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
Magisterial District Judge for last 12 years handling more than 68,000 cases. Prior, a decorated Police Detective for Middletown Township for 23 years working major criminal and drug investigations.
BA in Criminal Justice from Temple University. Graduate work in public admin/org & law. Cert by MJEB
A judge must be fair and impartial and not indebted to anyone or any group. A judge must exercise strength and independence. Integrity is very important. A judge must be able to make decisions based solely on the evidence as presented in court and render fair judgments. A judge must be compassionate but follow the rules of court. A judge must be intelligent and know the law in order to be able to interpret and apply it evenly. A judge must have common sense, be dedicated and be a good listener. I truly believe these qualities are necessary to ensure equal justice under the law. Everyone deserves their fair day in court and it is up to the judge to make sure that everyone gets it. I am proud of my reputation that I have earned during my last 12 years as a Magisterial District Judge as being a fair and impartial jurist and am pleased to be endorsed by police, attorneys, unions, and others. I am a full-time judge and look forward to continuing to serve my community in this role.
A judge should recuse themselves from a case whenever they think that they cannot be fair and impartial for any reason. There should be no conflict of interest or personal bias. A judge should also recuse themselves from a matter if there may be an appearance of impropriety or if their impartiality might reasonably be questioned. However, a judge cannot recuse themselves just because they don't want to hear a certain case or make a tough decision as a judge also has the statutory responsibility to adjudicate the cases that arise within their jurisdiction. I take this, and all, judicial responsibilities seriously and that is why I was chosen by the PA Supreme Court to restore faith in the judiciary for the residents of Lower Southampton when that district was eliminated and added to the venue I have been proud to serve for the last 12 years. It doesn't matter which side of the Neshaminy Creek you live, equal justice for all is a constitutional right we all have and should all enjoy.
Law Enforcement 25 years. Lower Southampton Township, Trevose Fire Company Volunteer Firefighter, 10 years. President/Owner Castle's Garden, Lawn and Landscape Inc.35 years.
Temple 1980-82 Horticulture. Bucks County CC 1978-80 Liberal Arts. PA State Police Worcester PA 1991
I believe the most important quality in a judge today is Character. Character is something that one works on his entire life. It is not granted by birth, occupation, wealth, race, or religion. Developing good character is something that I have worked on my entire life. I have served the public for 10 years as a volunteer firefighter, and 25 years as a police officer, and as a successful business owner for over 35 years, Character is built over time, one moment of difficult choices at a time, year after year. Character exposes the true person in times of difficult situations, and assists making good, wise, and honorable decisions. The most respected judges in Bucks County today, and through out Pennsylvania are ones with impeccable character. I believe I hold the mental and moral qualities that are required to be a Magisterial District Judge for our local court.
Recusal from cases are based upon several reasons. Judges should recuse themselves from every case involving family and close, personal friends. Judges should recuse themselves anytime a party in a civil, traffic, or criminal case requests the judge to step aside due to known conflicts, prior statements about the case, or any reason to believe there is bias or prejudice toward any party.
Judges should disclose to each party any potential conflicts before him or her, regardless of how minor, and allow the party the right to request the judge step aside and send the case to a different judge.