The Criminal Section has jurisdiction over all felony cases and appeals from Municipal Court for a trial de novo (new trial) including a right to a trial by jury. Among the types of cases that fall within the assignments of the Trial Division Criminal Section are homicide cases, capital PCRA cases and felony cases. The Probation Department and Pretrial Services are included in the Criminal Section of the Division.
The Trial Division - Criminal is led by the Administrative Judge of the Trial Division, who appoints the
Supervising Judge of the Trial Division - Criminal. They are assisted by the Deputy Court Administrator of the Trial Division - Criminal.
Richard T. McSorley, Esquire
Deputy Court Administrator, Criminal Trial Division First Judicial District Of Pennsylvania
Court of Common Pleas - Trial Division
The Stout Center for Criminal Justice, Room 203 1301 Filbert Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Information Services Information Services provides CPCMS data support and public information via direct and/or telephone contact regarding court case information.
The Information Counter telephone numbers are:
There are four departments that fall within the supervision of the Office of the Deputy Court Administrator, Criminal, to wit: Adult Probation and Parole, Common Pleas Criminal Listings, Courtroom Operations, and Pretrial Services.
The Criminal Listing Department works to provide access to justice by the innovation and implementation of progressive case flow management daily. This department is responsible for the creation and coordination of calendar programs such as formal arraignment, majors, waiver, homicide, and domestic violence .They work closely with the judiciary, judicial staff, courtroom operations and other criminal justice partners to ensure effective management of all case inventory.
These individuals act in a para-judicial capacity and assist the criminal court judiciary by performing some administrative court functions and assignments. Trial commissioners preside in courtrooms in the Stout Center for Criminal Justice and conduct hearings via video for court or administrative proceedings including GAGNON I hearings, notice of indictment hearings and formal arraignments. In addition, they are responsible for conducting the review and assignment of criminal cases to judges. Trial commissioners are responsible for case management and performing administrative functions which assure the proper case flow in the Criminal Division.
The Appointment Unit is responsible for processing counsel appointments to assure that indigent defendants are represented at scheduled court events. Appointments are for homicide and non-homicide criminal cases and appeals and are processed in accordance with Local Rule 406, General Court Regulation No. 2012-02 and Pa.R.Crim.P 801. This Unit also maintains each Municipal and Common Pleas Court judges' list of certified court appointed attorneys for misdemeanors, felonies and homicide and non-homicide Appeals and PCRA. Appointments processed by this Unit are for cases heard in Common Pleas, Municipal and Family Court (Adult Preliminary Hearings in Juvenile Court). This Unit also processes relief of counsel due to conflicts and performs all CPCMS data entry and related clerical functions associated with the appointment process including close interaction with the City of Philadelphia Counsel Fee Unit, the Philadelphia Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
This Unit is responsible for the scheduling of Common Pleas Court and Municipal Court violation of probation hearings, GAGNON I and II hearings, sentencings and post-trial motions. These matters are scheduled in conjunction with the Probation/Parole Department, judges and judicial staff. This Unit is also responsible for the reassignment of cases where the sentence exceeded the tenure of the judicial authority.
Phone: (215) 683-7525
Fax: (215) 683-7507
All requests for post-conviction relief pursuant to the Pennsylvania Post Conviction Relief Act (42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9541 et seq.) are processed and scheduled through the PCRA Unit who preliminarily reviews all PCRA petitions and identifies cases where there is a need for court appointed counsel. Staff attorneys in this Unit also prepare opinions and dispositional orders for second and subsequent petitions where the sentencing judge is no longer sitting.
Phone: (215) 683-7542
The Data Management Unit imposes stringent controls for records of new arrests, migration issues, participant identifiers, bench warrant hearings, and various other tasks as assigned and required. The Unit works closely with the District Attorney’s Office in the creation of Bills of Information. The unit also assists in the case flow management by recording pertinent data in several courtrooms such as the SMART Pre-trial courtrooms, motions court, formal arraignment court and the homicide pre-trial room.
The Pretrial Service Department of the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania operates as a full service bail agency, providing supervised release services, appointment of counsel interviews, and enforcement of judicial orders related to the adult Criminal Trial Division.
Pretrial Services Department First Judicial District of Pennsylvania
Criminal Trial Division
714 Market Street, 7th Floor Philadelphia, PA 19106
Director of Pretrial Services Michael P. Bouchard III
Bail can be paid at the Bail Acceptance Office, Room B-03 of the Criminal Justice
Center, 1301 Filbert Street. The office is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays.
Payments can be made either in cash or with a valid credit or debit card. On selected occasions, a bank issued
cashiers check can be accepted, however conditions apply and the hours of acceptance are limited
when using a cashiers check.
Bail can also be posted at the Philadelphia Prison, Curran-Fromhold Institution.
Hours of operation are
Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at this site.
All individuals posting bail must provide a valid form of identification to the cashier.
Questions should be referred to the Bail Acceptance Office at 215-683-7727.
Do I get my bail money back?
Most of the bail money is refunded, provided there were no failures to appear for court or
other release violations. Seventy percent of the bail deposit is available for refund thirty-one
days after the final disposition of the case. The person named on the original bail deposit
receipt must provide valid identification at the Clerk of Quarter Sessions/Bail Refund Office, Room B-03 of the Stout Center for Criminal Justice, 1301 Filbert Street. The office is open Monday through Fridays,
8:30am to 4:30pm, Phone: 215-683-7723.
When should I call the Pretrial Service Department?
All arrested individuals are required to phone the Pretrial office within 24 hours of your release after arrest.
The contact/check-in phone number is 215-686-7421. This is an automated system, where your call will be
recorded and is operational around the clock. You must provide your police identification number/PID when prompted.
