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’s mission is to safeguard pretrial justice while maximizing public safety and court appearance. Pretrial Services meets this mission through pre-arraignment interviews, supervised release services, appointment of counsel interviews, and enforcement of judicial orders.
Pretrial Services Department First Judicial District of Pennsylvania
Criminal Trial Division
714 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19106
Director of Pretrial Services Michael P. Bouchard III
The Bail Interviewing Unit operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is a recently arrested individual's first contact with the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania (FJD). Through the utilization of video conferencing equipment, the Bail Interviewing Unit remotely interviews arrested individuals who are located at one of seven Philadelphia Police processing locations strategically staged throughout the City of Philadelphia.
The Bail Interviewing Unit is responsible for collecting information regarding the arrested individual's personal and financial history, family/community ties, and criminal history. Once the interview is completed, the pretrial risk assessment auto generates a release recommendation, also known as a "bail guideline," based primarily on a combination of charge severity and calculated risk. Recommendations are readily available to the Arraignment Court Magistrates, District Attorney's Office and defense counsel prior to and during the arrested individual's arraignment.
What is a Bail/Pretrial Interview, what is its purpose, and what type of questions should be asked?
Throughout the country, pretrial agencies utilize bail/pretrial interviews to collect data regarding a recently arrested individual, assess risk, and ultimately provide a release recommendation to a judicial authority. According to National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies (NAPSA) standards, the interview "should seek to develop information about the defendant's background and current living and employment situation, including the identity of persons who could verify information provided by the defendant. It should focus on questions relevant to the judicial officer's decision concerning release or detention."
How is risk calculated?
The Pretrial Services Department of the First Judicial District assesses risk through the utilization of a risk assessment. Charge severity and individual client and case factors both contribute to the risk calculation.
John Kinch, Manager: Bail Services and Supervision Unit, Telephone: (215) 683-3718
The Bail Services and Supervision (BSS) Unit consists of two individualized subunits: the Records and Notification Unit and Pretrial Supervision Unit. BSS is staffed Monday- Friday from 8am-5pm.
The Records and Notification Unit is responsible for facilitating the orientation process of all individuals ordered to Pretrial Supervision by the Court. The unit also conducts financial interviews to determine eligibility for appointment of counsel for select cases requiring the services of an attorney. Additionally, the unit is responsible for maintaining all Pretrial Services' records.
The Supervision Unit is responsible for the monitoring and supervision of all individuals ordered to adhere to specific bail conditions, including ROSC – Type I and II, Direct Supervision, and Electronic Monitoring. All individuals ordered to pretrial supervision must report for an initial orientation and thereafter via telephonic check-ins and office visits. Additionally, the unit has implemented a voluntary social service and mental health referral program in coordination with the Department of Behavioral Health. This program assists the pretrial supervision population with obtaining various types of social and mental health services.
The vast majority of Bail Services and Supervision related inquiries can be answered by calling (215) 683-3710 (General Information) or (215) 686-7421 (Interactive Voice Response System).
Frequently Asked Questions (Bail Services and Supervision Unit)
What is pretrial supervised release?
The pretrial supervised release program provides supervision to the pretrial population via court orders from a judicial authority. Additionally, those assigned to pretrial supervision are eligible to participate in a voluntary social service referral program. Below are the typically ordered supervision levels that can be adjusted by the Court, based on an individual's specific circumstances.
ROSC Type I
(1) Telephonic check-in per week.
Office visits after scheduled court dates.
ROSC Type II
(2) telephonic check-ins per week.
Office visits after scheduled court dates.
Individualized office visit and telephonic check-in reporting schedule.
Individualized office visit and telephonic check-in reporting schedule.
Not permitted to leave approved residence without approved an schedule.
Who is eligible?
Eligibility for placement on Pretrial Supervision is at the sole discretion of the presiding judicial authority. Individuals are traditionally assigned to Pretrial Supervision via the following methods:
Early Bail Review (EBR) Hearings;
Are all individuals assigned to Pretrial Supervision mandated to attend orientation?
Yes. Any individual ordered to the supervision of Pretrial Services must attend their scheduled Pretrial Supervision orientation session and participate in the intake process
Is the Pretrial Supervision population eligible for mental health and social services assistance?
