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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: January 10, 2013 05:35 PM
From: Senator Dominic Pileggi
To: All Senate members
Subject: Legislation to Eliminate the Philadelphia Traffic Court
I plan to introduce a two-bill package to eliminate the Philadelphia Traffic Court.

Recently, an investigative report commissioned by the state Supreme Court concluded that the Philadelphia Traffic Court has “two tracks of justice – one for the connected and another for the unwitting general public.” The 35-page report is available online as a PDF file at http://goo.gl/QZkIO

According to numerous media reports, the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Traffic Court offices and judges’ homes in 2011 and is conducting an ongoing criminal investigation.

Philadelphia currently has a total of 122 judges:
  • 7 Traffic Court judges (not required to be attorneys), each paid a salary of $91,052;
  • 25 Municipal Court judges, each paid $169,261; and
  • 90 Common Pleas Court judges, each paid $173,271.
No other county has a separate Traffic Court, and there is no objective evidence that the continued existence of the Philadelphia Traffic Court would serve the public interest. Whatever reason may have existed in the past for Philadelphia to have a separate Traffic Court no longer exists.

Document #1

Introduced as SB333

Description: The first bill in this package will amend the state constitution to eliminate the Philadelphia Traffic Court. The court is established in Article V, Section 1, of the constitution. My proposed constitutional amendment will eliminate references to the Philadelphia Traffic Court throughout Article V.

Document #2

Introduced as SB334

Description: The second bill in this package will amend the Judicial Code to transfer the responsibilities of the Philadelphia Traffic Court to the Philadelphia Municipal Court. This bill will be drafted so that its provisions can take effect whether or not the constitutional amendment is finally approved.