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FIFTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA ‘COUNTY OF ALLEGHENY ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE 437 GRANT STREET 300 FRIOK BUILDING PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA. 15210-6000 (612) 350-5410 FAX (412) 350-5429 RAYMOND L. BLLOTTE Ent Aooness District Court Administrator ‘ay.bilote@courtalegheny For Immediate Release January 10, 2011 For more information contact: Raymond L. Billotte District Court Administrator 5" Judicial District Announces District Court Reestablishment Plan Pittsburgh, PA - Fifth Judicial District President Judge Donna Jo McDaniel today announces her plan for the elimination of three Magisterial District Court offices in Allegheny County. Facing a budget reduction for the state's judiciary, Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille called for a ten percent statewide reduction in Magisterial District Courts. Beginning in the Fall of 2010, President Judge MeDaniel convened a group of local Magisterial District Judges and court administration officials to asses the feasibility of eliminating district courts where the incumbent judges are leaving office at the end of 2011 due to mandatory or voluntary retirement. Ina petition that will be forwarded to the State’s Supreme Court, President Judge McDaniel will ask for Court approval to eliminate the following district courts, effective January 2, 2012: District Court 05-2-09, Hon. Ross C. Cioppa District Court 05-2-35, Hon. Nathan N. Firestone District Court 05-2-46, Hon. Regis C. Welsh, Jr. “This was a very difficult decision,” noted President Judge McDaniel. “As President Judge, my primary responsibility is to ensure the local judiciary is accessible to all citizens of Allegheny County. 1 ‘am confident that our plan for reestablishment will meet this obligation while supporting the Chief Justice’s request and maintain our ability to provide effective and efficient judicial services in our communities.” Additionally, Judge McDaniel will seek to reestablish the boundary and jurisdiction of fourteen district courts to accommodate the planned reduction, facilitate caseload equity among the courts, and address access to courts and contiguous boundary issues. A complete summary of the President Judge’s plan is attached. “Our ability to absorb the loss of three district courts is a credit to the commitment and professionalism of our Magisterial District Judges and their staff,” stated President Judge McDaniel. “T ‘am cognizant this action will cause caseloads of the affected district courts to increase, but remain confident these hardworking judges will continue to provide high quality judicial services.” If approved by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the number of district courts in Allegheny County will be reduced to 45 on January 2, 2012, down from 55 district courts in 2000.