You are also required to call the Notification Unit at 215 683-3710 if you change your
address or have questions about your court date.
If you are on a supervised release you must report to 714 Market Street, 7th Floor on your assigned Orientation Date
and you must contact your assigned Pretrial Officer when required, or, call the Supervision Unit at
215-683-3750 if you have any questions. The Supervision Units are open Monday through Friday,
from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
What type of case does Pretrial Service Department appoint counsel for?
Adult criminal cases within the county of Philadelphia (does not include summary
citations, matters of child custody, support, or protection from abuse petitions.) The
appointment of counsel interviews are conducted at the Pretrial Service Department main
office, 714 Market Street, 7th Floor, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Questions should be referred to 215-683-3710.
If I am on house arrest and an emergency situation occurs, who should I call?
You should call your assigned Pretrial Officer (Pretrial Cases) or Probation Officer (Post-trial matters)
during traditional office hours, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.--Monday through Friday.
During evenings, weekends, and holidays, you should contact the
House Arrest Monitoring Unit at 215-568-0191. This must be for a true emergency.
You must provide the name of your Pretrial/Probation Officer, and specific
information such as hospital address, doctor's name, etc.
What happens if I fail to appear in court?
You will be subject to immediate arrest on a bench warrant. If you were released on cash
bail you could lose your deposit and be responsible for payment of the full bail amount.
You can lessen or avoid these sanctions if you promptly surrender for a bench warrant
hearing, at 7:30 a.m., Monday through Friday, Room B-04 The Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice,
1301 Filbert Street. Questions should be referred to the Warrant Unit at 215-683-3723.
What if I have a question about a Bench Warrant?
All questions concerning a bench warrant should be referred to the Data Verification Unit at 215-683-3723.
Please select an office or department from the list below to view detailed information.
Heather Bernard, Manager - Arraignment Unit 215-683-3707
The Arraignment Unit operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 714 Market Street. This unit works in coordination with six Detective Divisions and Police Headquarters for the purpose of interviewing via video all adults charged with misdemeanors or felonies in Philadelphia. The interviewers are responsible for collecting information regarding the arrested individual's personal and financial history, family/community ties and criminal history. The role of the unit is to capture charge severity, detailed personal information and any other critical information for the purpose of calculating a release guideline that is presented to a judicial authority for a bail determination
Samuel W. Turner, Manager – Electronic Monitoring Unit
Information calls: (215) 683-1538
Fax: (215) 683-6948
The Electronic Monitoring (EM) Unit is responsible for monitoring any individual court ordered to EM by the judiciary for both Pretrial and Post Trial matters. The Electronic Monitoring Unit operates twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week. The Field Unit is responsible for the residential investigation along with installation and maintenance of all electronic monitoring equipment. The Monitoring Center is responsible for fielding and responding to all alerts.
Active electronic monitoring transmits a continual signal via the Personal Transceiver (PTX) worn by the individual, to the Personal Home Monitoring Unit (PHMU) installed in the individuals’ residence. The individual is monitored twenty-four (24) hours a day as continuous signals are sent to the host computer from the PHMU. In conjunction with the PHMU and PTX, some DUI Treatment Court participants are installed on a Breath Alcohol Real Time (BART) hand-held portable unit. The BART unit monitors and measures alcohol consumption as well as facial recognition of the individual.
Maureen Hutton, Supervisor - Data Verification Unit 215-683-3736
Information calls: (215) 683-3732
The Data Verification Unit is a 24/7 operation which processes correspondence from the Philadelphia Police Department, as well as Law Enforcement Agencies and Departments throughout the Commonwealth, as part of the Commonwealth Law Enforcement Assistance Network (CLEAN) and the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) in order to confirm the validity of criminal bench warrants and probation violation warrants for individuals detained in those jurisdictions. Warrants are lodged for defendants who are being held on new charges and are being remanded to the County Prison or inmates who are already incarcerated or Sheriff Personnel are dispatched to accept custody of fugitives wanted on FJD warrants who are not being held on any other criminal charges. The Data Verification Unit is responsible for the quality control of warrants entered into NCIC and routinely conducts reviews of NCIC to edit warrants that are no longer valid and to enter warrants that should be in the system. The personnel are also responsible for generating the bench warrant hearing list for both the prison and the bench warrant surrenders as well as providing staff for the bench warrant surrender room in the basement of the Criminal Justice Center and the bench warrant hearing room. The Verification Unit coordinates with the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office to facilitate the extradition of defendants who are being held in jurisdictions outside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Unit also checks the validity of bench warrants for the Department of Public Welfare and Social Security Administration for applicants to those programs. The Data Verification Unit also provides death verifications for abatement cases
John Kinch, Manager - Bail Services and Supervision Unit 215-683-3718
The Bail Services and Supervision Unit of the Pretrial Services Department is comprised of two departments.
The Records and Notification component is responsible for an orientation of all defendants ordered to pretrial supervision by the Court. The department also conducts financial interviews to determine eligibility for appointment of counsel for select cases requiring the services of an attorney. Staff field daily telephone calls from defendants, family members, attorneys and the general public requesting information with respect to court appearance dates, how and where to surrender on a bench warrant, bail and the processing of bail using real estate.
The Pretrial Officers of the Supervision Unit are responsible for the monitoring and supervision of all defendants ordered to adhere to specific bail conditions including ROSC – Type I and II, Intensive Direct Supervision and Electronic Monitoring – House Arrest. All defendants ordered to pretrial supervision must report for an initial orientation and thereafter via telephone and office visits. Pretrial Officers frequently communicate with the judiciary, attorneys and other related agencies as required. Accountability to record keeping is of the highest nature.