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Magisterial Court / Traffic Court - It's a joke in PA
#1
http://www.philadelinquency.com/?p=1634

(hint, the links are on my site... too many to reconnect them all here)


From my friends at Philly Law Blog comes the Chadwick Report, covering all the slime that lurks within Philadelphia’s most-hated court.

The Inky last weekend offered an eye-popping synopsis of what goes down on Spring Garden street.

In a nutshell–nearly the entire bench has been sucked into corruption revolving around ticket-fixing. Cliché in its own right, the rampancy of ticket-fixing is a barometer of how corrupt your local government may be.

In Philadelphia, fixing is so common that the practice itself is centralized and computerized.

Why is the dispensation of justice so horrible at Traffic Court? It’s primarily because the folks who serve on the bench are not required to practice law, or know anything about law, much less have any legal experience whatsoever.

Traffic Court is among a class of courts known minor courts. Traffic Courts in Pennsylvania who are part and parcel the same as Magisterial District Court judges. Magistrate courts are the most minor courts in the Pennsylvania judicial system and deal with petty offenses. In the counties outside Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, it’s usually a magistrate court that oversees traffic violations.

Magistrate court judges do not have to be lawyers. If a non-lawyer is elected as a magistrate judge, after being seated on the bench the judge must attend certification classes.

Wonderful people like Judge Singletary easily got his certification, the first judge in United States history to have a state supreme court reach for the words “judicial penis” when describing his behavior while on the job. It’s fairly clear that certification is merely just ceremony meant to keep only those who are dead or in a coma from dispensing justice.

Where do these idiots come from that sit on the bench?

That’s probably the million dollar question that very few Philadelphians know the answer to. In the primaries, anyone who is over 18 and can breathe oxygen can toss their name into a pool for the Philadelphia Democratic Primary and Republican Primary for traffic court.

The requirement to run for Traffic Court is just 1,000 signatures and Democrats or Republicans can nominate the same judge.

Once you can get through the filing process, the real election is random. Whoever gets listed at the top of the ballot on the voting machine will always win the most votes for Traffic Court judge. Philadelphians never know who any of the people are that are running in this dog house, so when lots are drawn to determine what order the judges are listed on the ballot, the judges who make it to the top of the list always receive the most votes.

Voters can only push so many buttons on the voting machine for the Traffic Court race, and the top winners in the race win whatever seats on the bench that are available.

Judge Singletary, who showed pictures of his “judicial penis” to a Traffic Court staff employee, won his seat on the bench merely by being listed first. Not withstanding that he had over $10,000 in fines and his driver’s license was revoked when he won election.

With a body of judges that are mainly political hacks and inexperienced do-nothings who are easily swayed by smarter pols asking traffic tickets for friends and family and political connections be expunged, do you think the way we elect our judges has something to do with it?

Luckily, serious traffic charges are not sent to Traffic Court, like DUIs. These cases go to Philadelphia Municipal Court, where the standards are a little bit higher to serve on the bench, like being an attorney with a Pennsylvania law license who has some semblance of jurisprudence.
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#2
I might change the title to "It's a Joke in Philly" since Philly isn't all of Pa. and in a lot of the state fixing is not going to happen.
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USAF (1976 -1986) NRA, GOA Anim_sniper2
"The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living." Dan Cofall
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#3
Lollerz

judicial penis

Lollerz

Brilliant!!
.
"We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."
- Benjamin Franklin
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Proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Oct 2012.
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#4
Traffic court is a joke. And staffed by the rudest people alive.
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#5
billamj;46389 Wrote:I might change the title to "It's a Joke in Philly" since Philly isn't all of Pa. and in a lot of the state fixing is not going to happen.


Really? we have a PA state supreme court justice who was put in the slammer. A female Republican. Her sister is also facing time, too.
http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news...es-636503/


Also the "Cash for Kids" scandal in Wilkes-Barre:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kids_for_cash_scandal
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#6
ArcticSplash;46399 Wrote:
billamj;46389 Wrote:I might change the title to "It's a Joke in Philly" since Philly isn't all of Pa. and in a lot of the state fixing is not going to happen.


