Court Of Common Pleas

 

22nd Judicial District Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Honorable Raymond L. Hamill, President Judge, 

Elected judge November 2007 to a ten year term. A native of Glenside, Pennsylvania and a graduate of Dickinson College and University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1975. Moved to Honesdale in 1975 accepting a position with Northern Pennsylvania Legal Services. Private practive from 1978 to 1984. Elected District Attorney 1984, re-elected 1988. Private practice from 1992 to judicial election of 2007.

Honorable Robert J. Conway, Senior Judge 

President Judge of Wayne County 1980-2007. Wayne County District Attorney 1972-76. Graduate of University of Scranton and Brooklyn Law School. Has served as senior judge since his retirement in 2007.

 

22nd Judicial District Mission Statement

The Mission of the Court of Common Pleas is to provide a fair, impartial, accessible and open judicial forum for the efficient resolution of Criminal, Civil, Family, Juvenile and Orphan Court matters. The Court is committed to:

* Provide quality service that continuously improves, that exceeds public expectations, and that ensures that all are treated with courtesy and respect.
*
Earn the respect and confidence of an informed public to enhance public confidence in the Court systems.
* Enhance the potential of every person in our organization to contribute to the administration of justice through participation and cooperation, training and technology.
* Provide equal access to a fair and effective system of justice for all without excess cost, inconvenience or delay, with sensitivity to an increasingly diverse society.
* Maintain the independence of the judiciary while strengthening relations with the public, the Bar and the other branches of government.
* To continually monitor and ensure all employees of the Court of Common Pleas facilitate the hearing and processing of all cases within the Court's jurisdiction and deal fairly, courteously and patiently with all with whom they come into contact, without regard for age, gender, natural origin, disability or political or social standing.

 

 


 COURT ADMINISTRATION

Provides administrative Services to the Courts including: Calendar management, scheduling, human resources management; jury management, budgeting and finance, community relations and public information.

Staff:

Linus H. Myers, Court Administrator,
925 Court Street, Honesdale, Pa. 18431
Phone: 570-253-5970 ex. 2005
lmyers@co.wayne.pa.us

Karen Vinton, Deputy Court Administrator Phone: 570-253-5970 Ex. 2020 kvinton@co.wayne.pa.us
Wendy M. D'Agostino , Judicial Secretary/Chief Clerk Phone: 570-253-5970 Ex. 2000
Nicole A. Hendrix, Esq. Law Clerk/Juvenile Master
nhendrix@co.wayne.pa.us
Ashley M. Adams, Esq. Law Clerk aadams@co.ayne.pa.us
Donna Sledzinski, Court Reporter/Monitor
Lorraine Davis, Court Reporter/Monitor
Susan Rooney, Court Reporter/Monitor
Karen Johnson,Court Crier 


 

Contact Information-Court Department Directors

Domestic Relations: (570) 251-9827      Susan Ackley, Director 
Adult Probation Department: (570) 253-5970 ext. 4120     James Chapman, Director
Juvenile Probation (570) 253-5970 Ex.      Sandy A. Fofi, Director
Court Administrator: (570) 253-5970 ext. 2005
Jury Commissioners: (570) 253-5970 Ex. 2040

Magisterial District Judges-

Please note -New District Alignments Effective January 1, 2014

Authorized to preside over civil matters involving monetary disputes of up to $12,000 and criminal matters that carry possible punishments of up to one year imprisonment. Preside over traffic court and other non-traffic summary offenses, landlord tenant disputes. Conduct preliminary arraignments, set bail, and preliminary hearings. Magisterial district judges need not be attorneys but must successfully pass a course of instruction and be certified by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. MDJ's are elected to a term of six (6) years.

