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
My life experiences, my commitment to the community, as well as my thirty one years as a police officer have provided me with a unique skill set, to be a fair and impartial magistrate.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Certified, BS in Criminal Justice Trenton State College.
Impartiality is the most important, it ensures the protecting of rights and application of fair justice. Everyone who would come before me in the courtroom – be they plaintiff or defendant – can be assured they will be given the opportunity to present the facts of their case and have the law fairly applied. There can be no bias, no preconceived notions, and no predetermination in the course of seeking justice and I will make sure there is not. Impartiality must also extend to rulings made. We must look at each case – for example those involving people trapped in the grip of addiction – with an eye toward what will help ensure a positive outcome for our communities. Doing so requires extensive experience with the tools that can be coupled with sentencing that are available; specifically have knowledge of the requirements, enforcement and accountability provisions of the Youth Aid Panel (YAP), Community Service, the Community Accountability Program (CAP), and the Drug Court.
Recusals must take place whenever there is a conflict of interest, or the perception of such a conflict may exist. I would recuse myself from a case if my impartiality might be reasonably questioned. Cases that involve family members, or any case that would cause me to consider the public's perception and my ability to reach a fair and impartial decision. I would also disclose to both parties on the record the basis for me recusing myself from the case. I would then allow both parties to meet and discuss and allow them to come to decision as to whether I should recuse myself or participate in the case.
I have worked in the legal field since 2001, starting out as a receptionist, then legal secretary, paralegal, law clerk, and now have been an attorney for nearly a decade.
Bachelor's Degree; Juris Doctorate.
The most important quality in a judge is their ability to use their legal experience and knowledge of the law and rules of court to ensure that every person who comes before them receives an unbiased, fair, and concise result. A judge must be compassionate, and the Magisterial District Judge handles many cases where Parties are representing themselves. A qualified judge who understands the intricacies of the Rules of Court can provide people, who are not represented, with a fair court ruling and where appropriate, refer parties to resources that will help them get on the right track. A judge must have the ability to reach decisions promptly, respond to issues in a distinct manner, and quickly grasp the real meaning of questions presented. Parties who come before the Court should not have to wait for an extended length of time while the judge researches the law. If elected, I will use my training as an attorney and my experience as an elected official to ensure fairness and integrity.
If I ever felt that my personal relationship with a Party could possibly interfere with my ability to ensure a fair outcome, I would recuse myself immediately. Judges must be impartial when presiding over the Court and they should recuse themselves in any proceeding in which their impartiality might reasonably be questioned, or where they are biased in favor of one party or against another. A judge may be biased, or perceived as biased, if they have a personal or previous relationship with someone on either side of the lawsuit, if they have a financial interest in the proceeding or outcome of the case, or if they have personal knowledge about the parties or the facts about the case.