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The Trial Division is one of three divisions of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. The Trial Division of the Court of Common Pleas has general jurisdiction in civil and criminal cases, excluding Family Division or Orphans' Court matters.
The Court of Common Pleas - Trial Division is composed of seventy commissioned judges. The judges in commission are supplemented by the services of senior judges. The Division is divided into two sections - Civil and Criminal. Forty-one commissioned judges are assigned to the criminal programs and twenty-nine are assigned to civil programs. There are approximately one-thousand employees in the many separate departments throughout the Trial Division.
Office of the Administrative Judge
The Trial Division is led by an Administrative Judge, who is appointed by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and serves at the pleasure of the Supreme Court. On January 27, 2016, Judge Jacqueline F. Allen was appointed Administrative Judge. As Administrative Judge, she is the approving authority for all administrative matters associated with the Trial Division.
The duties of the Administrative Judge of the Trial Division include but are not limited to:
The Supervising Judge of the Civil Section is the Honorable Arnold L. New. Civil has jurisdiction over actions at law and equity along with appeals from Municipal Court and certain administrative agencies and boards. The Trial Division Civil has jurisdiction over civil claims involving amounts in excess of $10,000. The variety of civil actions that may be brought in the Trial Division Civil include Negligence, Contract and Equity Action.
The Supervising Judge of the Criminal Section is the Honorable Leon W. Tucker. Criminal has jurisdiction over all felony cases as well as appeals from Municipal Court for a trial de novo, including a right to a trial by jury. Among the types of cases that fall within the assignments of the Trial Division Criminal are homicide cases, capital PCRA cases and felony cases. The Probation Department and Pretrial Services are included in the Criminal Section of the Division.