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Effective August 6, 2021, irrespective of vaccination status, the wearing of face masks is required for all court employees under the supervision and authority of the President Judge, or any individuals entering any courtroom or court facility under the supervision and authority of the President Judge, including all Magisterial District Court, the office of Court Administration, the Domestic Relations Building, the Juvenile Justice Center, and the offices of Adult Probation and Pretrial Services, pursuant to Administrative Order 2021-16.

Masks shall not be required for individuals who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition.

Further, irrespective of vaccination status, individuals who have been directed to quarantine, isolate, or self-monitor at home for the coronavirus by any doctor, hospital or health agency or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have flu-like symptoms are prohibited from entering any courtroom or court facility under the supervision and authority of the President Judge.

More information is available on our
Judicial Emergency Orders and COVID-19 Information page.

Criminal Trial Process

The criminal process was significantly altered during the latter portion of 2010 and 2011.The Court recognized that the majority of the 4,500 criminal cases entering the system were being resolved through non- trial dispositions. After examining the expenses associated with the case continuances and the limited relationship between summoning jurors and trial ready cases, the Court began to focus on the Arraignment / Pre-Trial Conference period as the earliest point a case could be reviewed for potential conclusion. The Court with the assistance of the District Attorney, Public defender and private defense counsel have established a record of resolving an average of eighty percent (80%) of the cases that are referred to the Court of Common Pleas. This has permitted early resolution of the less serious cases while permitting the remaining members of the Court to direct their attention to preparing the more difficult cases to trial.

In addition substantial changes were made to the Driving Under the Influence procedures, requiring all those arrested for DUI either apply for the ARD or ASP programs at the Arraignment/ Pre Trial process. Those requesting a trial are given a specific date to appear. The modification of the criminal process has improved the efficiency of dispositions, minimized county expense with respect to case processing and limited the number of citizens being called to serve on jury duty.

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