MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT JUDGE 12-01-06- 6 yr
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Joseph S. Lindsey (Dem, Rep)
Magisterial District Judge
What is the most important quality in a judge?
Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused from a case?
As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice?
1970 Graduate Middletown Area High School
Lower Paxton Township Police Officer 1976-1988
Magisterial District Judge 1994 to present
Southside Lower Paxton Township
I feel the most important quality in a judge is respect. Respect produces other qualities one would expect a judge to possess. A judge should have respect for his or her position, the judicial process, and any person(s), in capacity, who appear before the court. A judge's decision can always be questioned, but what is most appreciated is the way the decision was made. If a judge exhibits respect throughout the judicial process, the decision is secondary to the judge's display of respect?
In 23 years, I have recused myself from a handful of cases. The purpose of recusal is not to allow litigants, defendants, attorneys or prosecutors to "judge shop", but rather to insure bias and prejudice do not play a role in the decision making process. Recusal does not mean a judge is avoiding making a tough decision, but rather insuring the decision rendered is based solely on the rule of law and the evidence presented, as well as avoiding an appearance of impropriety.
Assuring all persons have access to justice is critical to maintaining trust in the judicial process. To do so, judges should participate in events, off the bench, to educate the public on the role of the judicial system. On the bench, a judge should display proper demeanor and make every effort to make sure the rule of law is applied to all cases before the court.
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