The Magisterial District Judges are part of the unified judicial system of the Pennsylvania court system and are governed by the Pennsylvania Rules of Court as promulgated by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. On a local level the 17 district courts within Chester County are under the supervision and direction of President Judge John L. Hall.

Each Magisterial District Judge is elected to a 6-year term of office and serves within their magisterial district. Magisterial District Judges hold hearings on the following:
  • Summary cases (both traffic and non-traffic related matters)
  • Civil and Landlord/Tenant cases not exceeding $12,000
  • Criminal cases
  • Preliminary Hearings on misdemeanor and felony cases

Additional Duties

  • Financial reporting including receipt and disbursement of funds to the county, state, local municipalities and school districts; in order to provide accurate case management and public awareness.

  • Presiding over hearings relative to Protection From Abuse (PFA) matters, issuing search warrants, setting bail, conducting marriages, holding preliminary arraignments both during office hours as well as during scheduled night duty sessions.
In addition, the Magisterial District Judges are assigned to a rotating schedule of Night Court. The Pennsylvania Rules of Court require that a Magisterial District Judge be available at all times after established business hours of the Court of Common Pleas . Therefore, a schedule exists which indicates the on duty Magisterial District Judge for nights, weekends and holidays.

District Courts & Administrative Office

The District Courts, as part of the unified judiciary of Pennsylvania, are linked together with the state administrative office, the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, through a statewide computer network. This computer network allows for the uniform entry of case processing information including names of the parties, criminal charges, fines and costs, payment information and civil judgments.