Yes. As part of the intake process, every member of the Pretrial Supervision population will have the opportunity to participate in a voluntary screening process to assist with connecting them to mental health and social services for their individualized needs.
How is compliance measured?
A client on Pretrial Supervision is traditionally considered “compliant” if they adhere to the following conditions:
Attend all court dates;
Ensure all required weekly telephonic check-in calls are made to their assigned Pretrial Officer;
Attend all scheduled office visits with their assigned Pretrial Officer;
Follow all additional requirements or conditions as mandated by the presiding judicial authority;
No new arrests.
What happens if an individual fails to comply with the conditions of their release to Pretrial Supervision?
Addressing non-compliance of the Pretrial Supervision population is traditionally done through a mixture of warning letters and judicial notification procedures. In some cases, a bench warrant will be issued for the apprehension for an individual assigned to Pretrial Supervision.
What is the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System
The IVR system is Pretrial Services’ automated telephone system that clients can utilize for the following purposes:
Make required check-in calls
Receive information regarding the appointment of counsel process
Speak to a Pretrial representative regarding missed court dates and/or failure to report for both orientation and office visits
Information regarding next court dates
Contact your assigned Pretrial Officer
Samuel W. Turner, Manager – Electronic Monitoring Unit, Telephone: (215) 683-3766
General Information: (215) 683-1538
Fax: (215) 683-6948
The Electronic Monitoring Unit (EMU) operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and consists of two individualized entities: the Electronic Monitoring Center (EMC) and Field Unit. A client is monitored through the utilization of a Personal Home Monitoring Unit (PHMU) connected to an approved residence, and a Personal Transmitter (PTX) affixed to the ankle of the client. The EMU can continuously monitor client activity to ensure compliance with the courts' order and adequate oversight of all clients assigned to pretrial and post-trial EM supervision.
Electronic Monitoring is the most restrictive form of Pretrial Supervision and requires equipment to be placed at an approved residence and affixed to the ankle to the individual being supervised.
What type of equipment is utilized?
In 2017, the Pretrial Services Department began the utilization of Cellular Home Monitoring Units. The Cellular Home Monitoring units, which consist of a Personal Home Monitoring Unit (PHMU) and a Personal Transmitter (PTX), provide several advantages to accurately monitor electronic monitoring clients and expedites the installation process by eliminating requirements of copper-analog residential landline services, which also come at a cost for the individual being supervised. Trained personnel are also able to send a short text message through the PHMU at the residence, providing an additional method of communication.
Maureen Hutton, Supervisor: Data Verification Unit, Telephone: (215) 683-8121
General Information: (215) 683-3732
The Data Verification Unit (DVU) operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is primarily responsible for corresponding with the Philadelphia Police Department, as well as local, state and federal law enforcement agencies as part of the Commonwealth Law Enforcement Assistance Network (CLEAN) and the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) to confirm the validity of criminal bench warrants and probation violation warrants for individuals detained in those jurisdictions. The Data Verification Unit is also responsible for the quality control of FJD-related warrants entered into NCIC and routinely conducts reviews of NCIC to ensure the timely removal of warrants that are no longer valid or addition of valid warrants to the system. DVU personnel are also responsible for facilitating the bench warrant surrender process, staffing the daily Bench Warrant Court hearings, and providing verifications to abatements as requested.
Where do I go to surrender if I have an active bench warrant?
Individuals who have active bench warrants are encouraged to report to the Justice Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice, Courtroom 403 Monday- Friday between 7:30am – 9:00am to begin the screening and verification process. Shortly thereafter, all individuals who report between the hours mentioned above will have the opportunity to go before a judicial authority and have their bench warrant(s) addressed, and in most cases, lifted with a future court date assigned.
I think I may have an active bench warrant. What number do I call for additional information?
The general public may contact the Data Verification Unit at 215-683-3723, 3724, or 3725 or by utilizing the IVR system (215-686-7421) and selecting option “4.”
Kasey Maguire, Pretrial Services Support Specialist, Telephone: (215) 683-3737
The Pretrial Services Operations Unit was created in 2017 to assist administration with the oversight of pretrial-specific initiatives and projects, development of a department-wide training curriculum, oversee the creation and annual updating of unit-specific policy and procedure manuals, act as an intermediary for facility management and IT-related issues, and with the researching of and subsequent application for grant opportunities.