The employees of the Magisterial District Court are not attorneys, and cannot give legal advice. Legal questions should be directed to your attorney. Review resources for legal advice.
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The moving party must request that the Magisterial District Judge recuse (excuse) himself/herself, and that the case be sent to another Magisterial District Judge. If the Magisterial District Judge agrees to recuse, then either:
If the Magisterial District Judge refuses to recuse, then the moving party must prepare a Motion (a written outline stating the reason for the change of venue) and Order to be presented to President Judge Katherine B. Emery at her Motions Court. Motions are heard every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, at 9:15 a.m. The moving party must give the opposing party three days' notice and a copy of the Motion and Order to be presented prior to appearing at Motions Court.
If the judge grants the change of venue, then the original signed Motion and Order should be filed in the Prothonotary's Office (civil case) or the Clerk of Court's Office (criminal case), with enough copies to be distributed to the following:
If the judge denies the change of venue, your case will be returned to the original Magisterial District Judge's office for disposition.
The Court Administrator's Office receives complaints against Magisterial District Judges, in written form. Please include your name, address, and telephone number in the letter, and forward same to:Patrick R. Grimm, Esq.District Court Administrator1 S Main StreetSuite 2004Washington, Pa 15301
Please note that the Court Administrator cannot change the decision of the Magisterial District Judge, and that a letter of complaint to the Court Administrator does not stop the appeal process of your case.In addition, you may submit your complaint to the Judicial Conduct Board of Pennsylvania. For more information on that process, please visit Judicial Conduct Board of Pennsylvania.
The Private Criminal Complaint form can be obtained at the Magisterial District Court in the area where the crime was committed.Unless the crime is a summary offense, the Magisterial District Court will forward the complaint to the District Attorney's Office for review and approval. When the District Attorney's Office returns an approved complaint to the Magisterial District Court, a hearing will be scheduled and notice mailed.If the District Attorney's Office does not approve the complaint, you can petition the Court of Common Pleas for a review of the decision (Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure 506(2)).
Constables are enlisted by the Magisterial District Judge to serve process in their office – they are not employees of the Magisterial District Judge, nor are they employees of the Court. Constables are elected officials, and their deputies are employed by them.Constables are certified by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. A listing of constables can also be found in the Clerk of Court's Office, located on the first floor of the Washington County Courthouse.