District court jurisdiction boundaries could change
BIG RUN — Big Run borough residents — as well as other residents throughout Jefferson County — may find themselves driving to a different destination for Magisterial District Court.
At Monday's council meeting, Big Run Mayor Joe Buterbaugh said the borough council members received a letter from Jefferson County Common Pleas President Judge John H. Foradora informing them that every 10 years after the U.S. Census is complete, the president judges of each judicial district are challenged to review the lines of their respective Magisterial Judicial Districts.
Foradora wrote: "Although this time to evaluate coincides with a population count, the court is charged with looking at the average case loads of each district over the last 10 years.
"Our current lines were set by President Judge Morris in 1970," Foradora wrote, adding that since that time, Big Run, Corsica, Falls Creek and Summerville boroughs, as well as Snyder Township, have disbanded their municipal police forces, and the Pennsylvania State Police having changed locations/barracks and coverage areas several times.
"Also, since that time," Foradora wrote, "there have been many demographic shifts in population from boroughs out to the townships and consolidation of several elementary schools in the various school districts.
"After review of all the data and in order to equalize the districts in size and shape, as well as population and caseload; the following changes are necessary:
• MDJ 54-3-01, Douglas R. Chambers, will lose Big Run borough and add Ringgold Township and Worthville borough.
• MDJ 54-3-02, David B. Inzana, Esq., will add Big Run borough and Polk Township.
• MDJ 54-3-03, Gregory M. Bazylak, Esq., will lose Polk Township, Ringgold Township and Worthville borough.
Buterbaugh said council may appeal the changes.
Nick Lantz, council president, said council will appeal because it's not convenient for borough employees or council members to run all the way to Reynoldsville for district court instead of Punxsy.