Magisterial District Courts
Almost all criminal cases (felonies and misdemeanors) begin in the Magisterial District Courts, which issue search warrants, arrest warrants, and summonses.
MDJs set bail, preside over preliminary arraignments, and preliminary hearings. It is during preliminary hearings where MDJs decide if there is enough information to forward a case to the Clarion County Court of Common Pleas for trial. MDJs can accept guilty pleas and impose sentence for certain misdemeanors.
MDJs also preside over summary trials for minor violations under the crimes code, traffic violations, violations of borough, city, and township ordinances, violations of game law, fish, and dog laws. Magisterial District Judges also handle emergency Protection from Abuse orders and perform weddings.
The jurisdiction of Magisterial District Judges (MDJs) cover suits involving up to $12,000 in civil matters, such as suits for breach of contract and actions of trespass, in which matters they have the authority to hear the cases and render judgements. MDJs also have jurisdiction over landlord and tenant cases.
All rulings by Magisterial District Judges are subject to appeal to the Clarion County Court of Common Pleas.
- Temporary Assignments of Magisterial District Judges to Cover Matters Arising in District Court 18-3-01
- Reestablishment of the Magisterial Districts within the 18th Judicial District of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
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To make court ordered payments, the PAePay option allows the public to securely pay fines, costs, and restitution to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Common Pleas and Magisterial District courts.
PAePay: Fines, Costs & Restitution