Hon. Bonnie L. Carney Dist # 22-03-1: 94 Main Avenue, Hawley, Pa. 18428--Phone: (570)-226-4981. Jurisdiction includes Hawley Borough; Dreher, Lehigh, Palmyra, Paupack, Lake, Salem and Sterling Townships. Maintains a monthly sateliite office in Lehigh and Salem Township buildings


Hon. Ted Mikulak Dist #22-03-2: Wayne County Courthouse, 925 Court Street, Honesdale, Pa. 18431-Phone:(570)-253-4560. Jurisdiction includes Honesdale, Waymart and Prompton Boroughs; Canaan, South Canaan, Cherry Ridge, and Texas Townships. Maintains a satelitte office in Waymart Borough building.

Hon. Ronald J. Edwards Dist. # 22-03-4: 1065 Creamton Drive, Honesdale, Pa. 18431 Phone:(570) 448-2061. Jurisdiction includes Starrucca Borough; Bethany Borough; Dyberry, Clinton, Berlin,Buckingham, Damascus, Lebanon, Manchester, Oregon, Mount Pleasant, Preston and Scott Townships. Maintains weekly satelitte office in Damascus Township building.

Directions To Wayne County Courthouse

From Philadelphia-NE Extension to Wyoming Valley Exit; Rt. 81 No. to Rt.6 (Robert Casey Highway); Rt. 6 East into Honesdale; Rt. at light; left on 10th Street. View Map

Courtroom Locations:

Courtroom No. 2-Hon. Raymond L. Hamill Chambers-4th Floor-Courthouse Annex
Main Courtroom-Senior Judge Robert J. Conway Chambers-3rd Flood-Original Courthouse
Arbitration Room-Master Hearings-4th Floor, Courthouse Annex
Magisterial District Court-Hon. Ted Mikulak- 1st Floor-Original Courthouse


WEBSITE LINKS

Family & Civil Court Forms

 Court Policy & Procedures

 


 JURY SERVICE

Next Trial Term – Jury Selection: Monday, September 15, 2014. Report to Main Courtroom 9:00 a.m., Wayne County Courthouse, Honesdale, Pennsylvania.

     No excusals can be approved by Court staff or Jury Commissioners for reasons of hardships (i.e.-lack of child care, employment concerns etc.) Excusals can only be made for statutory reasons-pre-paid vacations, medical reasons, full time college student or military service- these requests for excusal must be accompanied by documented proof (i.e.-doctor's excuse-must be specific; airline reservations; proof of enrollment or military deployment).

     Hardship recusal requests must be determined by the Court Summoned jurors-please read all information sent to you; fill out the questionnaire and return to the jury commissioners; any medical excuse requests MUST include note from doctor indicating your physical inability to serve. Active military, pre-paid vacations and enrolled college students will be excused. Correctional Officer employment is NOT an automatic excuse from service. Jurors must be 18 years of age, a resident of Wayne County and must be able to speak, read and understand the English language.

Trial Terms

Jury Trials are scheduled alternate months beginning January, March, May, July, September and November unless that Monday is a holiday. The trial term continues two weeks or until all trials are completed.

Jury Selection

Jury Selection takes place the first day of the Trial Term in the Main Courtroom of the original Courthouse. All juries for the trial term are selected that day. Jurors are provided with information advising them of the scheduled trial and information is updated daily via taped phone instructions after 4:30 p.m. Questions regarding jury duty may be directed to Jury Commissioners Judy Romich or Patricia Biondo on Wednesday mornings at 253-5970 ex.2040 or with the Court Administrator 253-0101. To qualify as a juror you must be 18 years old, a United States citizen, a resident of Wayne County and be able to read, speak and understand English.

Juror Brochure

Juror Questionnaire


COURT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Americans With Disabilities Act

The Court of Common Pleas is required to comply with the American with Disabilities Act of 1990. For information about accessible facilities and reasonable accomodations available to disabled individuals having business before the Court, contact the Court Administrator at (570) 253-0101. All arrangements must be made seventy-two (72) hours prior to any hearing or business befor the Court.

