Under the leadership of its highest court, Pennsylvania is breaking ground in the growing legal area of elder justice. The Elder Law Task Force was formed in April 2013 to comprehensively study the issues of access to justice for older Pennsylvanians.
York County President Judge Stephen P. Linebaugh has spoken out regarding the reassignment of District Judge Jeff Joy’s criminal cases pending investigation, saying the directive came from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Judge Linebaugh stated that he was aware of the charges against Judge Joy from the beginning, stating that an investigation occurred and no charges were filed.
The state Supreme Court approved changes to the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure requiring magisterial district judges to favor releasing defendants awaiting payment determination hearings or trial for summary violations, rather than sending them to jail.
There are twelve candidates vying for an unprecedented three vacancies in the 2015 race for Supreme Court justice in Pennsylvania. With so many candidates competing, this year’s race is shaping up to be the most expensive election on record.
Judges who find themselves the target of an investigation, prosecution or other legal proceeding now must report that fact to both the Chief Justice and the Judicial Conduct Board within five days.
On Monday, April 13, Pennsylvania Representatives Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) and Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery), announced to their House colleagues that they plan to introduce a constitutional amendment in the near-term that would replace partisan judicial elections for Pennsylvania’s appellate court judges with merit selection.
Judges across the state received an apology letter from former Justice Orie Melvin today, which she was ordered to rewrite as a part of her conviction for using her state-paid employees to run her political campaign. Orie Melvin had been ordered to rewrite the letters six months ago, after her previous letters were rejected by Judge Lester Nauhaus as being insufficient and generic.
The Judicial Conduct Board (JCB) filed formal charges by Board Complaint in the Court of Judicial Discipline today against Philadelphia Traffic Court Judges Michael J. Sullivan and Michael Lowry, former Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Thomasine Tynes, and former Delaware County Magisterial District Judge Kenneth Miller.
At a Supreme Court forum hosted by Neighborhood Networks and tens of co-sponsors, including Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts at the Central Library of Philadelphia last night, five of the candidates running for Pennsylvania’s highest court discussed judicial campaign spending, among other issues.
The Community Accountability Program, or CAP, began in 2013 in Upper Bucks County and is presently the only program of its kind in Pennsylvania. In CAP, first-time, adult nonviolent offenders work with a community panel to take responsibility for their crime without entering the formal criminal justice system.