Magisterial District Judges

Mission Statement

It is the mission of the Lackawanna County District Judge System to seek justice, to foster public trust and confidence in an independent judiciary, and to provide high quality, courteous service to all users of the district judge courts by processing cases and resolving disputes in a manner that reflects the System’s commitment to open access to the courts, fairness, impartiality, administrative efficiency, fiscal responsibility and public accountability.


About the District Courts


The ten district judges and one centralized district court in Lackawanna County are under the supervision and administrative control of the President Judge. Each Magisterial District Judge is elected to serve within his/her magisterial district for a six-year term.

District judges are included in Pennsylvania’s Unified Judicial System. District judges have jurisdiction over civil claims where the disputed amount is less than $12,000 landlord/tenant disputes, and summary offenses (traffic and non-traffic offenses). All misdemeanor and felony criminal cases are more commonly called Court cases and these are filed in the District Courts. In these cases, the defendants are arraigned, bail is set, defendants are advised of their rights, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled in a timely manner. At the preliminary hearing, these court cases are either waived to the Court of Common Pleas by the defendant; or, after the hearing, they will be dismissed or bound over to court if a prima facia case is found. Magisterial district judges also grant emergency relief under the Protection From Abuse Act and the Older Adult Protective Service Act. Additionally, district judges issue arrest warrants, conduct preliminary arraignments, set and accept bail, and issue search warrants. As officers of the Pennsylvania Unified Judicial System, district judges may administer oaths and affirmations and take acknowledgments. District judges also have the authority to perform marriages; whether or not they choose to perform ceremonies is optional.

District courts are connected to the statewide-automated District Judge System, which came on-line in 1992 and was updated in 2011. This records management system assists the courts in case processing and financial accounting.

The Office of District Court Administration through the Deputy Court Administrator for Magisterial District Judges provides administrative support to the district judges by preparing the district judge system’s operating budget, administering facility and equipment needs, assisting in personnel management and case management, providing staff training and professional development, and attending all audit conferences. Administrative assistance is provided to the Magisterial District Judges through preparation of court orders for on-call, vacation, continuing education, illness, recusal hearing assignments, consolidation and reassignment of cases.


Central Court


Central Court, located on the ground floor of the Lackawanna County Courthouse, was established to efficiently dispose of preliminary hearings in misdemeanor and felony cases filed in any of the ten magisterial districts in the county. The administrative office establishes an annual schedule which places one Magisterial District Judge on duty each day (weekday and weekend) from 9:00 A.M. one day till 9:00 A.M. the next. This “on-call” duty rotates between the 10 judges with the on-call judge hearing emergency relief petitions under the Protection From Abuse Act (PFA) and presiding over preliminary arraignments of all criminal matters for the entire county for that 24 hour period.

In addition to 24 hour duty at the home court, Central Court operates each Monday through Friday at the courthouse with the on-call district judge presiding over misdemeanor and felony preliminary hearings and DUI court cases. Central Court provides the advantages of convenience to public defenders and district attorneys, a system of expedited case processing, increases security and reduces costs of transportation for prisoners, and provides more standardization of case management and handling of requests for continuances.


New Technologies


In the next session, PACM members were given another acronym for their ever-growing arsenal when Anthony J. Pologruto, GIS Coordinator from Westmoreland County, started out by explaining that “GIS” is the acronym for Geographic Information System. He shared that map dependency is so much greater today than even ten years ago, and that court systems too could utilize maps to assist court users. For instance, Westmoreland County offers a Magisterial District Court locater on their website. By typing in an address, a court user can determine which district court they need to contact. This can be particularly helpful to law enforcement as well, as they can simply type in an intersection and pinpoint immediately which district the address is in.


