The Magisterial District Court is the first level of judicial authority in Pennsylvania and is the court where most people experience the judicial system for the first time. There are thirty Magisterial District Courts located in offices throughout Delaware County. An elected Magisterial District Judge presides over each of the individual Magisterial District Courts. They are elected to serve in their districts for six-year terms.
Magisterial District Judges handle all traffic cases, other minor criminal cases and civil cases involving amounts up to $12,000. District Judges also set bail and conduct preliminary hearings in misdemeanor and felony criminal cases to determine if the cases should be dismissed or transferred to the Court of Common Pleas for further proceedings.
Magisterial District Judges, as officers of the Pennsylvania Unified Judicial System, may administer oaths and affirmations and take acknowledgements. They also have authority to perform marriages. It is up to the individual judge's decision whether he or she wishes to perform marriage ceremonies. As there is no legally prescribed form for a wedding ceremony, religious services and vows conform to the secular content in which they are used.
The Magisterial District Courts utilize the ePay system for the payment of fines and costs at all of the Magisterial District Courts. This allows an individual to pay fines, costs, restitution, collateral etc. online from any internet connected computer or from the lobby of the Magisterial District Court. For more information, see the ePay Online Case Payment brochure. For payments online please go to: http://ujsportal.pacourts.us and click on ePay under the eCommerce menu.
The Administrative Office for Magisterial District Judges is responsible for implementing the Orders of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and the Orders of the President Judge. The Administrative Office is also responsible for supervising the operations of the Magisterial District Courts and their staffs.
The Administrative Office coordinates the continuing education of Magisterial District Judges with the Pennsylvania Minor Judiciary Education Board and develops and implements educational programs for all district court employees. Regional Assistant Administrators provide hands-on guidance and supervision to the District Courts. Cases entering the system are monitored to ensure that they are processed in accordance with mandated office clerical procedures.
The Administrative Office Accounting Department oversees the bank accounts of all the Magisterial District Courts. Daily receipts, credit card transactions, cash deposits and other financial records are examined and are verified for accuracy. Statistical data is analyzed to ensure that each district court is adequately staffed.
Magisterial District Courts and the Administrative Office are open 8:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. A list of Magisterial District Courts by municipality can found at link above.
PLEASE NOTE: THE COURT STAFF CAN EXPLAIN BASIC PROCEDURE BUT MAY NOT GIVE YOU A LEGAL OPINION OR ADVICE.