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Magisterial District Judge Courts

Magisterial District Judges (MDJ) preside over MDJC in all counties but Philadelphia. They have authority to: 

  • conduct trials for criminal summary matters not involving acts that are considered delinquent 
  • conduct trials for civil claims where the amount does not exceed $8,000, in the following types of cases:
    • landlord-tenant actions
    • assumpsit actions unless they involve a contract where the title to real estate may be in question
    • trespass actions
    • fines and penalties by any government agency
  •  preside over preliminary arraignments and preliminary hearings
  • set and accept bail.  In cases involving murder of the first and second degree, which potentially carry a life sentence, there is no bail
    issue arrest warrants
  •  accept guilty pleas to the charge of Driving Under the Influence so long as:
    • it is a first offense,
    • no personal injury occurred to a third party other than the defendant’s immediate family,
    • property damage to any third party is less than $500 and
    • the defendant is not a juvenile
  • preside over non-jury trials involving all offenses under Title 34 (Game Commission Laws).