Forms


Various forms used Magisterial District Judge Courts can be found on the internet at www.courts.state.pa.us/Index/Forms


Administrative Contacts


District Court 45-0-00
Central Court
Phone: (570) 963-6436
Fax: (570) 963-6376
Email: DC45-0-00@lackawannacounty.org

Lackawanna County Courthouse
200 North Washington Avenue
Scranton, PA 18503
Hrs 9-4
Roxanne McLane
Margaret Finnegan
Nancy Lippolis


District Court 45-1-01

Boroughs Of Old Forge, Taylor, and Moosic


Theodore J. Giglio
Phone: (570) 457-3320
Fax: (570) 457-3830
Email: DC45-1-01@lackawannacounty.org

1 Maxson Drive
Old Forge, PA 18518
Hrs 8:30-3:30
Virginia Panko
Joan VanBuskirk
Kathy Conlon


District Court 45-1-02

City of Scranton Wards 9,10,16,17 (Center City/E Scranton)


Alyce Hailstone Farrell, Esquire
Phone: (570) 963-6518
Fax: (570) 963-6898
130 N. Washington Ave.
Scranton, PA 18503
Hrs 9-4
June Eiden
Martha Gervasi
Eileen Evans
Karen Morgan
Susan Hanley


District Court 45-1-03

City of Scranton Wards 11, 12, 19, 20, 24 (South Scranton)


Joanne Corbett
Phone: (570) 963-6516
Fax: (570) 963-6175
Email: DC45-1-03@lackawannacounty.org

1629 Pittston Avenue
Scranton, PA 18505
Hrs 9-4
Shelly Barhight
Kathy Sokasky
Joseph Riccardo


District Court 45-1-05

City Of Scranton Wards 4, 5, 6, 14, 15, 18, 21, 22 (West Scranton)


Terrence V. Gallagher, Esquire
Phone: (570) 963-6504
Fax: (570) 963-6505
Email: DC45-1-05@lackawannacounty.org

1600 Farr Street
Scranton, PA 18504
Hrs 8-4
Karen Stetzer
Carol Zatek
Lora Brudnicki


District Court 45-1-06

City of Scranton Wards 1, 2, 3, 7, 13, 23 (N Scranton/Greenridge/Dunmore)


Paul J. Ware, Esquire
Phone: (570) 963-6521
Fax: (570) 963-6174
Email: DC45-1-06@lackawannacounty.org

2012 West Pine Street
Dunmore, PA 18512
Hrs 9-4
Patricia Valtos
Kathleen Sweeney
Mary Ellen Walsh


District Court 45-1-08

Boroughs of Throop, Dickson City, and Olyphant


John P. Pesota, Esquire
Phone: (570) 383-0421
Fax: (570) 383-6934
Email: DC45-1-08@lackawannacounty.org

1444 E. Lackawanna Ave
Suite 221
Olyphant, PA 18447
Hrs 9-4
Marion Jackson
Mary Nunes
Mari Wright


District Court 45-3-01

Boroughs of Dalton, Clarks Summit, Clarks Green, LaPlume, N, W, S Abington, Glenburn, Waverly, Newton, Ransom


James Gibbons, Jr., Esquire
Phone: (570) 587-1909
Fax: (570) 587-8784
Email: DC45-3-01@lackawannacounty.org

104 Shady Ln Rd
PO Box 427
Hrs 9-4
Marguerite McLane
Lynn Hobbs


District Court 45-3-02

Borough of Moscow, Townships of Jefferson, Roaring Brk, Elmhurst, Madison, Spring Brk, Covington, Clifton, Lehigh


John J. Mercuri, Esquire
Phone: (570) 842-2111
Fax: (570) 842-9117
DC45-3-02@lackawannacounty.org

119 N Main St
Moscow, PA 18444
9-4 M 7-9
Marilyn Metcho
Susan McLain
Paula Bowen


District Court 45-3-03

City of Carbondale, Borough of Vandling, Townships of Fell, Carbondale, Scott, Benton


Sean P. McGraw, Esquire
Phone: (570) 282-3181
Fax: (570) 282-9269
Email: DC45-3-03@lackawannacounty.org

38 N Main St
Carbondale, PA 18407
Hrs 9-4
Barbara Quinn
Janice Calafut


District Court 45-3-04

Boroughs of Archbald, Jermyn, Mayfield, Blakely, Jessup


Laura Turlip, Esquire
Phone: (570) 876-0570
Fax: (570) 876-6412
Email: DC45-3-04@lackawannacounty.org

Archbald Borough Building
400 Church Street – 2nd Floor
Archbald, PA 18403
Hrs 9-4
Linda Grigus
Joan Stets
Judy Kreis