District Judge Michael Faulkner earns recertification
Judge Michael J. Faulkner, Magisterial District Court 31-3-02, Upper Macungie, has again been certified for service as a member of Pennsylvania’s Unified Judicial System after successful completion of continuing legal education course work.
Conducted by the Minor Judiciary Education Board and the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, the educational program for magisterial district judges is located in Harrisburg.
The week-long program is designed to ensure district judges remain current in a variety of legal topics and management techniques required to fairly adjudicate cases and effectively supervise a district court office.
Included in this year’s curriculum are updates on the Motor Vehicle Code, Setting Collateral Post-disposition — Default, Right to Counsel in Summary Cases, Rules of Criminal Procedure — Bail Forfeiture, Act 138 of 2016 Truancy Legislation, Legal Research, Civil Law Update — Co-Ops and Debt Collection, Homeowner’s Association Law and Condominium Law, Landlord and Tenant Update, Ethics, Gang Awareness, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Language Access, MDJS Reports, Criminal Law Update, MDJS Update, Dog Law and Animal Cruelty, Crash (accident) Reconstruction, Mental Health Update, Social Media and IT Security, Truancy Law, Depression: An Occupational Hazard of the Legal Profession, and Bail and Strangulation Law.
Continuing education course work is required by statute of each of the more than 500 Pennsylvania magisterial district judges, with approximately 50 attending one of 13 such classes during each academic year.
Magisterial district judges represent the “grass roots” level of Pennsylvania’s judicial system.
In counties other than Philadelphia, magisterial district judges have jurisdiction over summary, criminal and motor vehicle cases; landlord and tenant matters; and other civil actions where the amount claimed does not exceed $12,000.
Magisterial district judges may also accept guilty pleas in misdemeanor cases of the third degree under certain circumstances and they also have jurisdiction to issue arrest and search warrants and to hold arraignments and preliminary hearings in criminal cases.
Established by Constitution, the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts provides support to the Supreme Court in exercising its supervisory duties over each of the other state courts.
The Minor Judiciary Education Board was established by legislative act to administer the continuing legal education program for magisterial district judges, Philadelphia Municipal Court Traffic Division Hearing Officers and Philadelphia Arraignment Court Magistrates, formerly bail commissioners, as well as certifying courses for magisterial district judges, Philadelphia Municipal Court Traffic Division Hearing Officers, arraignment court magistrates and other initial jurisdiction court judges.