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Magisterial District Judge 05-02-02

Magisterial district judges (MDJs) do not have to be lawyers but are required to pass a qualifying exam. Handle civil cases up to $12,000; responsible whether serious criminal cases go the Court of Common Pleas; handle preliminary arraignments and hearings; minor criminal offenses, traffic citations and non-traffic ordinance violations. Responsible for setting and accepting bail, except in murder or voluntary manslaughter cases.Term of office: 6 yearsSalary: 93,338

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  • Richard G. Opiela
    (Dem, Rep)

Información Biográfica

The Criminal Justice Task Force (11/16) recommended that Magistrates use the Allegheny County Risk Assessment tool for pretrial release determinations when setting bail. Are you familiar with this tool? Would you use it to determine the need for bail and the value of bail required?

How will you handle the imbalance of power you will commonly see in your court between vulnerable populations, who can not afford an attorney and will represent themselves the majority of the time, and opposing parties that tend to be more powerful, as the Police, or have the resources to hire an attorney, as a landlord against a tenant.

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