The Court of Common Pleas - Trial Division is composed of seventy
commissioned judges. The judges in commission are supplemented by the
services of senior judges. The Division is divided into two sections -
Civil and Criminal. Forty-one commissioned judges are
assigned to the criminal programs and twenty-nine are assigned to
civil programs. There are approximately one-thousand employees in the
many separate departments throughout the Trial Division.
The Supervising Judge of the Civil Section is the Honorable Lisette Shirdan-Harris. Civil has jurisdiction over actions at law and equity along with appeals from Municipal Court and certain administrative agencies and boards. The Trial Division Civil has jurisdiction over civil claims involving amounts in excess of $10,000. The variety of civil actions that may be brought in the Trial Division Civil include Negligence, Contract and Equity Action.
The Supervising Judge of the Criminal Section is the Honorable Leon W. Tucker. Criminal has jurisdiction over all felony cases as well as appeals from Municipal Court for a trial de novo, including a right to a trial by jury. Among the types of cases that fall within the assignments of the Trial Division Criminal are homicide cases, capital PCRA cases and felony cases. The Probation Department and Pretrial Services are included in the Criminal Section of the Division.
Office of the Administrative Judge
COURT OF COMMON PLEAS - TRIAL DIVISION
Honorable Jacqueline F. Allen
The Trial Division is led by an Administrative Judge, who is appointed by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and serves at the pleasure of the Supreme Court. On January 27, 2016, Judge Jacqueline F. Allen was appointed Administrative Judge. As Administrative Judge, she is the approving authority for all administrative matters associated with the Trial Division.
The duties of the Administrative Judge of the Trial Division include but are not limited to:
Assignment of judges within the Trial Division, along with designation and use of all rooms assigned to the Division for judicial use, excepting chambers for each judge;
Oversight of case management practices in both the civil and criminal sections;
Personnel administration within the Trial Division;
Preparation and analysis of periodic reports of facts and statistics concerning the disposition of cases;
Coordination of the use of technology to expedite the timely disposition of cases;