The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania’s Western District orders emergency operational amendments to the Fifth Judicial District on January 26, 2021

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania’s Western District includes Allegheny County, which is in the Fifth Judicial District. Within the Fifth Judicial District, the Northside has two Magisterial Districts:

Pittsburgh Wards 26 & 27, Magisterial District 05-2-42 Honorable Robert P. Ravenstahl , Jr.
3880 Perrysville Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15214

Pittsburgh Wards 21, 22, 23, 24 & 25, Magisterial District 05-2-40 Honorable Derwin Rushing
421 East Ohio Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Below is a summary of the order for Northside Magistrate Courts:

  • Per the order, Magisterial District Courts, are to temporarily modify their operations from February 1 – 26, 2021. This includes Summary Non-Traffic/Traffic proceedings to be conducted by Advanced Communications Technology (ACT) and proceed remotely where all parties are able to. If all parties are unable to, the proceeds will be postponed.
  • Landlord-Tenant proceedings based only on breach of lease may proceed as scheduled, in person, during February 1-26, 2021. All COVID protocols will be strictly followed and parties will have the option to appear remotely. Landlord-Tenant proceedings based only on non-payment of rent or end of lease scheduled during February 1-26, 2021 will be postponed.
  • Civil proceedings scheduled during February 1-26, 2021 where defendant has notified the Court an intention to defend the case, will be postponed. If the defendant has not notified the Court an intention to defend the case, the case will remain on the docket. In these cases, there are several outcomes that rely on the defendant notifying before, or appearing at, the hearing date. Civil proceedings can conduct the hearing using ACT remotely if all parties agree.
  • Preliminary hearings for non-incarcerated individuals with a criminal complaint graded as a felony will proceed as schedule, with permissions for all participants to to appear either by ACT or in person.
  • Preliminary hearings for non-incarcerated individuals with a criminal complaint, that is not graded as a felony, scheduled from February 1-26, 2021 will be postponed.
  • Preliminary hearings for incarcerated individuals shall proceed as schedule, with incarcerated participants appearing by ACT, and all other participants appearing either by ACT or in person.
  • Emergency PFA petitions may appear in person to present their petitions.
  • Preliminary Arraignments will proceed.

Magisterial District Courts are open to the public for case filings, payments and case processing.

The court’s temporary Emergency Operational order also impacts the Court of Common Pleas and Pittsburgh Municipal Court.

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