Magisterial District Courts

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Magisterial District Courts are the first level of Pennsylvania's Unified Judicial System. They are presided over by Magisterial District Judges (MDJs), who are elected by the voters in each respective district. There are 19 magisterial districts in York County. 

Civil Jurisdiction

The Jurisdiction of Magisterial District Judges (MDJs) includes suits involving as much as $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 judgments. Their decisions are, of course, subject to appeal to the Court of Common Pleas. They have additional civil jurisdiction over such matters as landlord and tenant cases.

Criminal Jurisdiction

Almost all criminal cases (felonies and misdemeanors) begin in the Magisterial District Courts, which issue search warrants, arrest warrants and summonses.

Magisterial District Judges (MDJs) set bail, make referrals to diversionary programs and preside over preliminary hearings. It is during preliminary hearings where MDJs decide if there is enough information to forward a case to the York County Court of Common Pleas for trial.

MDJs can accept guilty pleas and impose sentence for certain misdemeanors. They also preside over the following summary charges: minor violations under the crimes code, most traffic violations, violations of city, borough and township ordinances and violations of the fish, game and dog laws. MDJs in summary cases function as both judge and jury. They hear evidence, make a ruling and impose sentence if there is a conviction.

Rulings by MDJs are subject to appeal to the York County Court of Common Pleas. 


Magisterial District Courts

District Judge
19-1-01 Linda L. Williams
19-1-02 James H. Morgan
19-1-03 Dwayne A. Dubs
19-1-04 Ronald J. Haskell, Jr.
19-1-05 Joel N. Toluba
19-2-01 Barry L. Bloss, Jr.
19-2-02 Scott E. Laird
19-2-03 Keith L. Albright
19-2-04 Jeffrey L. Oberdorf
19-2-05 Jennifer J.P. Clancy
19-3-01 John H. Fishel
19-3-03 Laura S. Manifold
19-3-04 Lindy L. Sweeney
19-3-05 Jeffrey A. Sneeringer
19-3-06 Thomas J. Reilly
19-3-07 David C. Eshbach
19-3-09 Scott J. Gross
19-3-10 Richard T. Thomas
19-3-11 Robert A. Eckenrode