From any computer with an internet connection members of the public can now view interactive criminal caseload data for each county in Pennsylvania. The new "dashboards", interactive web based data analysis tools, provide a detailed look at statewide criminal caseloads organizing each county’s criminal case activity over the course of a calendar year.
Twelve candidates are lined up to compete in the May 19th primary to fill one of the three open spots on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The deadline to file nominating petitions with the Department of State was yesterday.
The state Judicial Conduct board has filed seven ethics counts against Judges Dawn Segal and Joseph O’Neill and has moved to suspend them from their positions. The charges are regarding alleged improper conversations they engaged in with Judge Joseph C. Waters Jr. about cases before their courts. The board has also brought a case against Waters.
The state Judicial Conduct Board said that Indiana County District Judge Jennifer J. Rega violated the Rules Governing Standards of Magisterial District Judges when she was involved in a hit-in-run accident in September. They have since dismissed complaints against her.
Philadelphians will vote to fill 12 Common Pleas and 3 Municipal Court seats in this year’s primary and general elections. The Philadelphia Bar Association is faced with the task of evaluating the 47 candidates seeking seats on the bench.
PA Supreme Court Launches Pilot Program to Increase Availability of Legal Aid for Low Income Individuals
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has launched a pilot program designed to provide low-income clients with legal representation. The program will pair indigent individuals with attorneys who are willing to provide free representation.
Mayor Michael Nutter released his final budget proposal as Mayor of Philadelphia this week, proposing a 9.8% percent increase in spending for the courts of the First Judicial District. The First Judicial District governs the entire county of Philadelphia, and includes the city’s Courts of Common Pleas, Municipal Courts, and Traffic Courts.
Three open seats on the bench in the Western District of Pennsylvania that have been empty since 2013 may be filled by the end of this year, the Legal Intelligencer reports. The vacancies make up 30 percent of the Western District’s allotted judgeships.
Governor Wolf has reversed course on the nomination of two prospective judges, Ray McHugh and Brian T. McGuffin, both of whom were previously nominated by former Governor Corbett to serve on the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas. McHugh and McGuffin were among 28 nominations recalled by Governor Wolf shortly after he took office.
The website PoliticsPA.com is hosting a poll allowing readers to choose whether they think Pennsylvania judges should be elected or appointed.
The poll comes in the wake of several controversies involving elected judges in Pennsylvania, including those on the Supreme Court.