Bucks County Magisterial District 07-2-08
Magisterial judges preside over district courts that are responsible for adjudicating all traffic and non-traffic citations as well as processing criminal and private criminal complaints inclusive of arraignments and preliminary hearings, the handling of civil and landlord tenant complaints up to a jurisdictional limit of $12,000 as well as parking violations. All misdemeanor and felony violations are filed in the district courts where they are preliminarily arraigned and afforded a preliminary hearing. At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing the charges are dismissed, waived to court or held for court and referred onto the Court of Common Pleas. Source:�http://www.buckscounty.org/Courts/DistrictCourts
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What is the most important quality in a judge?
Under what circumstances would you recuse yourself from a case?
Magisterial District Judge (2014-present)
Bucks County Law Department, Open Records Officer/Legal Assistant (2004-2014)
Paralegal/Legal Assistant/Law Office Manager (1990-2004)
Pennsylvania Minor Judiciary Education Board (“MJEB”) Certification (2013)
Delaware Valley College (2010)
Main Line Paralegal Institute (1991)
Without a doubt, impartiality. It is the key component of the job and something I exercise on the bench every day. When people come to court, they should have confidence that the judge deciding their case will act in a fair and neutral manner. Impartiality is the fundamental promise of our justice system and why I believe it ranks as #1.
With that said, I feel there are other important characteristics a judge should exhibit. Among them are patience, respect, integrity, firmness and compassion. In my tenure as District Judge, I’ve found that just simply being a nice human being brings out the best in everyone and can usually make a stressful or unpleasant situation, not so bad after all.
District Judges are community arbitrators, so it is not unusual to see familiar faces before us. A recusal would be totally predicated upon the degree of relationship I have with that particular person, such as a family member, close friend, or neighbor. Although I treat everyone the same and would not be influenced in any way, I would never want to give the appearance of impropriety or have someone feel they did not have a fair hearing in my court.
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