Pennsylvania Supreme Court acts swiftly to correct problems in Philadelphia Traffic Court
Pennsylvanians for Modem Courts (PMC) is pleased that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has acted swiftly to bring changes to Traffic Court in the wake of allegations about a ticket fixing scandal tied to political favors.
The Court's order last week installed a new Administrative Judge, Common Pleas Court Judge Gary Glazer, to oversee Traffic Court.
Traffic Court and Municipal Court in Philadelphia, like the Magisterial District Court in other counties, are the courts most commonly encountered by the public. They truly are the "People's Courts."
PMC's Executive Director Lynn A. Marks explained that Chief Justice Castille's emphasis on the need for the public to have confidence that Traffic Court is a fair court where everyone receives equal treatment sends a strong signal about the importance of public perception.
"Clearly," she noted, "it is not acceptable for there to be either a reality or a public belief that who you know determines your outcome in Traffic Court, or any other court."
The Supreme Court acted quickly, added Marks, not waiting for the federal investigation to result in charges before taking action. Instead, once its internal investigation revealed problems, the Supreme Court started the process of correcting them. Said Marks, "This is exactly what the people of Pennsylvania expect from the Supreme Court -- clear, decisive action taken to protect the public and safeguard the integrity of our court system."
Pennsylvanians for Modem Courts is a nonprofit court reform organization. www.pmconline. org
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