Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Issues Order Declaring Judicial Emergency in Dauphin County

News Article

June 30, 2024

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania today issued an order declaring a judicial emergency for the Twelfth Judicial District due to the unprecedented leadership void in the Office of the Clerk of Courts due to sudden vacancies which occurred on Friday, June 28, 2024.

“While the clerk is an independently elected official, the efficient and effective operation of the office is critical to ensuring that the courts remain accessible to all court users, and that the essential recordkeeping function of that office is properly and continuously performed in support of the judiciary and the timely administration of justice,” said Chief Justice Todd.

“While Dauphin County President Judge Scott Evans has taken appropriate and necessary steps to bring consistency and stability to the office, Friday’s abrupt departure of the Clerk of Courts and her two deputies necessitated swift action by the Supreme Court.”

By Order of the Court, the President Judge is directed to temporarily appoint an acting Clerk of Court to ensure that the duties assigned to the Office of the Clerk of Courts of Dauphin County are performed continuously, until such time as the executive branch appoints a replacement for the Clerk of Courts to remediate the leadership void in that county office.

The Order requires the President Judge to certify that an orderly transition of the leadership of the Office of the Clerk of Courts to the executive branch appointee has been accomplished and that the necessary support for the judiciary and the proper and timely administration of justice can be maintained.

The Chief Justice noted that issuance of an Order by the Court will ensure that the President Judge takes immediate action to minimize any disruption to judicial operations and will bolster public confidence in access to justice and criminal recordkeeping in Dauphin County.

Any objections to the Order may be submitted to the Court on the specified docket within ten days after entry, with service to the President Judge.

The Court’s Order is effective immediately.

Established in 1722, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is the oldest appellate court in the country and has played an important role in the history of the Commonwealth. As the state’s highest court, the seven justices make the final decisions interpreting Pennsylvania’s laws and Constitution, have full administrative authority over Pennsylvania’s judicial system and hear cases involving issues of immediate public importance arising in any court in the Commonwealth.




Media contact: Stacey Witalec 


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