Really? we have a PA state supreme court justice who was put in the slammer. A female Republican. Her sister is also facing time, too.
http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news...es-636503/


Also the "Cash for Kids" scandal in Wilkes-Barre:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kids_for_cash_scandal

Gee, and I thought the topic was Magisterial Court &/or Traffic Court (sorta like the title infers), not all the courts in the state. If that's the case then I wouldn't consider it a joke, I'd consider quite a bit of it to border on the absurd.
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USAF (1976 -1986) NRA, GOA Anim_sniper2
"The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living." Dan Cofall
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#7
There are good MDJ's and bad MDJ's, but I don't see how saying the entire system is a joke across the state. That's on par with saying that all cops are door chainsawing, dog shooting, OC hatin' pigs.
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#8
billamj;46401 Wrote:
ArcticSplash;46399 Wrote:Really? we have a PA state supreme court justice who was put in the slammer. A female Republican. Her sister is also facing time, too.
http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news...es-636503/


Also the "Cash for Kids" scandal in Wilkes-Barre:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kids_for_cash_scandal

Gee, and I thought the topic was Magisterial Court &/or Traffic Court (sorta like the title infers), not all the courts in the state. If that's the case then I wouldn't consider it a joke, I'd consider quite a bit of it to border on the absurd.

Magisterial District Courts do not exist in Philly, if the object of your posting on this thread is do nothing but denigrate your Commonwealth's largest city. We elect judges precisely the same way MDC's that operate in the "T" do.

My complaint is the way we put judges on the bench is severely flawed. We're putting people we have no idea who they are on benches to dispense justice to other Pennsylvanians. It takes a long time and usually some pretty egregious shit to hit the papers before the Penna Supremes come down and start removing idiots off the bench from up on high, or an FBI raid.

So yeah, the problem exists at all levels of our state courts, but the lowest rung of our court system is where most of the bozos are because the qualifications to serve is mainly that you aren't Terri Shaivo.

streaker69;46405 Wrote:There are good MDJ's and bad MDJ's, but I don't see how saying the entire system is a joke across the state. That's on par with saying that all cops are door chainsawing, dog shooting, OC hatin' pigs.

In the case of Philadelphia Traffic Court, it has turned out to be 100% of the entire bench. I would posit that the problem exists (not total complete absolute corruption as in Philly), but it's still pretty bad outside Phila. County.

One of Phila's Traffic Court judges mentioned in the Chadwick Report is a Senior judge who was also raided by the FBI was a MDJ borrowed from Bucks County to fill a vacancy.
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#9
The MDJ's are chosen by the local bar association for the convenience of their members. Appear before an MDJ against one of his cronies, without one of his cronies as your lawyer, be it in traffic or small claims, and you lose. He or she will ignore the law and rule against you. Pay one of his cronies more than the amount in dispute, and you'll win if the law is on your side. Oh, you can spend $10,000 to appeal a $1000 ruling, but the bar association bets you won't. When that judge (like Drupal in Doylestown) gets tired of the job and being "Your Honored," he'll pass it on to another crony, who'll line his wallet as a reward for his lining the next guy's.
gascolator, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Nov 2012.
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#10
(11-27-2012, 09:31 PM)gascolator Wrote: The MDJ's are chosen by the local bar association for the convenience of their members. Appear before an MDJ against one of his cronies, without one of his cronies as your lawyer, be it in traffic or small claims, and you lose. He or she will ignore the law and rule against you. Pay one of his cronies more than the amount in dispute, and you'll win if the law is on your side. Oh, you can spend $10,000 to appeal a $1000 ruling, but the bar association bets you won't. When that judge (like Drupal in Doylestown) gets tired of the job and being "Your Honored," he'll pass it on to another crony, who'll line his wallet as a reward for his lining the next guy's.

MDJ's are elected by the populace, not assigned by the Bar Association.

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steelcityk9cop, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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