More than 90% of all litigation occurs in the Courtroom of The Magisterial District Judge. Magisterial District Judge Courts are the venue for small-claims lawsuits in Civil Cases and the filing and disposition of Minor Criminal Cases (summary cases) such as Traffic Violations, Disorderly Conduct, Public Drunkenness, Truancy, Game Law Violations, and Parking Tickets.
The Magisterial District Judge also conducts preliminary hearings for all serious criminal offenders to determine which cases should be held for trial. In conjunction with the preliminary hearing, the district justice also sets and accepts bail and does arraignment of defendants after arrest. Search warrants may be issued by the District Justice.
Magisterial District Judges are Judges of the Minor Judiciary are paid by the State. They are elected for 6-year terms. Magisterial District Judges appoint their staff members. The salaries of staff and expenses of the office are paid by the county.
There are two Magisterial District Judges in Snyder County and two in Union County. (Snyder and Union Counties comprise the 17th Judicial District.)