floor chambers at the Criminal Justice Center packing boxes and preparing to begin the second act of what he calls his "movie in progress. " What Moore won't say is what that second act is, or, more precisely, whether the rumors are true that he plans to run for Congress. "I'll announce my plans in a few weeks, but I will say I am not through with public life.
NEWS
January 26, 2011 | By Sally A. Downey, Inquirer Staff Writer
Robert J. "Corky" Corcoran, 71, formerly of Southwest Philadelphia, a truck driver, court tipstaff, politician, and lifelong Mummer, died of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis Saturday, Jan. 22, at daughter Karen O'Brien's home in Mount Laurel. At a Mummers Parade in the early 1930s, Katherine Lennon snatched an earring from John Corcoran, who was playing a banjo in a string band dressed as a gypsy. The couple eventually married and produced eight children, including Robert, who would become a Mummer like his father.
NEWS
December 5, 2010 | By Craig R. McCoy and Nancy Phillips, Inquirer Staff Writers
From a wholesale reorganization of the courthouse to an influx of money to relocate frightened witnesses, it has been a year of upheaval and reform for the Philadelphia criminal-justice system. After an Inquirer series portrayed the courts in crisis - plagued by abysmal conviction rates, unchecked witness intimidation, and a massive fugitive count - top judges and the new district attorney have pushed through a host of changes. The result: More cases are going to trial and being decided on their merits, fewer cases are collapsing for procedural reasons, and conviction rates are rising.
NEWS
March 7, 2010 | By Nancy Phillips and Craig R. McCoy INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Judge William Maruszczak's courtroom is hardly the stuff of Law & Order. Often, there isn't even a prosecutor. Police officers put on criminal cases, outlining only the barest details to persuade the judge to hold a defendant for trial. Victims seldom take the stand. Defense lawyers ask few questions. No stenographer keeps a record. Hearings conclude within minutes. "We move 'em in. We move 'em out," said Maruszczak, a district judge in King of Prussia. "We don't mess around.
NEWS
March 7, 2010 | By Nancy Phillips and Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writers
Judge William Maruszczak's courtroom is hardly the stuff of Law & Order . Often, there isn't even a prosecutor. Police officers put on criminal cases, outlining only the barest details to persuade the judge to hold a defendant for trial. Victims seldom take the stand. Defense lawyers ask few questions. No stenographer keeps a record. Hearings conclude within minutes. "We move 'em in. We move 'em out," said Maruszczak, a district judge in King of Prussia. "We don't mess around.
NEWS
March 3, 2010 | By MENSAH M. DEAN, deanm@phillynews.com 215-854-5949
This morning, a several judges and other dignitaries were scheduled to attend the formal launching of Philadelphia Veterans Court. The court - the first of its kind here - will provide qualified veterans in the criminal-justice system with a range of services, including linking them with representatives from the Veterans Administration who will determine benefits eligibility, as well as veterans' suitability for an array of VA programs dealing with...
NEWS
January 24, 2010 | By Nancy Phillips and Craig R. McCoy INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
State Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery has begun meeting with top Philadelphia judges, court administrators, and the district attorney to implement an ambitious reform agenda for the city's troubled criminal justice system. McCaffery, acting at the behest of Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille, said the Supreme Court would require more accountability from the city courts, including new and detailed analysis of conviction rates, and an explanation of why so many cases collapse.
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