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05/20/2024 11:02 AM
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: February 6, 2024 03:59 PM
From: Representative Greg Scott
To: All House members
Subject: Modernizing Title 42 for our Special Court Judges
In the very near future, I will be introducing legislation that will amend Title 42, § 3532 in order to increase the annual funding Special Court Judges receive through the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC). The Special Court Judges Association of Pennsylvania (SCJAP), recognized by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania under Title 42 § 1728, stands as the most comprehensive association representing Magisterial District Judges and Philadelphia Municipal Court Judges.
Currently, the statutory annual registration fee is $200 per judge. This level was set in 1998 and has not changed in 26 years, while inflation has ballooned at a cumulative rate of 76.98%, while external expenses continue to rise. To combat these externalities and to address the dwindling number of judges, my proposed legislation would raise the AOPC fee per judge from $200 to $750.
According to the Special Court Judges Association of Pennsylvania, this administrative fee is implemented to cover a Judge’s travel, their participation in quarterly conferences, ethics trainings, ethics opinions, educational symposiums, technology workshops, safety trainings, and more. In the modern world, $200 is simply inadequate to properly cover these expenses.
This minor increase would give our Magisterial District & Municipal Court Judges more resources to function at their highest capacity and stay agile in an ever-changing judicial world. Investing in our judges now, giving them the tools to remain current and successful, will not only save the Commonwealth money in the long run: it’s the right thing to do.
Our Special Court Judges are on the front lines of our judicial system. A Magisterial District Judge is the first judge an offender must stand before in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This is a position we should not take for granted; and we must supply them the appropriate resources in order to keep our judges safe, their technology and administrative functions up-to-date, and their organization properly-funded.
Please join me in supporting this legislation which will help bring this long overdue change to our judicial system.