Our court, our judges

DON M. POWERS

Lock Haven

In response to the March 7, 2018, letter to the editor by Danielle Marr, the Clinton County Court of Common Pleas welcomes questions and comments from the community and its citizens, and would like to thank Ms. Marr for taking her responsibilities as a citizen seriously.

The court would like to clarify Senior Judge J. Michael Williamson’s current status.

Senior Judge Williamson retired as President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas at the end of 2012, having achieved the age of 70, which was the mandatory retirement age at that time.

The current mandatory retirement, as correctly reported by Ms. Marr, is 75 years of age.

However, Senior Judge Williamson, since the beginning of 2013, has been appointed by the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a Senior Judge with the authority to sit throughout the Commonwealth. The mandatory retirement for an appointed senior judge is the last day of the year in which the jurist attains the age of 78.

Senior Judge Williamson is therefore authorized to preside over any legal matters assigned to him until Dec. 31, 2020.

The Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC) assigns cases to senior judges at the request of the president judge of the county in which their services are needed. Senior judges in Clinton County primarily preside over matters in which the sitting judges have conflicts of interest. Senior Judges have no authority to pick which cases they hear.

I would like to point out that the county court system, as well as all of county government, belongs to you, the citizens of Clinton County. If you have questions relating to the functions of the court or any other segment of the government, we are here for you and will be more than happy to answer any questions. Feel free to call.

(Don M. Powers is administrator of the Clinton County Court of Common Pleas, 25TH Judicial District of Pennsylvania.)

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