York City's Avenue Association to hold district judge forum


A York City neighborhood association will hold a forum in October for two candidates who are competing in the general election for a seat on a magisterial district court bench.

The forum will feature Kevin Titzell, who secured the Republican nomination in the primary, and James Morgan, who grabbed the Democratic nomination.

The forum will have a casual feel and will be held 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15 at the Lincoln Fire Station, on the corner of Maryland and Roosevelt avenues, said Mary Anne Bacas, a member of the Avenues Association.

"Each candidate is going to present his credentials," she said, adding they'll also explain why they want to be a district judge.

Titzell is a York County probation officer and Morgan, a former York City police officer, serves on the city school board.

Richard E. Martin II retired from District Court 19-1-02 bench earlier this year. The district covers parts of the city, including the Avenues, Fireside and Colony Park areas.

Judges: Titzell and Morgan will also be asked to explain what it is a district judge does, Bacas said.

"I think it's important for people to learn more about the position," she said.

In Pennsylvania, magisterial district judges preside over a number of matters, including traffic citations, non-traffic citations (which include charges such as disorderly conduct), landlord-tenant disputes, truancy issues and procedures similar to small-claims court. They also arraign defendants on new criminal charges, set bail in those cases and preside over preliminary hearings to determine if enough evidence exists to forward charges to county court for trial.

Candidates who aren't attorneys but win the general election must successfully complete a four-week course before they can be sworn in as district judges. In Pennsylvania, district judges are paid a yearly salary of $88,290.

The race for the District Court 19-1-02 bench is the only one that will be contested in November, according to the York County elections and voting registration office.

All other district judge races, barring a write-in campaign, were essentially decided in the May primary. Three incumbent judges in the county ran unopposed in the primary.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.