Americans with Disabilities Act Policy

Request for Accomodation Form

Americans with Disabilities Act Grievance Procedure

Americans with Disabilities Act Grievance Report Form

Motions & Petitions

Heard each Tuesday and Thursday at 9:00 a.m. Parties should register with the Tipstaff. Motions requiring Court scheduling dates may be presented directly to the Court Administrator for assignment of dates. Motions for Special Relief or emergency preliminary injunction may be presented as the situation dictates and availability of the Court. Courtesy copies need not be sent to the Court. All filings shall be made to the Prothonotary/Clerk of Court's Office. Parties should file an entry of appearance to insure proper notification of hearings.

FILING PROCESS/FEES:

All actions shall be filed in the Office of the Prothonotary, 2nd Fl., Courthouse Annex, 925 Court Street, Honesdale, Pa. 18431. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A copy of any action shall be forwarded to any and all opposing party(ies). A copy of any action requiring the scheduling of a hearing, shall be forwarded to Office of Court Administrator, 4th Floor, Courthouse Annex, 925 Court Street, Honesdale, Pa. 18431 

Filing Fees (As of 8/1/14-check with Prothonotary link for updates): Civil Action-$103.50/Custody Complaint-$110.50/Custody Modification-$50.00/Custody Contempt-$25.00/Divorce Complaint-$113.40 each additional count-$28.50. For a full listing of fees please follow link to Prothonotary.

Courtroom Protocol

Regular Court sessions and trials are held in Courtroom No.2 located on the 4th Floor of the Courthouse Annex. Parties are expected to speak, dress and act professionally at all times. Cell phones may not be operated in the Courtroom. Video and audio recording devices, of any kind, are prohibited from the Courtroom. Courtrooms have easels and audio-visual equipment available (DVD/video tape equipment).

Transcripts

Counsel requesting transcripts should call Donna Sledzinski 253-5970 ex. 2030 or Lorraine Davis ex.2035 for information on cost estimates, timing and payment procedures. CD's or audio reproductions of proceedings are available at a discounted rate. Public requests of transcripts should have an expectation of a minimum of thirty (30) days. The production of transcripts are prioritized by appellate needs, common pleas needs, counsel requests, private requests.

Arguments

Oral arguments are scheduled by the Prothonotary's Office and a briefing schedule issued to the parties. Arguments on motions for preliminary objections, exceptions to Master Reports, summary judgment, judgment on the pleadings and post trial motions are generally scheduled for the Court's Return Day, the first Wednesday of each month. Brief of the moving party is due ten (10) days prior to the argument date and brief of the responding party is due five (5) days prior to the argument date.Failure to file timely brief could result in default granting or denial of motion. Oral arguments may not be conducted by phone. Copies of briefs should be forwarded electronically, either in Word or .pdf format to nhendrix@co.wayne.pa.us

Continuances

Must be presented in form of Motion for Continuance and presented to the Court during Motions Court-Tuesday & Thursday mornings at 9:00 a.m. Motion must include the specific reason/need for the continuance; include position of opposing party. Notice of presentation of the Motion shall be afforded to the opposing party. Continuances of status conferences and arbitration matters may be presented to Court Administration for consideration. Verbal advisement to the Court Administrator of the need for a continuance OR that parties have agreed to a continuance will not be sufficient to insure the proceeding will be continued. The docket must indicate how and why the matter was continued.

Status Conferences

May be conducted via phone by making prior individual arrangements with Court Administration. One parties' phone conference is not dependent upon the other. Covering counsel must be in a position to establish discovery and motion deadlines and agree to a trial date.

Pre-trial Conferences

Must be attended in person by trial counsel. Pre-trial memorandum must be filed five (5) days prior to pre-trial date. Clients must be available by phone and counsel should have full authority to enter into settlement negotiations. Pre-trial conferences occur approximately 4-5 weeks prior to jury selection.

