Westmoreland County will close the Magisterial District Judge’s Office in Mount Pleasant Township next month as it works to redistrict its 16 remaining district judge’s offices.
Senior District Judge Roger Eckels, 65, had served as the office’s judge prior to his retirement last May but continued hearing cases at the office as a senior judge until earlier this month when he resigned to start work as the new chief deputy in the county Sheriff’s Office.
Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas Judge Rita Hathaway on Tuesday signed an order authorizing the court office’s closure.
Beginning March 1, any new civil, criminal and traffic offenses in Mount Pleasant Township will be filed in Magisterial District Judge L. Anthony Bompiani’s office in Hempfield Township, while cases from Mount Pleasant Borough will be filed in Magisterial District Judge Charles Moore’s office in East Huntingdon Township.
Any cases still pending in Eckels’ court will go before another senior judge.
The county plans to redraw district boundary lines for the county’s remaining district courts, Special Courts Administrator Don Heagy said. The county is required to redistrict after each U.S. Census, he said.
Staff members from Eckels’ office will be transferred to vacant positions at other court offices, Heagy said.
The Mount Pleasant Township court office had fewer than 2,000 cases in 2019, the lowest figure in the county, he added.