Candidates Running for Office

November 7, 2017

Magisterial District Court, West Millcreek, PA


The Erie League of Women Voters was honored to hear from the candidates in the November 7th, 2017 election for West Millcreek District Justice—Laurie Mikielski and Les Fetterman.  Please take the time to learn their qualifications and how they plan to serve West Millcreek.  You can find information on candidate Mikielski at and Les Fetterman at . If you live in West Millcreek you owe it to yourself and your neighbors to be informed about both of these candidates and vote thoughtfully for the individual who you believe will do the best job for your community.

What is the Job? What are the qualifications?

Magisterial District Courts

The commonwealth consists of 67 counties. In every county except for Philadelphia County, there are magisterial district courts. These courts are inferior courts of limited jurisdiction. They handle landlord-tenant matters, small civil claims (cases involving amount in controversy up to $12,000), summary offenses, violations of municipal ordinances, and preliminary hearings and arraignments in greater misdemeanor and felony offenses pursuant to Pennsylvania's Rules of Criminal Procedure which go on to be tried in the courts of common pleas. In some counties, such as Chester County, magisterial district courts may issue emergency protection from abuseorders when the domestic relations branches of the courts of common pleas are closed.

Magisterial district courts divide up their jurisdiction by geographical location. Most such districts include several municipalities. Larger cities and municipalities may be divided seven of which are located within the City of Allentown.

Magisterial district judges do not have to be lawyers; however, those who are not lawyers are required to complete a certification course prior to serving. The magisterial district courts are supervised by the president judge of the court of common pleas of that judicial district.

Magisterial District Judges | Qualifications

Magisterial District Judges are elected by the citizens of the magisterial district in which they serve. The term of a District Judge is six years. In order to become a District Judge, individuals must possess the following qualifications:

-21 years of age
-Resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
-Resident of his/her magisterial district for a one-year period prior to election
-Certified by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts as successfully completing a rigorous training and education program administered
by the -Minor Judiciary Education Board


Attorney admitted to the Bar in Pennsylvania

Once elected, District Judges must complete an initial practicum course. Thereafter, every District Judge is required to attend and successfully complete thirty-two hours of continuing education each year.


VOTE in the November 7th General Election