Arbitrations

Arbitration limits-$50,000. Arbitration hearings are generally scheduled twice a month. If hearings are expected to be an entire day, the parties should contact Karen Vinton, Deputy Court Administrator 253-5970 ex. 2020 kvinton@co.wayne.pa.us and advise of same. A separate day and panel may be selected for that case. Parties are instructed to notify Court Administration-IN WRITING-of settlement at least 48 hours prior to Arbitration Hearing.Failure to do so will result in the costs of Arbitrators assessed against the parties.

PFA Process

An emergency Protection from Abuse Order may be sought from any Magisterial District Judge between 4:30pm and 8:30am during weekdays and anytime during week ends. Order from District Judge is valid only until the Court of Common Pleas is available. A Petition for an Emergency Protection from Abuse Order then must be obtained at the Prothonotary's Office, Wayne County Courthouse and submitted to the Court for review. If approved, a PFA hearing shall be scheduled within ten days. It isstrongly recommended parties obtain representation by counselas matters of child custody, eviction and confication of property may be involved in the processing of a protection order. Assistance may be sought through the Victim's Intervention Program at 253-4401 and through Northern Pennsylvania Legal Services at 253-1031.

Divorce Master Process

Upon filing a divorce action, party may seek appointment of Master by petitioning Court and depositing a $500.00 deposit with the Prothonotary for payment of Master's fees, and $200.00 with their attorney's escrow account for payment of transcripts to Court Reporters. The scheduling of a Master's Hearing will not take place unless the dposits are made. In the event the funds are exhausted and additional hearings/transcripts are required, funds must again be deposited prior to any scheduling of additional hearings.

Guardianships

Incapacitated person-Petition shall meet all requirements of 20 Pa. C.S.A 5511 and procedural rules under Rule 14 of the Orphans' Court Rules. In determining incapacity, Court requires either live testimony from physician or sworn deposition of same. For general information on Pennsylvania Guardianship procedures see http://www.drnpa.org/File/publications/guardianship-in-pennsylvania--march-2010-.pdf


FORMS

The forms listed below may be used for filing in the Wayne County Court of Common Pleas. The Court strongly recommends that persons obtain legal counsel, however in the event persons decide to pursue actions without counsel, these forms may prove useful. It is the Petitioner's responsiblity to ensure that:

  1. All forms are filled in completely, clearly and legibly. Information that cannot be understood could result in a dismissal of the Petition. Supporting documentation should be attached to the Petition.
  2. Petitioners are responsible for the payment of filing fees (See Prothonotary page for listing of filing fees). If persons believe they cannot afford filing fees they must file Petition for In Forma Pauperis and obtain an order directing the waiver of filing fees.
  3. Petitioner must serve all parties involved in the case with a copy of the petition and a copy of any scheduling Order that may arise from the Petition.

Personell from the Prothonotary's Office or Court Administration may not offer legal advice and cannot assist you beyond providing access to the forms. Again, obtaining legal counsel is strongly recommended. For infomation on Wayne County Legal Aid and the Wayne County Pro Bono program call Northern Pennsylvania Legal Services at (570) 341-7834. Additional forms and pro se assistance can be found at www.PaLawHelp.org.

Forms

In Forma Pauperis (Request for waiver of filing fees)
Civil Cover Sheet
Custody Agreement
Notice and Order to Appear (Must be filed with Contempt of Court petition below)
Contempt Petition Order Instructions
Petition for Protection from Abuse
Petition to Modify Protection from Abuse
Divorce Under § 3301(d) of the Divorce Code Instructional Checklist
No Fault Divorce Under § 3301(c) of the Divorce Code Instructional Checklist
License/Registration Suspension Appeal Instructions
Certificate of Title Petition
Nunc Pro Tunc
Juror Brochure
Juror Questionnaire


Magisterial District Court Re-districting

Redistricting Proposal
Map of Existing Magisterial Districts
Map of Proposed Magisterial Districts


Important Links

PA Bar Association
PA Superior Court
Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts