About Us

About the Special Court Judges Association of Pennsylvania

The Special Court Judges Association of Pennsylvania was incorporated on May 17, 1976 and is commonly referred to as the SCJAP.

The purpose of the organization is to foster, promote and advance, without becoming involved in partisan politics of any kind, the study and application of the laws pertaining to, administered by and affecting Special Court Judges, the proper observance of judicial ethics and moral obligations by and among such offices and members, the dissemination of legal and other information for the better performance of the duties of such offices, and for the social purposes as provided in the non-profit corporation.

Membership consists of Magisterial District Judges, Senior Magisterial District Judges, Philadelphia Municipal Court Judges, Senior Municipal Court Judges, Retired Magisterial District Judges and Retired Municipal Court Judges.

The Special Court Judges Association of Pennsylvania is divided into twelve (12) districts composed of the following:

District No. 1

Erie County
Crawford County
Forest County
Mercer County
Vanango County
Warren County

District No. 2

Cameron County
Centre County
Clearfield County
Clinton County
Elk County
McKean County
Mifflin County
Potter County

District No. 3

Bradford County
Columbia County
Lycoming County
Montour County
Northumberland County
Snyder County
Sullivan County
Tioga County
Union County

District No. 4

Lackawanna County
Luzerne County
Pike County
Susquehanna County
Wayne County
Wyoming County

District No. 5

Armstrong County
Beaver County
Butler County
Clarion County
Indiana County
Jefferson County
Lawrence County

District No. 6

Allegheny County

District No. 7

Fayette County
Green County
Washington County
Westmoreland County

District No. 8

Blair County
Bedford County
Cambria County
Fulton County
Huntingdon County
Somerset County

District No. 9

Adams County
Cumberland County
Dauphin County
Franklin County
Juniata County
Lancaster County
Lebanon County
Perry County
York County

District No. 10

Berks County
Carbon County
Lehigh County
Monroe County
Northampton County
Schuykill County

District No. 11

Chester County
Delaware County
Philadelphia County

District No. 12

Bucks County
Montgomery County

Pursuant to the authority set forth in 42 Pa.C.S.A, § 1728, the Special Court Judges Association of Pennsylvania (“SCJAP”) has been designated by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania as the association that is most broadly representative of the Magisterial District Judges of this Commonwealth. The SCJAP is also being designated as the association that is most broadly representative of the judges of the Philadelphia Municipal Court as to matters that do not fall within those judges’ representation by the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges.


Magisterial District Judges (MDJs)

Special Court Judges in Pennsylvania

  • 503 Magisterial District Judges (MDJs)
  • 106 Senior Magisterial District Judges
  • 27 Philadelphia Municipal Court Judges (PMCJs)
  • 4 Senior Philadelphia Municipal Court Judges
  • MDJs receive a total of 19,040 hours of Continuing Legal Education Annually
  • Phila MCJs receive a total of 372 hours of Continuing Legal Education Annually



Located Across PA

  • Population of 12.8 Million People
  • 67 Counties
  • 2,561 Municipalities
  • 1,546 Townships
  • 958 Boroughs
  • 56 Cities


Approximate Annual Case Filings

For PA Magisterial District Judges

  • 2,800,000 New Case Filings
  • 207,000 Criminal Cases
  • 130,000 Civil Cases
  • 97,000 Landlord/Tenant Cases
  • 1,570,000 Traffic Cases
  • 238,000 Non-Traffic Cases
  • 7,000 Emergency PFAs



Magisterial Judges in PA collect annually

  • $180 Million Disbursed to State
  • $44 Million Disbursed to Counties
  • $34 Million Disbursed to Local Municipalities
  • $4 Million Disbursed to Victims for Restitution
  • $870,000 Credit for Community Service

Current Officers

2023-2024 Executive Committee

SCJAP Past Presidents

2022 – 2023William J. Kissner
2021 – 2022Susan Mankamyer
2020 – 2021Daniel E. Baranoski
2019 – 2020Michael J. Defino, Jr.
2018 – 2019Michael J. Cabry, III
2017 – 2018John H. Fishel
2016 – 2017Suzanne C. Mack
2015 – 2016Joseph D. Homanko, Sr.
2014 – 2015Thomas G. Miller
2013 – 2014Frank Peranteau, Sr.
2012 – 2013Joseph S. Lindsey
2011 – 2012Carmine W. Prestia, Jr.
2010 – 2011Mark A. Bruno
2009 – 2010Donna R. Butler
2008 – 2009Isaac H. Stoltzfus

2007 – 2008Fred A. Pierantoni, III
2006 – 2007Richard G. King
2005 – 2006James K. Reiley
2004 – 2005Martin R. Kane
2003 – 2004Richard M. Cappelli
2002 – 2003Jay H. Weller
2001 – 2002M. Kay Dubree
2000 – 2001Edward M. Lewis
1999 – 2000Samuel J. Magaro
1998 – 1999Linda M. Baumunk
1997 – 1998Charles A. Clement, Jr.
1996 – 1997Catherine Hummel Fried
1995 – 1996Daniel George
1994 – 1995Dennis R. Joyce
1993 – 1994Mary Jane Fuller

1992 – 1993Sherwood Grigg
1991 – 1992C. Roger McRae
1990 – 1991John T. Sachaezenski
1989 – 1990Kevin R. Dwyer
1987 – 1989Andrew Barilla, Jr.
1985 – 1987John T. Jeffers
1983 – 1985James Russo
1981 – 1983Anthony Truscello
1980 – 1981Harry Randall
1979 – 1980Richard Reeser
1977 – 1979Bernard J. Regan
1975 – 1977Joseph J. Maura
1974 – 1975Charles J. Francisus
1973 – 1974Ralph Breneiser
1972 – 1973John R. Blackman
1972Robert Keller


of the Special Court Judges Association of Pennsylvania


A new constitution is adopted in Pennsylvania that established new courts, the Magisterial District Courts, as part of the Unified Judicial System.


The Magistrates Association and the District Justice of the Peace Association of Pennsylvania merged and united as the Pennsylvania Association of Courts of Initial Jurisdiction.


Name changed to the Association to the Special Court Judges Association of Pennsylvania (SCJAP).


The SCJAP adopted Bylaw amendments which formed the foundation of the Association.


The SCJAP secured membership in the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union for the Special Court Judges.


Modernized the magisterial district courts with the development and implementation of the statewide computer system.


Accomplished the goal of equalizing pay for all district justices and secured a cost of living allowance for salaries.


The Association launched its website for members.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Association acted as a source of information on many of the aspects of the pandemic that affected court operations.


The SCJAP launched a new website with various information about the SCJAP and the minor judiciary accessible to the public.