Chester County Magisterial District Courts

There is a chance that defendants who've acquired criminal charges in Chester County will get them adjudicated in a magisterial district court. There are 17 magisterial courts scattered throughout Chester County. In each courtroom presides an elected district judge.

Magisterial district courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. In Chester County, these courts are responsible for deciding summary offenses - the least severe grade of criminal offenses in Pennsylvania. Cases involving crimes like disorderly conduct, loitering, harassment, and low-level retail theft (shoplifting), for example, will be held before a magisterial district court.

Aside from criminal offenses, Chester County magisterial district courts also handle small civil actions and tenant/landlord disputes.

The following table lists the magisterial district courts that are located in Chester County:

Court

Judge

City

Address

Contact

15-1-01

Bret Binder

West Chester

201 West Market Street

Suite 1307

610-431-4812

Fax: 610-431-4018

15-1-02

Thomas Tartaglio

West Chester

1572 Paoli Pike

610-430-1966

Fax: 610-430-8641

15-1-03

Gregory Hines

Coatesville

One City Hall Place

Suite 200

610-384-3159

Fax: 610-384-5163

15-1-04

Marian T. Vito

West Chester

21 West Market Street

Suite 100

610-344-6622

Fax: 610-429-4644

15-1-05

Grover E. Koon

Coatesville

615 Sands Court

610-380-3325

Fax: 610-380-4774

15-2-01

VACANT

Phoenixville

347 Bridge Street

610-935-1503

Fax: 610-935-7427

15-2-03

William Kraut

West Chester

601 Westtown Road

Suite 110

610-436-5757

Fax: 610-431-5755

15-2-07

Lori Donatelli

Exton

75 East Uwchlan Avenue

Suite 110

610-524-7456

Fax: 610-524-6341

15-3-01

John Hipple

Pottstown

1101 Ridge Road

Suite B

610-469-1910

Fax: 610-469-1913

15-3-04

Albert Lacocca

Kennett Square

916 West Cypress Street

610-444-6330

Fax: 610-444-6429

15-3-05

Scott A. Massey

Oxford

305 South Third Street

610-932-4305

Fax: 610-932-7649

15-3-06

Michael J. Cabry

Honey Brook

4824 Horseshoe Pike

610-273-3736

Fax: 610-273-4392

15-3-07

Nancy A. Gill

Parkesburg

315 First Avenue

Building 3

610-857-5547

Fax: 610-857-5841

15-4-01

Analisa Sondergaard

Wayne

950 West Valley Road

Suite 3100

610-971-1680

Fax: 610-971-1685

15-4-02

Jeffrey Valocchi

Downingtown

213 Boot Road

610-269-5250

Fax: 610-269-5017

15-4-03

John R. Bailey

Exton

748 Springdale Drive

Suite 110

610-594-7728

Fax: 610-594-7896

15-4-04

Matthew Seavey

Kennett Square

914 West Cypress Street

610-444-6338

Fax: 610-444-4368

For more information about the county's magisterial district courts and their whereabouts, visit the county website.

The Role Of An Attorney

Magisterial district courts don't solely decide upon summary offenses in Chester County. Preliminary hearings and sometimes arraignments are held before these courts, becoming the conception point of the vast majority of criminal cases. These are the initial stages of criminal procedures, and critically influence the outcome of defendant cases. This is why the presence of an attorney throughout the entire process is vital.

preliminary hearing is the initial and one of the most important steps in the criminal prosecution process. It will be held at any of the magisterial district court locations listed above, depending on your location and the court's jurisdiction. A preliminary hearing is scheduled once a defendant receives notice of it through a formal document in the mail. This hearing is intended to achieve one ultimate goal: to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence to put a defendant on trial. Defendants are usually sent a notice within 10 days of an arrest. Even though it may be difficult to retain an attorney it such short notice, it would pay off to do so. A legal professional can maximize your chances of a favorable outcome at this stage in the process.

Following the preliminary hearing is an arraignment. It will be scheduled for 30 to 60 days after the hearing in a Chester County magisterial district court. At an arraignment, several events will take place. The court will detail a defendant's charges and any possible additional charges, an amount for bail will be set, and a defendant and their representation will be asked to enter a plea. A plea is one of the single most important factors in how your case will play out. Only an experienced attorney will be able to decide which course of action is best for your case.

In the criminal prosecution process, the end goal for every defendant is to avoid the creation of a criminal record or to avoid adding any more charges and/or a conviction to their existing record. Crime on a person's criminal record comes with collateral consequences that will make post-conviction life increasingly difficult. Landing a job, getting government assistance, gaining residency, and flexing certain rights is much more difficult, if not impossible with a criminal record.

This is why it's important for you to consider retaining a Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An experienced legal professional will know the ins and outs of the magisterial district system and will be able to bring valuable insight into your case. Familiarity with the courts and major players in the court system has its perks, as an attorney has the experience and skill to properly assess the chances of reducing your charges or even dismissing your case.

Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorney

If you've been arrested and charged with a criminal offense in Chester County, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your options. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped numerous clients with misdemeanor and felony charges get their sentence reduced, and even get their charges dismissed. For more about his representation or case evaluation, contact him online or by phone at (215) 535-5353 today.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has nearly a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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